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Sunday, 16 December 2012

Chocolate & Coffee fondant with a latte sauce

Caroline's just come home for Christmas, and she adores chocolate.  Luckily for me I had a few of these delicious fondants left over from cookery classes and they have been in the freezer ever since.  I usually defrost before cooking but the one in the picture I just cooked from frozen for 14 minutes and had a very happy daughter.  Although fondants are easy to make the hard bit is the cooking time -  a minute too long in the oven and they are not gooey in the centre and if too underdone they collapse on unmoulding.  The recipe makes 7 fondants so I usually do a test cook with 1 fondant and then when I am entertaining I know exactly how long to cook them for.  Everyone who came to the Christmas demonstration classes really enjoyed this recipe, the coffee in the recipe just takes a little of the sweetness away from the chocolate.

Chocolate and Coffee Fondants with a Caffe Latte Sauce

Serves 6-7
175g/6oz butter , plus extra melted butter for greasing
cocoa powder , for dusting
175g/6oz good-quality dark chocolate (we used 70%)
175g/6oz golden caster sugar
4 eggs
50ml/2fl oz expresso coffee (we used 1tsp instant espresso coffee)
85g/3 ½ oz plain flour
Gold covered beans and gold leaf to decorate

Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Use a pastry brush to grease 7 dariole moulds or individual pudding basins (with a capacity of 200ml / 7fl oz) really well and place in the fridge for the butter to set. Then grease again, dust with cocoa powder and set aside. Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, when almost melted add the chopped chocolate, turn out the heat and let the chocolate melt in the hot butter.  Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the sugar and eggs together until light and fluffy (5-10 minutes). Fold the chocolate and whisked egg mixture together, then add the coffee and finally fold through the flour.
Divide the mixture between the darioles.  Place on a baking tray and bake for 11- 13 mins until the mixture has puffed up and formed a crust but still has a slight wobble to it. Turn the puddings out onto serving plates, decorate with gold leaf and serve with the cold caffe latte sauce and gold beans.
Caffe latte sauce

125ml/4fl oz milk
125ml/4fl oz single cream
30g/1oz caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
100ml/3½fl oz double cream
1 tbsp icing sugar sifted
50ml/2fl oz espresso cooled
½ tsp coffee extract (optional)

Heat the milk, single cream, caster sugar and vanilla in a pan to just below boiling point .  Whisk the yolks in a bowl, pour over the hot milk, stirring then return to the pan.  Cook, stirring over a low heat for 5-6 mins until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.  Strain through a sieve, cover the surface with cling film and set aside to cool.  Whip the double cream to soft peaks, then fold into the cooled mixture along with the icing sugar, espresso & extract if using.
To get ahead: The fondants and sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in the fridge.
To freeze: The fondants and sauce can be frozen up to 1 month ahead.  Defrost before cooking as above.

This beautiful photo was taken by Hannah

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