May 24, 2012
Chocolate Fondant Puddings
I know I only just made a chocolate recipe last time Dear Readers, but with post-Easter chocolate still hanging around, I thought I'd use it up with a recipie more suited for our wintery weather and make some Chocolate Fondant Puddings, AKA Chocolate Lava Cakes.
What lovely impressive little cakies these are indeed!
Molten chocolate flowing from the centre, with a raspberry or two on the crest of the wave. Mmmm...
These are perfect desserts for when you want a bit of Wow for a dinner party, and they can even be prepared a few days ahead of time, or frozen for a few weeks if you're really that organised- or like me and just like to have a few things on hand for chocolate emergencies!
It took a few goes to work out the kinks in my recipe, this one was Too Soft- collapsing into a sog on the plate, this one was Too Hard- just a plain old cake, but finally I got it Juuuuuust Right!
I didn't want a light and fluffy version of these that almost souffles up before collapsing, or a plain raw-cake batter mix either (yes, I've been served one of those and it wasn't at all nice) I decided instead to go for a heavier almond meal base that would really stick-to-your-ribs for winter, but be perfect as a small serving to end an elegant meal.
The raw mix sets quite stiffly and the heaviness of the almonds means you need to cook it a bit lower and slower than you might think. I also tried baking these from frozen, to try for the perfect molten centre, but the heavy mix put too much pressure on the softer baked shell. I timed them exactly for my oven and it's quirks, but you might need to try one out in yours before you want to impress anyone with perfection. That also means that the sacrificial pudding will need eating so it doesn't go to waste- what a shame! I won't tell anyone you got one extra, I promise.
Chocolate Fondant Puddings
200g Dark Chocolate (I used Lidnt 85% because that's what I had handy, but really it was very rich and strong. 70% would have been much better)
1/4 cup Almond Meal
1/4 cup Castor Sugar
Pinch of Salt
4 1/2 cup capacity ramekins
Melt the butter and chocolate together. You can use a pan, a water bath, or just the microwave, it doesn't really matter as long as they are combined nicely
Add in everything else
then stir really well until smooth and silky looking with no lumps
Grease your ramekins really, really well. You don't want the little Lavas to stick on their way out now.
Fill your ramekins nearly to the top, then pop just a few frozen raspberries into the mixture, and push them into the middle of the cake
Tap the ramekins sharply on a flat surface to remove any air bubbles and settle the raspberries in place
Now you can put the little cakies away in the fridge and forget about them for a few days, or until your dinner party. You can even freeze them if you like, but let them defrost thouroughly before baking
Bake these little lovelies at 180* for exactly 13 minutes. Pull them out, then let them settle for just 2 minutes more before turning them out carefully onto the serving plates
Aren't they just lovely!
I served these with a swipe of raspberry sauce underneath and some extra berries scattered around. If you have some lactose free cream or ice cream around, that would be nice too.
Cut into your little pudding, and watch the magic happen! Oozy, molten middle spilling over the crust of cakiness, Yummo!
More elegant than a self sacing pudding, and a bit of foodie theatre as well. What a perfect ending for a winters evening.
So Dear Readers, what do you think is the perfect chocolate dessert for winter?