Chocolate Fondants (Lava Cake)

Chocolate fondants 1 12Ooooh! Gooey, warm, rich chocolate that literally melts in your mouth! Hells yes! Firm on the outside, bubbling with molten chocolate on the inside, indulge yourself and your guests with this decadent pudding that will soon become a firm favourite! You can conveniently prepare this ahead and pop the fondants in the oven just before you’re ready to serve. You can also reheat them for 15 seconds in the microwave if necessary, but don’t overheat!

Chocolate fondants captured my heart (in terms of both fondness and cholesterol) five years ago when I happened upon a Gordon Ramsay recipe, which I adjusted to create this one. I tried it and was floored at the simplicity of the idea – firm to the touch on the outside, but the moment you go in for the first mouthful, melted chocolatey heaven escapes, as if little cocoa fairies are having a party in your mouth!

 

Chocolate Fondants (Lava Cake)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Supplies:

Chocolate fondants 43 tablespoons melted butter, for greasing
3 tablespoons cocoa powder, for dusting
200g dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
200g salted butter
200g castor sugar
4 room temp eggs + 2 egg yolks
200g cake flour
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Making it happen:

Chocolate fondants 51. Nuke 3 tablespoons of butter and brush it inside the cups, spreading it around the sides and bottom of each individual cup. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder inside each cup, tipping to spread it across all the sides and bottom. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or overnight if you’re preparing ahead.

 

 

Chocolate fondants 62. In a small pot, melt the butter and chocolate on medium heat, stirring to dissolve, until both are melted and fully mixed.

 

 

 

Choc fondants 103. In a mixing bowl, whisk the sugar, eggs and yolks until the batter is thick and pale, about 3-4 minutes. Sift in the flour and beat well to fully incorporate.

 

 

 

 

Chocolate fondants 74. Pour the melted chocolate and butter into the batter in thirds, mixing well after each addition, until the chocolate and butter are fully mixed into the batter. Add vanilla and beat to mix.

 

 

 

Chocolate fondants 85. Pour the batter into the cupcake/muffin cups/ramekins, filling 23 full, and refrigerate for one hour or more.

 

 

 

 

Choc fondants 116. Heat your oven to 200°C (400°F) and bake for 10-12 minutes until the tops start to come away from the sides. Do not over-bake! You want the fondants to be firm around the sides but gooey in the centre. Serve with ice cream or cream, but my vote is creamy vanilla ice cream!

 

 

Bar-One Sauce

Bar One Sauce 5This sauce is easy and utterly delectable and will have you asking for more and licking the bowl! Bar-One is a milk chocolate bar wrapped around a layer of malted chocolate and caramel. If you don’t have access to Bar-Ones, don’t despair. All you need to do is find a chocolate bar made with nougat and caramel. Depending on where you are in the world, your substitute could be Mars Bars or Milky Ways. Delicious on warm brownies, chilled cheesecake or ice cream, it’s versatile and takes 10 minutes!

Bar-One Sauce

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: ridiculously easy
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Supplies:

200g Bar-One chocolate bars (or Milky Way or Mars Bar)
250ml cream
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Making it happen:

Bar-One Sauce 91. Cut the chocolate bars into small pieces, about 0.5cm each. In a small pot on medium heat, add a third of the cream and all the chocolate pieces and stir frequently. The nougat takes a while longer to melt, and the frequent stirring will prevent the chocolate from sticking and burning. Add another third of the cream, continuing to stir, and then the last third. The entire sauce process will take no more than 10 minutes, so you can time the cream additions accordingly.

Bar One Sauce 32. Once thoroughly melted, pour the chocolate sauce over ice cream, or brownies, or cheesecake. This sauce can be cooled and reheated in the microwave or on the hob.

 

 

Bar One Sauce 4

 

Crêpes Suzette

Many wonderful things have come out of France – Champagne, Chanel and Crêpes Suzette to name but a few. In this recipe, I poured all of the ingredients into a medium-sized pot and simmered for half an hour. The results? A gooey rich caramelised sauce with bursts of citrus. You don’t need to pay constant attention to the sauce, only stirring occasionally as it simmers, so you can get on with other things like pouring yourself a tipple of Cointreau and making the crêpes while the sauce thickens to perfection. Drizzle the orange sauce over the pancakes, serve with ice cream and marvel at how such a simple pancake recipe can turn into a thing of beauty!

Crepes Suzette Ingredients 1 2For the pancakes (makes 4):
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs
½ cup milk
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Butter for frying

 

 

For the sauce:
Juice of 2 large oranges (± 250ml/1cup)
Zest of 1 orange
1 tablespoon lemon juice
100g butter
50g caster sugar
2 tablespoons Cointreau (or any good orange liqueur)

Making the pancakes:

Crepes Suzette 3 2Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the eggs and beat until combined. Slowly pour in the milk, beating as you do, then add the salt and vanilla and give it one last beat until thoroughly combined and batter is smooth.

Heat the butter in a pan on medium, pour in a quarter of the pancake batter and fry for two or three minutes until browned underneath. Flip the pancake and fry the other side until golden brown. Remove from the pan, heat some more butter and repeat.

 

For the sauce:

Crepes Suzette 4 2Pour the orange juice and zest into a medium pan. Add the butter, lemon juice and caster sugar. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Crepes Suzette 6 2Add the Cointreau and simmer on low for 30 minutes,stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened to a rich dark orange syrup. Drizzle over the pancakes and serve with ice cream.

 

 

 

 

Crepes Suzette 8 2

I’m getting so hungry typing this! The sauce can be refrigerated for a few days and reheated in the microwave or on the stove top/hob.

 

 

 

Chewy Chocolate Brownies

These brownies have saved my hide a few times when, say, the ‘rents decide to pop in and end up staying for dinner or friends come over for a quick chat and cuppa which turns into an all-day and all-night event. Lovely though it is to spend time with these special people, I’ve often found myself in an “oh no, what do I make for pudding?” predicament. Enter this recipe.

Ingredients for chocolate brownies. You can substitute the vanilla paste with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Ingredients for chocolate brownies. You can substitute the vanilla paste with 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

It’s easy and not very time consuming at all. The reason I’m able to whip it up with short-to-no notice is because these ingredients are always in my cupboard, and probably yours too. I also often make this when I’m cooking a very time-consuming main course. I usually make the brownies first and get it out of the way before tackling the several-hours-long mains.

Some brownies are too sweet and rich (is there such a thing?) but not this. The creamy chocolate-y-ness (that should really be a word; can you imagine the Scrabble points?) is just right. In fact, you can even serve it with ice cream. Some puddings make you feel uncomfortable, some even ill, but you can happily make this without worrying about that.

Here’s a tip. Initially I made the chocolate sauce (so easy; two ingredients, some heat and you’re done) when I was ready to serve dessert. What I’ve been doing lately is making the sauce once the brownies have cooled, then pouring it over them so they soak in it. You don’t have to do it this way. I actually happened upon this method when I had very little notice, got invited to a friend for dinner, quickly made the brownies and sauce and just poured it over them and reheated when ready. It. Was. Amazing.

It’s easier to use a square baking tray. I use a 9 x 9 inch silicone baking tray. The reason for this is because I prefer cutting the brownies into squares as opposed to slicing it like a cake. Having said that, it’s purely for my convenience and I’ve used a round tin many times, but I prefer the square tray for this recipe.

Something important to remember is that the universally-accepted toothpick test does not apply to this recipe. Because you’re making it chewy, you don’t want it to cook like a cake, so after half an hour, if you do the toothpick test, it should not be clear. It should be brown and gooey. Another thing is that my preference is always vanilla paste but you can substitute this for two teaspoons of vanilla extract.

Chewy Chocolate Brownies

Servings: 9     Prep time: 5 minutes     Baking time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ¾ cup butter, melted (170g)
  • 1 cup white sugar (200g)
  • ½ cup light brown sugar (100g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla paste (or 2 teaspoons vanilla extract)
  • 3 eggs
  • ¾ cup flour (85g)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder (50g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • non-stick spray

Method:

Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F).

Spray your baking tray with non-stick spray.

Using an electric whisk on high, beat the eggs and sugar until properly mixed, about 10 seconds. Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and stir to combine. Add the melted butter and vanilla paste and beat until well-combined, approximately 30 seconds, scraping down the sides.

Pour the batter into your baking tray and bake for 30 minutes.

My preference for this recipe is a square baking dish but you can use a round cake tin too

My preference for this recipe is a square baking dish but you can use a round cake tin too

 

If you do the toothpick test at this point, it will come out gooey, so there is no need. After 30 minutes, take the baking tray out and let it cool for about 10 minutes before cutting your brownies into squares.

Chocolate brownies

While you’re letting the brownies cool, make the chocolate sauce:

  • 90g chopped dark chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • 150ml cream

On medium-high, heat the cream until warm but not boiling. Don’t let the cream boil, you want to heat it just enough to melt the chocolate. Chop the dark chocolate and add it to the warm cream, removing the pot from the heat. Stir with a whisk until it’s smooth and then pour over your brownies. You can refrigerate this dish until you’re ready to serve it, in which case reheat it and serve as is or with ice cream.

Chocolate brownies in chocolate sauce. Chocolate, anyone?

Chocolate brownies in chocolate sauce. Chocolate, anyone?