Chocolate Fondant

Mark Bennett, head chef at the Hunter Valley’s award-winning restaurant Esca Bimbadgen, has put together a decadent chocolate fondant recipe that is guaranteed to impress.

“This recipe is great for people who have not had a great deal of experience with desserts. Sticking to the measurements and the method will result in a delicious dessert as long as the cooking time is tested and mastered,” Mark says.

“The fondant presents quite simply, but once it is cracked open and the chocolate sauce oozes out, it always amazes customers. Customers often wonder how the sauce gets inside the fondant – in reality it results from not cooking the fondant the whole way through.”

The main thing bakers and chefs need to watch when reproducing this recipe is the cooking time, which Mark says depends on the oven and the size of the fondant mould.

“You need to cook and set a layer around the fondant, which will hold in the oozing chocolate sauce,” he says.

“Too long in the oven will cook the fondant the whole way through and you will just be left with a chocolate pudding. Not enough time in the oven will result in a crumbly chocolate puddle on the plate. Have a few goes to test your cooking times to make sure you have got it just right for your oven.”

WHAT YOU NEED

Makes 12

200g good quality dark chocolate
200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
7 eggs
120g plain flour

Equipment

12 x dariole moulds
Electric mixer / hand beater
Sifter
Rubber spatula
Bowls and pot

WHAT TO DO

1. Using some extra butter, grease the dariole moulds on the inside and allow the butter to set in the fridge, repeat this process so you have two layers of butter;

2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a metal bowl over the top of a pot that is lightly simmering with water, alternatively you can melt them in short bursts in the microwave;

3. In the mixer, combine the eggs and sugar and beat on a medium / high speed until the mix is white and leaves a trail in itself (ribbon stage) about 10 minutes;

4. Sift the flour into the creamed egg and sugar in two batches, folding through the flour between additions;

5. Fold through the butter and chocolate mix; and

6. Pour into the dariole moulds and set in the fridge.

To serve

1. Pre-heat your oven to 200°C – you will need to test bake a fondant to get the timing right;

2. When the oven is hot, place a fondant on a tray in the oven and allow to cook for seven minutes;

3. When it is cooked, turn it out onto the tray it was cooked on and allow any excess butter to run off. Leave the dariole mould on the fondant to allow the outside to set fully;

4. Remove the dariole mould and break open the fondant – it should be soft and gooey inside. If your fondant was completely cooked through, reduce the cooking time. If the fondant was too fragile and broke too easily, increase the cooking time; and

5. Serve with some seasonal fresh raspberries and ice cream or crème fraiche.


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