Sunday, 21 September 2008

Chocolate Fondant

One of my favourite TV shows is 'Masterchef', a BBC program whereby amateur chefs have a chance to show off their talent in a series of cooking challenges. After completing these challenges, the person who has demonstrated the best technique, presentation, and of course the best tasting food, is the winner. Having watched several series of Masterchef, there seems to be one dish that can either make or break a contestant - chocolate fondant. The key to chocolate fondant is that the outside should be cakey in consistency, while the inside should be gooey, molten chocolate. The stumbling block for many of the contestants on Masterchef is that they either undercook it, such that it collapses into a runny mess, or overcook it so that it is cakey all the way through. After seeing so many people fail to prepare a proper chocolate fondant, I was curious to see how difficult it is to make. Funnily enough, this month's edition of the Dutch delicious. magazine has a recipe for Chocolate Fondant, so I thought I would give this recipe a try. Upon looking at the list of ingredients, I was skeptical as to whether it would work. However, to my surprise, the puddings were a success! Compared to the contestants on Masterchef, I had the advantage of time. I could leave the puddings in the fridge for several hours, which seems to help to maintain a liquid centre upon cooking. I was very pleased with the result and will definitely be preparing this chocolate fondant recipe again sometime...

Chocolate Fondant (serves 6)

200g high quality dark chocolate
240g unsalted butter, in blocks
4 eggs
90g caster sugar
30g flour, sifted
powder sugar

Break the chocolate into pieces. Put the chocolate and butter into a heat-resistant bowl and melt in the microwave on medium power for about 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Stir to make sure the mixture is smooth and let the mixture cool to room temperature.

In another bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until the mixture is light and foamy. Fold in the chocolate mixture and sifted flour. Spoon the mixture in to 6 greased and floured souffle ramekins of 185ml or 3/4 of a cup in volume. Place the ramekins in to the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius and bake the puddings for 10 to 12 minutes until they have a cakey surface. Take the ramekins out of the oven and leave for a minute to rest. With a knife, carefully run around the outside of the pudding and turn out on to a plate. Sprinkle with powder sugar and serve with berries, cream or icecream.