I’m trying to stretch my cooking and baking skills by taking on more difficult recipes and Steve has happily been my test kitchen taster. So at our recent dinner party, I decided to make Gordon Ramsay’s Hot Chocolate Fondant aka Molten Lava Cake.
I have had molten lava cakes in the past and dreamt of baking something with soft chocolate on the inside. Who doesn’t want to eat warm, molten chocolate? I’m salivating just thinking about it (I’m also salivating because I’m making homemade pulled pork for dinner for the first time tonight and the scents from the kitchen are amazingly powerful. I don’t think I can wait the 3 hours until dinner!) Back to fondant…
I chose Ramsay’s recipe because it has a million good reviews online and all of the pictures of it look delicious. So I took the recipe and went to the grocery store. As I was gathering my ingredients, I realized that I needed to use excellent quality chocolate and the grocery store chocolate wouldn’t cut it. I dashed into BevMo for a different ingredient and lo and behold they had some great chocolate. I bought a few bars and I was on my way to baking Chocolate Fondant for the first time.
I also realized that I didn’t own enough ramekins for the 10 people I would be feeding so I bought glass custard bowls from the grocery store and called it a day. They actually worked perfectly and they are way cheaper than buying nice ramekins. So if you have to bake in bulk and presentation is not an important factor, go with the custard bowls.
Ramsay has a great way of ensuring the fondant doesn’t stick to the bowl. You have to spread melted butter on the inside of the bowls, cool them down, do another layer of melted butter and dust them with unsweetened cocoa.
I opened a bottle of white wine to enjoy while making the fondant.
Then we did a red wine tasting of an Ergo Tempranillo from Rioja v. a Chianti Rufina from Tuscany once our guests arrived. Dinner was a potluck with grilled chicken breasts, salad, and scalloped potatoes.
I popped the fondant in the oven after the main course and it was amazing! You have to be very careful about not overcooking them. I overcooked them a little bit and while they were still super delicious, they would have been even better if they oozed more.
I put some Sander’s caramel topping on each and served them with vanilla ice cream. It was divine.
So if you’re looking to be a little adventurous with your baking, give Ramsay’s Hot Chocolate Fondant a try. Here’s the recipe:
Hot Chocolate Fondant
½ a stick of unsalted butter, plus extra to grease
2 tsp cocoa powder, to dust
2oz good-quality bitter chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), broken into pieces
1 egg yolk
4 tbsp sugar
5 tbsp all purpose flour
1. Heat the oven to 320 F. Butter two 7.5cm/~3in ramekins and place in the fridge for about 10 minutes to firm up the butter. Butter the moulds again and dust liberally with cocoa powder. Place in the fridge while you prepare the fondant mixture.
2. Slowly melt the chocolate and butter in a small bowl set over a pan of hot water, then take off the heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for about 10 minutes.
3. Using an electric whisk, beat the whole egg, egg yolk and sugar together until pale and thick, then incorporate the chocolate mixture.
4. Sift the flour over the mixture and gently fold in, using a large metal spoon. Divide between the ramekins and bake for 12 minutes.
5. Turn the chocolate fondants out on to warmed plates and serve immediately with a scoop of good quality vanilla ice cream.