I would have posted this earlier, but I was too preoccupied with becoming a Pokemon Master. For you lucky ones who somehow avoided Google’s April Fools Pokemon Challenge, Google planted Pokemon all over the world on Google Maps, leaving everyone with the challenge of collecting all 150 Pokemon. Not being one to say no to a challenge… I lost a few hours of my life, but on the plus I eventually caught all 150 and can now rest! (What am I doing with my life!?)
My brother is home from university for Easter, so I popped home this afternoon to see him, when he ‘challenged’ me to a bake-off – pretty big words for a boy who can’t crack an egg! When the word bake off is uttered by one of my brothers, there is no need to ask what it is we should bake. There is only one option; a chocolate fondant.
It also started when we were younger, going for meals with our parents. There is a restaurant in London called Nobu, that everyone who has been to knows of their famous Chocolate Bento Box. A chocolate fondant cake with a perfect molten chocolatey centre. The highlight of each meal for my brothers and I would be the moment the box is placed on the table in front of us and the waiter lifts the lid to reveal our piece of chocolate heaven!
This recipe is one I have tried, tested and failed a dozen times, trying to get the perfect, warm, molten , flowing chocolate centre I’m accustomed to. I’ve used recipes calling for extra egg yolks, ones asking for a bucketload of flour, different chocolate ratios – but finally I found the one which gives me a consistently perfect result. The baking time is absolutely crucial in the way this fondant turns out; 1 minute too short will result in the cake collapsing in itself, and having an ‘eggy’ taste. 1 minute too long and it will no longer be molten inside. I think the perfect time depends a lot on your oven, so test out a few with different timings and see which one works best for you. I find when they are cooked immediately, they need exactly 11 minutes to achieve the molten centre, whereas if I store them in the fridge for another day, they need 13 minutes. But like I said experiment and see what works for you!
The great thing about these cakes too, is once you’re comfortable with the original form, you can start experimenting with different centres by placing different chocolates in the centre. I’ve tried everything from white chocolate, to caramel, to mint. The only limit here is your imagination. They’re actually really simple to make once you’ve figured out what works for you – even my brother who is a danger in the kitchen, was able to make them successfully. They’re also a great thing to keep in the fridge, and when you have people round you can pop a few in the oven and offer them a pretty impressive looking and even more impressive tasting treat!
Try it out and let me know how it goes!
Recipe (makes 6):
- 150g milk chocolate
- 200g dark chocolate
- 50g unsalted butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 50g all purpose flour
- Melt the chocolate in a Bain-Marie or microwave. Let to cool completely (transferring it to a cool bowl and placing in the fridge will speed this up)
- In another bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, while beating the mixture.
- Add the vanilla extract and the 50g of flour. Ensure everything is completely combined.
- Pour in the cooled chocolate and mix until fully incorporated.
- Divide the batter amongst the six greased ramekins and bake for 11 minutes at 190*C (or experiment to find the time that works for you). If not baking right now, store in the fridge and bake for 13 minutes when ready.
- Either eat straight from the ramekin, or carefully tip out onto a plate and serve with ice cream.