A melting centre of dark chocolate with sharp fruity raspberries really cutting through that richness of the chocolate centre. It’s a crowd pleaser for sure. You see it and hope that it has that gooey centre otherwise it can be a complete and utter anti-climax. When the spoon breaks through and that rich dark chocolate oozes out always with the accompying ‘oooooo hmmm’, now that’s a chocolate fondant.
I’m always confused when watching MasterChef, as a professional it can be very frustrating and yet some times entertaining. When contestants tell the judges they will be making a fondant, suddenly everyone goes quiet with a look of shock and ‘Is that wise?’, like they just said they are going to recreate the Sistine Chapel with italian meringue and a toothpick. I could write a whole blog on MasterChef but I digress. Perhaps another time.
Like any recipe, especially in baking, you have to be precise.You must get your oven to the correct temp and your ingredients measured out while trusting the recipe. There are only a few ingredients in this recipe so as always, it is best to have the highest quality you can especially when it comes down to the chocolate. I like a dark bitter chocolate at about 85% but you can go lower if you like. I wouldn’t use milk chocolate and never white chocolate, far too sweet. Don’t worry, with the dark chocolate and the sugar it balances out and is worth it. Trust me.
Ok enough salivating, now let’s get creating. This makes about 5 fondants depending on ramekin size. I use a slightly smaller ramekin at 6.5cm x 4cm as these are rich.
75g Caster sugar
100g Unsalted butter (Diced)
150g Dark chocolate (Broken up)
50g Plain white flour
15g Cocoa powder, 5g of which for dusting
Preheat the oven to 200c. Butter the inside of your ramekins thoroughly and then sprinkle in the 5g of cocoa to cover the inside of the ramekins completely. This is important so that it pops out easily later. Get a pot with a few inches of water on a medium heat on the stove ready for your Ban Marie. Place your butter and chocolate in a glass or metallic bowl over the pot of water and slowly melt.
Meanwhile, beat your eggs with the sugar for about a minute or so until fully incorporated and it starts to turn white. In a separate bowl sift your flour and cocoa powder. Keep an eye on the chocolate and butter mixture and stir every now and then making sure the chocolate doesn’t split. Make sure to keep the melting mixture away from the sides of the bowl so that it doesn’t catch and burn.
Once the mixture has melted take off the heat and whisk the chocolate butter into the eggs. At this stage you can add a touch of salt. Yep, salt really brings out the chocolate flavour even more so. Just a touch though, don’t go crazy. Now simply take your bowl with the flour and cocoa powder and using a spatula mix into the chocolate, making sure to mix throughly, leaving no pockets of flour.
Spoon into your ramekins. At this stage you can push a few raspberries into the centre of the fondant or any berry really. Get experimenting, macerate some blackberries with a touch of creme de cassis for a delightful mouthful. I’m making dark chocolate ones today so I’m keeping it plain and simple but the combinations are endless.
Once in the ramekins place in the middle of the oven for about 8 minutes. Cooking times will vary on your oven but this ramekin size and temperature is perfect. You want the pudding to be cooked but not all the way through, the top should look cooked with a slight wobble but not wet. Take it out of the oven and give it 30 seconds to cool down and stop steaming or it may collapse on you. Then carefully run a small smooth palate knife around the outside being careful not to damage the fondant. Take a cloth in your hand and grab the bottom of the ramekin and carefully, slowly turn out onto a plate.
Now step back. Look at your work, take a spoon and dive in. Warning contents may be hot, oozing and yummy!