Happy New Year everyone. As January strides forth I know that everyone sets out with very good intentions to exercise more, drink less, read more, be more sociable, cook more, be healthier and I honestly think that to rebalance and set goals is a good thing. I am realistic though and I know that by February some of our old ways will have crept back.
This pudding is probably the last thing you feel like eating in January after all the excesses of Christmas, but I think it is definitely a good one to have up your sleeve if you are having guests over. It is rich and decadent (I have to share a pot) and can be made well in advanced. I often make up a batch and then freeze them until I am ready to use them. From frozen, it’s simply a case of putting them in a preheated oven (180 degrees) for 15-17 minutes and then they are ready. If you bake them without freezing them they only take 10-12 minutes. Sponge like on the outside and rich molten larva on the inside. How easy is that?
Cardamom Chantilly cream is the perfect companion to the fondants and again very quick to whip up, literally. The cream takes the richness off the fondants and I personally love the taste of cardamom so think it works really well with the chocolate. I hope you agree.
So when you are back to eating chocolate give this a try and let me know how you get on. I can guarantee you will impress your guests.
Chocolate, Chilli and Cinnamon Fondants
2 tbsp butter, melted
cocoa powder, for dusting
200g cooking chocolate, broken up – I like this one (sometimes I use 100g dark and 100g milk)
200g unsalted butter
200g caster sugar
4 egg yolks only
200g plain flour
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp cinnamon powder
icing sugar for dusting
Cardamom Chantilly Cream
250ml double cream
2 tbsp caster sugar
7 cardamom pods opened and then the seeds ground
1. Using the 2 tablespoons of melted butter brush the inside of the fondant moulds and then place in the freezer for 10 minutes.
2. Remove from the freezer and coat once again and immediately after coating one fondant mould add a little cocoa powder so that you completely cover the inside of the mould.
3. Preheat your oven (I use a fan oven) to 180 degrees.
4. In a pan gently boil some water and then place a bowl in the pan with the broken cooking chocolate and butter. Let the butter and chocolate gradually melt, stirring at intervals.
5. In a mixing bowl whisk (I use an electric whisk) the eggs, egg yolks and sugar so that it thickens slightly. This will take a couple of minutes. Add the flour and then gradually pour in the melted chocolate and butter. Continue to whisk. Add the chilli flakes and cinnamon. Taste to check on flavour. I sometimes add more chilli flakes at this stage, but it’s up to you!
6. Pour the chocolate mixture into a measuring jug and then pour into the moulds so that they are 3/4 full.
7. You can either put them in the freezer at this point, ready to use at another time or you can place in the oven immediately. If cooking from frozen place them on the centre shelf for 15-17 minutes. If cooking immediately cook them for 10 minutes. I like them really soft in the middle but if you prefer them less runny in the middle then leave them in the oven for an extra minute or two max.
8. Once cooked leave to rest for a minute before placing a plate on top of the mould and turning upside down so that it is the right way up. The mould will easily come away from the chocolate fondant. Should it need a helping hand gently shake making sure to hold the plate firmly in place.
9. Dust with a little icing sugar and serve with cardamom chantilly cream, which perfectly balances the richness of the chocolate with the smooth subtle tones of the the cardamom and cream.
Cardamom Chantilly Cream
1. Pour the double cream into a mixing bowl and whisk so that it firms up and peaks are created.
2. Add the caster sugar and ground cardamom and continue to whisk so that it become light, thick and fluffy.
Store in the fridge until ready to use.