I often have moments in the kitchen when it is challenging to plan a dinner with several courses and with limited space and time in the oven. It’s usually when we have guests due at the dinner table and I want something for dessert that will bring a certain wow factor with it. Chocolate fondants meet all my criteria and they only need a few minutes in the oven which means you can leave them to the last-minute. Even better, you can prepare the puddings well ahead of time.
Preparing the moulds well to prevent them sticking and certain ruin at the end is the key to success. Use a piece of paper towel dabbed in some soft butter to rub the inside of the dariole moulds. Then use a teaspoon of cocoa powder to dust the mould and gently rotate it in all directions for a smooth and even coat. If you place a small square of grease proof baking paper at the base of the mould they will always turn on the plate following a swift turn of the knife around the edges after they come out of the oven.
If you make and bake them straight away, they take 8 minutes in the over. If you place them in the fridge for a few hours before baking, given them 10 minutes in the oven. And if you freeze them, and they freeze very well, given them 12 minutes straight from the freezer.
200g unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
80g caster sugar
150g plain flour, sifted
Cocoa, extra for dusting and preparing the dariole moulds
Butter, extra for the dariole moulds
Prepare 6 dariole moulds by lightly wiping each with soft butter and dusting them with cocoa. Place a small square of grease proof baking paper at the base of the mould and place each one on a baking tray. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place a small glass bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the chocolate and butter to the bowl and melt slowly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Whisk the egg yolks and eggs for several minutes using a mixer until the eggs have nearly tripled in volume and are pale and light. Slowly add the sugar with the whisk still beating the eggs.
With the mixer on low, gently pour the chocolate and butter into the egg mixture until it is evenly combined. Remove the egg and chocolate from the mixer and use a metal spoon to gently fold in flour and mix until it is just combined. Don’t over beat the mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the ready dariole moulds and bake in the oven for 8 minutes.
Remove the fondants from the oven and run a sharp clean knife around the edge. Turn the mould over a serving plate and allow it to gently fall to the plate. Dust each pudding with cocoa powder and serve fresh and hot.