Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Hot Chocolate Fondant

The life of a baking raconteur is one of not only delight and of merriment but also of expectation, so for that reason it is always wise to possess a handful of recipes that can be both prepared and baked at short notice. The luxuriously seductive chocolate fondant has the reputation for being quite the botheration, but in reality is one of the most elementary delectations I have in my armoury. It can be created in its entirety within thirty minutes, so is perfect for those odd occasions when one is greeted with unanticipated guest and is guaranteed to impress, be they associates, acquaintances or admirers. I baked a pair myself only this weekend, but for whom I shall leave unrevealed. After all, a gentleman never tells...

Prep time: 10 Mins
Baking time: 14 Mins
200g Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa ideally)
200g Unsalted Butter
3tsp Cocoa Powder
200g Light Muscovado Sugar
4tbsp Plain Flour
1tsp Baking Powder
4 Large Eggs (Beaten)
1tsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Melt together the chocolate and butter until smooth and silky, which can be done over a bain-marie or on medium in the microwave if you are confident in your timings. Whilst the chocolate and butter are melting grease six 7.5cm dariole/pudding moulds or ramekins. Sprinkle half a teaspoon of cocoa powder into each, then tip to one side and rotate the mould, so the cocoa sticks to the inside of greased mould, all the way to the top.

When the chocolate has melted the rest could not be more simple. In a large bowl mix together the sugar, plain flour and baking powder, then add the eggs with the vanilla and beat until evenly combined. Pour in the melted chocolate/butter and mix to a smooth batter, then carefully spoon the mixture into each prepared mould, about two thirds full. Place the filled moulds on a flat baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for around 14 minutes, until the tops have set, then remove and leave for 2 minutes.

Run a small flat bladed knife (such as a butter knife) around the inside of each mould, then turn each fondant out onto a plate or dish. Serve with cold cream or vanilla ice cream. This combination of flavours, textures and temperatures is one of the great pudding pleasures, so I beseech you, proceed without fear and try it for yourself!

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