Chocolate Fondant Puddings
Chocolate fondant puddings are always a favourite. They are easy to make and will freeze well and can be cooked from frozen so great for getting ahead. The tricky bit is the baking – just one minute over time in the oven or a delay in getting them served and the middles will cook through and you will lose that runny sauce. I have a solution ! Buy a bag of dark chocolate brandy truffles and all problems are solved. You can still use this recipe without the cheat – I will include the baking times for both methods.
Start by placing the chocolate, butter, brandy, vanilla and coffee in a bowl placed over a pan of hot water. Stir from time to time until the butter and chocolate have melted and the mixture is smooth, shiny and liquid. Take off the heat and set aside.
In a large roomy bowl and I use an electric hand whisk – beat together the eggs, egg yolks and sugar until the mixture becomes pale, light and doubled in size. When you lift out the whisks they will leave a trail in the mixture.
Sift over the plain flour and fold in lightly then pour in the chocolate. Use large sweeping stirs with your spoon or spatula. You will think the chocolate has disappeared but be patient, don’t rush and knock out all of that precious air. Patiently stir and little by little the mixture will become smooth, dark coloured and lovely. I like to transfer my mixture into a large jug. It is easier then to fill the pudding tins and also you will discover any unmixed batter at the bottom of the bowl.
Fill the tins ¾ full then pop into the fridge for just 15 minutes to firm up.
Take from the fridge and carefully pop a truffle into the middle of each pudding – pressing it down so that you can just see the top. Pop back into the fridge and chill for at least two hours before baking.
When ready to bake – preheat the oven to 200 degrees c (fan) Place the puddings on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes exactly. Take from the oven and when cool enough to handle turn out of the tins and serve with a blob of cream, ice cream, fruit, crème fraiche – the possibilities are endless.
TIP : If you want to bake these fondant puddings in the classic way then bake for 12 minutes and the centres will be runny. However, there are constraints in that they have to be served immediately, cooking times vary depending on how many puddings are in the oven and remember the runny middle contains partly cooked egg.
These puddings freeze very well and the baking time needs to be increased by 3 minutes if baking from frozen.
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