"To guarantee a soft, liquid centre place a few chocolate buttons or a cube of chocolate into the centre of the mix you are using. I use a dariole mould - a metal bowl the size of a tea cup. I love Montezuma chocolate; use your favourite, but use dark. To add extra texture I’ve used a sprinkle of praline."
Images: Paul Johnston, Copper Mango
Makes 2 large or 4 small fondants
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon of plain flour
100g dark chocolate, plus a few extra buttons for the centre
100g unsalted butter, diced
65g caster sugar
A little melted butter for brushing
A little cocoa powder for dusting
A dollop of crème fraîche
A small handful of hazelnuts
Another 75g caster sugar
Heat the oven to 180°C.
Begin by making a praline. Add 75g of caster sugar to a pan and melt gently, allowing it to become dark and caramel in colour. This should take 3 to 5 minutes. Then stir in the hazelnuts and pour onto an oiled, clean surface like a non-stick, heat-resistant mat or a marble work surface. Once cooled, blitz in a food processor or crush with a rolling pin.
Next, prepare 2 large, or 4 small, dariole moulds by brushing with the melted butter then dust with a little cocoa powder. Knocking any excess powder out.
Whisk the egg, yolks and flour in a bowl and set to one side.
Place the chocolate, butter and sugar in a bowl over a pan of boiling water and melt gently whilst whisking to combine. When it reaches room temperature, add the egg and flour mix to the chocolate mix. This is a basic fondant recipe.
Next, spoon the mixture into the moulds until they are half full, then add the buttons, then fill the moulds to the top. If there’s any mix left over, it will keep well in the fridge for another day.
Bake the fondants in the oven for 9 to 11 minutes, and then let them sit for a minute outside the oven before carefully turning them out onto warm plates. Serve with a dollop of crème fraîche and a sprinkle of praline.