Jason Atherton’s chocolate fondants with caramel
- April 2014
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 1 hour 20 min, oven time 20 min, plus 4 hours’ freezing
Instead of chocolate, Jason Atherton’s chocolate fondants are filled with gooey cardamom caramel for a dessert that’s guaranteed to wow.
- 31.7g (15.7g saturated)
- 48.3g (41.2g sugars)
- 100g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- 180g caster sugar, plus extra for dusting
- 200g dark chocolate, at least 70% cocoa solids, in pieces
- 4 medium free-range eggs, separated
- 75g plain flour
- 85g ground almonds
For the cardamom caramel
- 200ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod
- Seeds 4 green cardamom pods
- 150g sugar
- 60g unsalted butter
- Vegetable oil for rolling
- Ice cream to serve
- For the caramel, bring the cream, vanilla pod and cardamom seeds to the boil in a heavy-based pan, then turn off the heat and leave to infuse. In another wide, heavy-based frying pan, melt the sugar over a medium heat without stirring – only swirl the pan. Keep heating until the sugar turns a deep hazelnut brown. Don’t rush this or it may seize and burn.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the 60g butter. Strain, then stir in the infused cream. Leave to cool, then transfer to a freezer-proof bowl. Freeze for about 4 hours until it has the consistency of soft toffee and you can scoop it out with a spoon.
- Heat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. For the fondants, butter 6 x 175ml non-stick metal pudding moulds, then dust with sugar. Melt the chocolate and 100g butter in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Leave to cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks. Fold in the flour and ground almonds until combined.
- Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites in a clean, dry bowl to soft peaks. Gradually whisk in the sugar to form a stiff, glossy meringue. Stir a little of the meringue into the chocolate mix to loosen, then fold in the rest.
- Take ½ tbsp of the caramel from the freezer and, with oiled hands, roll into a ball. Repeat 5 more times.
- Put 55g of the chocolate mix in each mould. Press a caramel ball gently into the centre, then top with another 55g mix, covering the ball.
- Put the moulds in a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes or until the tops have risen slightly and dried. Remove from the oven and cool for 3 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert onto plates. Serve with salted almond ice cream or good vanilla ice cream.
Make the puddings up to the end of step 7 and keep in the moulds in the fridge for up to 2 days before baking and serving.
You’ll have enough mixture and caramel for at least one extra fondant. Leftover caramel will keep, covered, in the fridge for up to 4 days, or freeze it in ice cube trays. Or make an extra fondant as a tester.
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