Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Cherry Chocolate Fondants

Remember when all it took to win a television cookery show such as MasterChef was an unburnt scallop, a thin slice of black pudding and a decadent chocolate fondant? The glory days of twitter hashtags such as #ScallopWatch and 5 million viewers watching with bated breath to see if the centre of a fondant was appropriately, gloriously, gooey?

For the last five years, every time I've made a chocolate fondant I've envisaged a miniature Gregg Wallace on my shoulder simultaneously licking his lips while jovially repeating the one line he will forever be associated with: 'Cooking doesn't get tougher than this'. I've laid siege at the oven door, crossing fingers, toes and spatulas for a soft, molten middle and a risen sponge. I've wanted to play a recording of the sweaty-palm, racing-heart MasterChef Countdown music as I serve the puds (erm.... in my defence, Monday nights can be quite slow around these parts). 

But one squidgy, heady, melting mouthful and I can understand why chocolate fondants are still the favourite of MasterChef contestants. I've added a summery twist with a fresh cherry compote to this classic recipe. 

Chocolate Fondant
(Makes four)

For the chocolate fondant:
100g butter, plus extra for greasing
Cocoa powder, for dusting
100g dark chocolate, broken into pieces
2 free-range eggs
2 free-range egg yolks
100g caster sugar
100g plain flour

For the cherry compote:
200g pitted fresh cherries
125ml orange juice
50g caster sugar

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Lightly grease four dariole or pudding moulds with butter and dust with cocoa powder, ensuring a comprehensive coating
2. For the fondant, place the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, until just melted. Remove from the heat, stir until well combined and set aside.
3. Using an electric whisk, beat the eggs, yolks and sugar together until thick and pale. Sift in the flour and mix well. Add the melted chocolate and butter mixture and mix until smooth and well combined.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared moulds and place into the fridge to chill for 15 minutes.
5. While the fondants are chilling, make the compote: place the cherries, juice and sugar in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer until the cherries are softened. After five-ten minutes remove the cherries and continue to simmer the juices until thick and syrupy.
6. Meanwhile, bake the fondants for 10-12 minutes, or until firm on the outside, with a crust formed on top and still gooey in the middle.
7. Invert the fondants onto serving dishes and pour over the warm cherries and syrup

Baker's notes...

  • Prior to baking, the fondants can be frozen for up to one month. To cook from frozen add a further five minutes to the cooking time
  • Alternatively, the unbaked fondants can be kept in the fridge for several hours until needed. Simply add another two minutes to the cooking time 
  • They were rather good:


  1. good friggin' god this is taking decadence to the next level... almost filthy in it's beauty... and I love how easy the recipe looks too... GORGEOUS!

    1. It is SUCH an easy recipe. Like properly, eyes closed, hands tied behind your back easy peasy!

  2. The chocolate lover in me is screaming "I want this!" right now. Thank you for giving me something to dream about today.

    1. I don't think we've stooped dreaming about these puds since I made 'em!

  3. A chocolate fondant is always, always a good thing especially with cherries adding their delights. This looks beyond a good thing, though. I could probably crawl over broken glass to get some. I haven't watched Masterchef since the Loyd Grossman days and choc fondants seemed to be the thing to make back then. Well, why not?

    1. Ahhh, so chic fondants gave been the staple on MasterChef long before the arrival of sweet toothed Wallace?

  4. Beautiful! This pudding looks like Gregg Wallace's spirit animal. Serious pudding porn.

  5. Wow - I love how glossy and sumptuous it all looks. My plate wouldn't look like the final photo...I would have licked it clean!

    1. My husband's was indeed licked completely clean!!

  6. I just want to say that It is really amazing post thanks for the sharing and just keep up the good work.
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  7. Your fondants turned out fab, great job! Think Greg and his sweet tooth would love some of this :P

  8. Oh my word this looks stunning! Every photo is perfection.

  9. Gregg would be proud! Your fondants look amazing - they are tempting me to man up and finally have a go myself.

    1. Haha- yes, I ought to tweet him, see if he is tempted!


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