- Easy to make
- Always do a trial run
- Better under-baked than over-baked
- Don’t forget the finishing touches
The trick when making chocolate fondant is lots of all the things that signal excess – exclusive chocolate, loads of butter and plenty of eggs. And then a little flour and sugar to bind it all together. Fondant means “melting” in French, the perfect description of the gooey inside. But the crisp outside – and the extras – are just as important.
Choosing the chocolate for fondant
Chocolate fondant is like dark chocolate conveyed through the medium of heat and creaminess. So be fussy when choosing your chocolate. Ignore the baking shelf and hunt among the high-quality blocks of chocolate instead, where the prices start to get higher and the lists of ingredients shorter.
Everyone likes chocolate.
– Kin Tsui, 39Wäst
Good with chocolate fondant
While the fondant is the star, what you serve with it defines the experience. Cold vanilla ice cream with hot fondant is a classic combination that’s hard to beat, but other flavors of ice cream work well too, such as mango, raspberry, passion fruit or mint. Other excellent accompaniments include fresh raspberries, a citrus salad (maybe with a little licorice powder?) or thinly sliced star fruit and strawberries.
A simple basic principle is to match the dark, warm, full-bodied sweet taste of chocolate with accompaniments that are the opposite – cold, acidic, light, fresh, etc.
Always do a trial run
Well-baked fondant should be runny inside. If it spends too long in the oven and the middle starts to solidify, the whole point is lost. Because every oven is different, it’s worth doing a trial run first. You don’t want to serve up a plateful of unusually hard muffins.
Preparing chocolate fondant ahead of time
Because chocolate fondant doesn’t contain baking powder, it can be prepared the day before if necessary. Keep the filled molds in the fridge until you cook them.
If you’re having friends round, plan ahead. No-one wants to be sweating in the kitchen while their guests are waiting.
– Christophe Buchet, Bleck
Salted or unsalted butter
Butter doesn’t only add delicious fat to the recipe, it also brings saltiness. Pastry chefs tend to use unsalted butter so that they can decide for themselves exactly how salty they want the result to be. A pinch of salt cuts through the sweetness.
The right container for your fondant
Chocolate fondant is always baked in individual molds or ramekins. They are usually ceramic but if you’re making a large number at once, you can use disposable ones. Because the disposable versions are thinner, and the fondant will cook more quickly, it’s extra important to do a trial run with just one fondant first to make sure the inside stays runny.
Ceramic ramekins are preferable. You can grease, grease again and then add sugar, or even put strips of greaseproof paper inside as a pain-free way of quickly getting the fondants out once they’re cooked. Some people turn the ramekins upside down and turn the masterpiece out onto the plate. Others serve the fondants in their little ceramic pots. It’s less messy, but you miss the effect of the glorious chocolate sauce running out of the fondant when the spoon first plunges in.
Serving chocolate fondant
When the chocolate fondant is on the plate, sprinkle some cocoa powder on top of the warm chocolate dessert. Put the cocoa powder in a tea strainer and sift it carefully over each plate. It’s a showy move and the cocoa highlights the aroma of chocolate.
Chocolate fondant recipe
This recipe was created by Martin Isaksson, possibly Sweden’s foremost chocolatier (and world champion with the Swedish national culinary team, etc.) You’ll find this and other professional chocolate recipes in his book Chokladfabrikens desserter.
Serves about 8
200g unsalted butter
90g granulated sugar
4 eggs (200g)
4 egg yolks (110 g)
90g plain flour
200 g dark chocolate
- Melt the butter and chocolate. Add the sugar. Fold in the eggs and egg yolks a little at a time. Sieve the flour and fold it in.
- Pour into greased individual ramekins and bake in the center of the oven at 200°C for about five minutes. The fondant should have set round the edges and be runny inside.
- Serve with vanilla ice cream. Enjoy the warm glow as you eat them. And the chocolate.