Recipe: Best-ever chocolate fondant

CHOCOLATE RIVER: The ultimate chocolate fondant.
CHOCOLATE RIVER: The ultimate chocolate fondant.

My partner, Vanessa, has dubbed this hot chocolate fondant ''the chocolate river''. When you break the crisp exterior with a spoon, a thick wave of warm chocolate flows on to the plate.

It is also one of the easiest, yet most impressive, desserts you can serve to guests. The hardest thing is having the courage to take it out of the oven when it still looks like it might fall apart. Have faith. And if you don't get the timing right and you overcook the pudding, it's still delicious.


1 Tbsp softened butter, for greasing dariole moulds
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
350g dark couverture chocolate (53 per cent cocoa solids)
4 whole eggs
125ml cream
50g unsalted butter, diced into 1cm cubes, room temperature
Rich double cream, to serve

1. Lightly grease the interior of six 125ml metal dariole moulds.

2. Lightly dust the inside of the greased moulds with the cocoa powder, refrigerate until ready to use.

3. Break chocolate into small pieces and melt in a large ceramic bowl for one minute on low power in a microwave. Stir with a spatula until smooth.

4. Break the eggs into a separate bowl and gently beat together.

5. In a small pan, bring the cream to a simmer. When it begins to boil, remove from heat and allow to cool for approximately two minutes.

6. Add eggs slowly to warm chocolate and mix through. Add cream and gently whisk through.

7. Add unsalted butter and mix until incorporated.

8. Cover and allow to set in the fridge for about an hour. It should have the consistency of soft fudge.

9. Preheat oven to 200C. Portion the mixture into six pieces and, using clean hands, roll into balls.

10. Place each ball into the prepared moulds.

11. Bake in the oven for 13 minutes or until the edges are cracked and the centre of the top is just soft and dome-shaped. It will feel unset. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute in mould.

12. Place a serving plate on top of the mould and gently upturn.

Serve with cream.