Finding a chocolate fondant recipe that works can be a process of trial and error. I tried adapting several different recipes until I finally found one (thank you, Mr Ramsay) that produced a result that was not only completely delicious but also gave me that perfect gooey centre I was after.
One of the best things about chocolate fondants is that you can make them well in advance and keep them in a fridge or freezer. You can then just pop them in the oven for a few minutes and you're ready to impress your dinner guests!
I was recently lucky enough to be served up an amazing Bleu des Basques chocolate fondant whilst cheese tasting at Champagne + Fromage. The fascinating combo of blue cheese and chocolate worked so brilliantly that I decided I had to give it a go myself.
So here is the recipe. If you want to you can leave out the cheese of course but, believe me, the rich chocolate and blue cheese are quite a match made in culinary heaven!
You will need:
100g dark chocolate, chopped (I suggest Green & Blacks)
100g unsalted butter, chopped into cubes
100g golden caster sugar
2 eggs and 2 egg yolks
100g plain flour
25g blue cheese (I used Saint Agur)
3 x small pudding basins
1. Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan assisted.
2. Use upward strokes to brush the inside of the pudding basins with melted butter. Put them in the freezer for around 10 minutes to set.
3. Repeat the process with the remaining melted butter for each basin then add a teaspoon of cocoa powder. Tip the basin until the inside is completely covered.
4. Break the blue cheese into little pieces and press a few bits into the sides of the basins. Set the rest aside.
5. Put the chopped butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place over a barely simmering pan of water. Leave to melt slowly, stir until smooth then set aside to cool for around 10 minutes.
6. Put the sugar, eggs and egg yolks in a bowl and use an electric whisk to bring them to a pale, thick consistency that leaves a trail (this takes about 3 to 5 minutes). Sift in the plain flour and beat it in.
7. Add the cooled chocolate and whisk until thoroughly mixed together to make a smooth, loose batter.
8. Stir in most of the remaining blue cheese pieces but keep just a few back.
9. Transfer the batter into a jug then pour into the pudding basins, filling just below the rim. Place the last few bits of cheese on top.
10. You can now refrigerate overnight or freeze the fondants for up to a month. If freezing, just add 5 minutes to the cooking time.
12. Remove from the oven then leave to sit for 1 minute.
13. Loosen the tops of each fondant very gently so they come away from the sides of the basin then carefully transfer onto a plate.