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27 September 2015

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have played witness to my autumn love-in a couple of weeks ago. I am obsessed. September brings with it a plethora of divine produce that is ripe and - most importantly - free for the pickings.

It's certainly true that foraging is experiencing a bit of a renaissance at the moment. The Nordic penchant for following the seasons and harvesting local wild produce has seeped across our shores and helped us rediscover the simple age-old practice of living off the land. My cupboards are stocked with jam, and our freezer is overwhelmed with plums, blackberries and crabapples. More on those and how to bake with them soon.

This week there's been a nip in the air which, if I may, calls for a wee nip in our puddings too. These whisky spiked chocolate fondants are the perfect indulgence to follow a Sunday roast and autumn walk.

Fondants have a bad name in the baking world, but they're so simple so long as you master your timings. I cook mine for 9 minutes exactly, but I'd recommend you do a test run as ovens vary hugely. This recipe makes fondant for 2, but could easily be doubled.
25g butter
25g cocoa powder
1 egg
25g 70% dark chocolate
25g caster sugar
25g plain flour
25ml whisky 

Preheat your oven to 160C, and grease two fondant moulds with butter. Place in the freezer to firm up. After ten minutes, butter them again and dust with the cocoa powder. Return to the fridge until you need them.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a small pan, then set aside to cool slightly. 

Seperately, whisk the egg and caster sugar for several minutes until pale, fluffy, and the mixture forms ribbons when you run the whisk across the surface. Mix in the flour, whisky, and finally the chocolate mixture. 

Divide between the prepared moulds, place on a baking tray, and bake at the centre of the oven for 9 minutes (adapt according to your own oven). To remove from the ramekins, gently run a knife around the edge and turn onto warm plates. Serve immediately. 

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