There’s nothing quite so decadent as a chocolate fondant. While they are a restaurant favourite they are actually really easy to make at home. All you need is a little patience and that patience will be rewarded with a delicious gluten free chocolate fondant with an oozing salted caramel filling.
Chocolate fondants, in many ways, are like a first date.
From the moment you order it, the anticipation begins to the time it arrives at the table when you gingerly crack it open you never know whether it is going to be a good one or a dud.
I’ve had a few disappointing fondants in my life, completely overcooked, lacking that oozey runny center, for which chocolate fondants are famous. Like a bad date they can be a complete letdown.
But when you get a good fondant there is nothing better. Each spoonful tastes better than the last, and just like a good date you hope it will never end.
Despite appearances, and perception, making chocolate fondants at home are actually quite easy. The only special equipment you’ll need are some inexpensive dariole moulds. The key to a good chocolate fondant is patience. Something I’m not particularly good at, however, when it comes to fondants I have the patience of a saint as I know I will be rewarded with a deliciously flowing salted caramel centre that almost makes you want to lick the plate.
Well, at least that is how I feel about my salted caramel chocolate fondants!
Oh, and did I mention they’re gluten free too!
Chocolate Fondant Recipe with Salted Caramel Filling
- SALTED CARAMEL FILLING:
- 110 g caster sugar superfine
- 2 tbs water
- 50 g butter or 35g coconut oil if dairy free
- 60 ml cream or coconut milk if dairy free
- 1/2 tsp heaped sea salt flakes such as Maldon
- 100 g 70% cocoa dark chocolate
- 50 g butter or 35g coconut oil if dairy free 3 1/2 tbsp, 2 1/2 tbsp
- 1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 50 g raw sugar 3 1/4 tbsp
- 18 g buckwheat flour or regular plain flour 2 1/2 tbsp
- 3 tbsp chilled salted caramel sauce
- Start this recipe a day ahead so that you have a chance to thoroughly chill the salted caramel sauce. Place the sugar and water in a medium saucepan and gently swirl the pan to ensure all of the sugar is covered with the water. Place the saucepan over a medium heat and simmer until the sugar turns a chestnut brown colour. Add the butter or coconut oil and stir until the butter is melted and incorporated into the sugar. Now carefully add the cream. Be careful with this step as the sauce will bubble violently, so add the cream slowly. Stir well and allow the mixture to bubble and boil for a further minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the flaked sea salt. Leave to cool for 20 minutes before pouring into a glass jar and refrigerating overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 200 celsius (400 Fahrenheit) and place a baking tray inside the oven. Grease 2 dariole molds well. I like to do this with a couple of layers of butter or coconut oil, and chilling in the fridge in between each layer. Coat the inside of each mold with 1/2 tsp of cocoa.
- To make the fondants begin by melting the chocolate and butter (or coconut oil, if using). You can do this by placing a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water or in the microwave in 20 seconds bursts, stirring each time.
- Place the egg, yolk and sugar in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Add the chocolate mixture along with the flour and stir until well mixed.
- Fill the darioles with half the mixture. Then remove the caramel from the fridge. By this time it should be firm and pliable. Scoop out 1 1/2 tbsp of the sauce and roll it into a ball and place it in the center of the chocolate mixture, making sure it doesn't touch the sides. Top with the remaining chocolate mixture.
- Place the fondants in the oven, on top of the baking tray, and bake for 10 minutes. The top of the fondants will turn a glossy matte. If the center still appears glossy bake for a further minute or two until it looks matte. Remove and let them sit for 3 to 4 minutes before unmoulding. They should come out of the dariole's fairly easily, assuming they are well greased, but if they don't use a palette knife and run it carefully along the inside of the mold before turning upside down onto a serving plate. Serve dusted with cocoa powder and your favourite ice cream or cream.
For a wonderful slightly more complex flavour I love using smoked sea salt, which is available from your favourite gourmet food store.