Soulful Baker by Julie Jones (Murdoch Books RRP $39.99)
“The trick to getting chocolate fondants right is knowing your oven as they can difer so dramatically. I recommend using an oven thermometer for all of your cooking and baking, but especially when making these. It can be quite surprising how diferent the thermometer may read to that of which your dial is set. If you don’t have a thermometer it would be a good idea to test bake one fondant before cooking the whole batch – you can then adjust the baking time if needs be. And remember, peering into the oven biting your nails really isn’t necessary, they will work! “
makes 8 fondants
Use 8 small 180ml (6 oz) non-stick pudding moulds
150g (51⁄2oz) dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
200g (7oz) milk chocolate, broken into small pieces
50g (13⁄4oz/31⁄2 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
140g (5oz/scant 3⁄4 cup) caster (super fine) sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (optional)
60g (2oz/1⁄2 cup) plain (all- purpose) flour
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/425°F/gas 7 and place a baking sheet inside. Grease the insides of each pudding mould and place a disc of non-stick baking paper in the bottom of each.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl sat upon a pan of simmering water. When melted, remove from the heat and start to make the batter.
Cream together the butter and sugar using a free-standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat the eggs in a separate jug, adding the vanilla if using. Slowly add the eggs to the butter and sugar, continuing to mix as you do so, scraping down the sides of the bowl if needs be. Once all of the eggs are in, sieve over the flour and give a very brief mix, just until the our has been combined. Add the melted chocolate, then stir together using a spatula until all of the chocolate has been evenly incorporated and the batter is smooth.
Pour or spoon the batter equally between the moulds, place each on the pre-heated baking tray sheet and cook for 11 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave the fondants in the moulds to rest for 1 minute.
To turn out, place an inverted plate on top of the mould and carefully turn over, lift off the mould and remove the piece of baking paper that will be on top of each fondant. Serve straight away.