Fondants are heavenly. I don’t think there is any disputing that. What could be better than a soft chocolate sponge that unleashes molten chocolate when cut into I. I used to work in fabulous little restaurant in London called Edwins, in Borough, and every evening I would pray the chef would bugger up one of his fondants getting it out the tin so I might get to eat. Sadly, this did not occur often enough, but I did get some great tips on how to make them in my own time. These fondants contain a raspberry and mint centre, which lightens them just slightly. The fondant mixture can be kept approximately 24 hours in the fridge, so if you have guests coming over these little puddings are great because you can make them in advance, then just pop them in the oven for 10 minutes when the time comes.
For the raspberry and mint sauce
120g fresh raspberries, plus 4 really nice ones for placing in the centre
1 and 1/2 tablespoons caster sugar
squeeze of lemon juice
handful of mint leaves
For the fondant
200g dark chocolate (>70% cocoa solids)
125g unsalted butter
2 egg yolks
60g caster sugar
40g plain flour
15g cadbury’s hot chocolate powder (this is the secret magic ingredient), plus extra for dusting
A couple of extra raspberries and mint leaves for decoration
1. The first stage is to get the raspberry and mint sauce cooked and chilling. Finely chop the mint leaves and remove any stalky bits. Wash and thoroughly dry the raspberries before cooking them over a mid-high heat with one and a half teaspoons of caster sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice. Similarly to when you make jam, leave to simmer over the heat until the raspberries begin to loose their structural integrity then remove from the heat. Leave to cool, then blitz in a food processor.
2. To get the fondants out the tin, well greased pudding moulds are incredibly important. Brush the tins well with melted butter, then give a strong dusting of cadbury’s hot chocolate powder, making sure you get all the corners. This powder will give the fondants that nice fluffy texture when they’re tipped out.
3. Melt the butter and chocolate over a pan of boiling water until liquid.
4. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar with an electric whisk until at the stage where you can run a stick through it and it leaves a trail floating behind. You want lots of air in it, as this is what keeps the fondant light and spongey-there is no raising agent being used.
5. Whisk in the melted chocolate, still using the electric whisk.
6. Sift in the cocoa powder and flour, gently folding in with a figure of 8 movement. Be careful not to knock too much air out or leave a big clump of flour sitting in the bottom.
7. Spoon a couple of tablespoons into the bottom of the fondant tin. Then place 1 raspberry in the middle of the tin, followed by a spoonful of raspberry and mint sauce. Try to keep the raspberry as central as possible. Top up with chocolate mixture to nearly the top of the tin. Repeat for the other fondants.
8. Chill for at least 40 minutes in the fridge.
9. Bake for 11-13 minutes at 180•C. Do not poke with a stick as this will let all the liquid inside out. You can tell they are ready when the tops are firm.
10. Tip out gently onto a plate, dust generously with icing sugar and eat immediately.