Chocolate fondants are notoriously difficult to perfect, but I think you shouldn’t be out off by the rumours! This is a relatively simple recipe, which just requires a bit of attention to timing. Even if the centre is a little to runny or firm, the puddings are very chocolaty, so surely it can’t be too much of a disaster! If you struggle to turn the puddings out, just eat them straight out of the ramekins. And if you do get them just right, you reserve bragging rights to all your friends; there is nothing more satisfying than seeing the silky chocolate sauce ooze out of the centre as you open the pudding.
You can but ramekins fairly cheaply, but I have always used the glass pots that Gü puddings are bought in (what a great excuse to buy a few in Tesco!) and have found that these are perfect for the job.
The fondants can now be frozen for up to a month and cooked from frozen. Freeze after stage 5. To bake from frozen, simply carry on as stated, adding 5 mins more to the cooking time. Alternatively, the mixture can be prepared to stage 5 and then left to chill overnight
You can also make a chocolate and orange version by adding the finely grated zest of 1 large orange and an optional splash of orange liqueur, or a mint version by adding a dash of mint liqueur or mint extract. I recommend serving the pudding with some ice cream, fresh cream of crème fraiche.
Melted butter to brush ramekins
Cocoa powder to dust
100g dark chocolate
100g butter in small pieces
100g golden caster sugar
2 eggs and 2 yolks
100g plain flour
- First get your moulds ready. Using upward strokes, heavily brush the melted butter all over the inside of the pudding mould. Place the mould in the fridge or freezer. Brush more melted butter over the chilled butter, then add a good spoonful of cocoa powder into the mould. Tip the mould so the powder completely coats the butter. Tap any excess cocoa back into the jar, then repeat with the next mould
- Place a bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, then slowly melt the chocolate and butter together. Remove bowl from the heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for about 10 mins.
- In a separate bowl whisk the eggs and yolks together with the sugar until thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail; use an electric whisk if you have one. Sift the flour into the eggs, then beat together.
- Pour the melted chocolate into the egg mixture in thirds, beating well between each addition, until all the chocolate is added and the mixture is completely combined to a loose cake batter.
- Tip the fondant batter into a jug, then evenly divide between the moulds. Leave to chill for at least 30 minutes.
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Place the fondants on a baking tray, then cook for 10–12 mins until the tops have formed a crust and they are starting to come away from the sides of their moulds. Remove from the oven, then leave to sit for 1 min before turning out.
- Loosen the fondants by moving the tops very gently so they come away from the sides, easing them out of the moulds. Tip each fondant slightly onto your hand so you know it has come away, then tip back into the mould ready to plate up.