How A Good Fondant Chocolat Helped My Son Pass His French GCSE
A few years ago the outlook looked bleak for my son’s forthcoming French GCSE so he and I headed off to Antibes for a crammer course – each of us going to different classes. We would meet in the coffee break to compare notes – in his case disparaging comments about the subjunctive, in mine about my memory. At lunch time we headed down to the town centre where there was a bevy of pretty waitresses and a chef with a fantastic recipe for chocolate fondant. More French was learnt during this hour than in all the lessons prior to it, and our linguistic efforts were well rewarded when the chef passed on to us the secret of his delectable chocolate creation.
You can refrigerate or freeze this pudding very successfully. An interesting garnish is a physalis (or cape gooseberry).
Alternatively, Paul Welburn, Executive Chef at The Oxford Kitchen, suggests reducing a honey beer, and working it through a vanilla ice-cream base, to “make a phenomenal ice cream (to be eaten preferably with dark chocolate fondant”.
Recipe for Intelligence-building Chocolate Fondant
- 400g (four bars) dark (min 70% cocoa) chocolate
- 175g golden caster sugar
- 70g plain flour
- 125g butter
- 8 eggs – separated
- 1 cup/240ml strong coffee (or you can use half coffee and half brandy or rum)
- 20 physalis (aka cape gooseberries)
- Melt a bar (100g) of the chocolate in a bain marie with the coffee.
- Melt another bar and the butter over a very gentle heat in a saucepan.
- To the chocolate and butter mixture add the sugar, flour and egg yolks and stir well.
- Add the chocolate and coffee mixture and stir well again.
- Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold in with a metal spoon, keeping the mixture as light as possible
- Put a square of chocolate into each ramekin, pour over the chocolate mixture and set in either the fridge or freezer.
- Cook in the microwave on full power or in the oven, BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVERCOOK OR IT WILL BE DRY. It won’t look cooked, but it will be!
- One ramekin will take about one minute in the microwave (at about 700) straight from the fridge, and about three minutes taken from the freezer, a little bit longer for two ramekins – for more it is better to cook in the oven NB HOW LONG (use gold ramekins)?
- Decorate with a couple of physalis and explain to your guests that they are very good dipped in the chocolate.