For such a habituated baker, my dessert repertoire is fairly limited. Limited, but simple. And ultimately awesome. Mostly because it contains this recipe. If you are in need of any comfort during these cold winter nights, these viscous eruptions of flowing chocolate will provide it. Just thinking about them is making me drool. My test of any chocolate dish is always to consider whether you’d rather eat the chocolate than go to the trouble of making it. This is a clear winner. The best part? These are far easier than they look – the mixture is actually just the same as an especially rich brownie.
You don’t need any fancy ramekins. For the chocolate fondant you see pictured, I simply greased a coffee cup. I also those wee glass dishes from supermarket soufflés, posh yoghurts or crème brulees. Only when they’re reduced, you understand. Pretty much anything can make an excellent fondant receptacle. And if you aren’t afraid of sacrificing a cup or two for a period of time, the mixture freezes perfectly. All you need to do is bake straight from frozen, adding 5 minutes to the cooking time.
First, grease your ramekins, cups or dishes with butter. Whatever you want to use, use lots and lots of butter. Then, dust each ramekin (we’ll call them that for simplicity) with cocoa powder, pouring away any excess into the next one. Chill these in the fridge.
In a microwave-proof bowl, melt your butter and chocolate together. Whilst those are melting, mix together your caster sugar, whole eggs and extra yolks. Keep the whites for making meringues another day!
Add your just-melted chocolate and butter into your eggs and whisk quickly. When incorporated, add your flour and cocoa powder and mix together only until smooth – try to mix as little as possible.
Transfer your mix evenly to your chilled ramekins and place in the fridge for at least half an hour, or up to 2 days. Any longer and it’s best to freeze them. 15 minutes before you plan on baking, preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6.
Place your ramekins on a baking tray and bake in your oven for 10 minutes. After this time, check that there’s a very slight crust when you press on them. If not, bake for another 2 minutes and no more. They should not spring back.
Loosening the sides with a knife if need be, turn your fondants out onto individual plates. Once baked, they should be served immediately. With ice cream, if preferred.
If you fancy, you can use this recipe to make the gooiest brownie in all of history. I’ve done it before, and ended up eating half the tin myself. Simply transfer your mix to a lined 8-inch square tin and bake at 160C/140C fan/Gas 2 for 30-40 minutes.