Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Recipe: Easy French Chocolate Fondant

Ah the French, they do marvelous things with chocolate. And not just chocolate either - I have learned countless easy but flashy looking French cooking techniques since I've been here in Polynesia and I now devoutly kneel before the wisdom of French food savvy. Today is my daughter's 14th birthday (ouch!) and she's asked me to make one of her favorite cakes in my recipe arsenal, Chocolate Fondant, a rich gooey cake kind of like chocolate brownies but more sophisticated. This recipe was given to me by a Parisian friend and even manages to wow my French dinner guests. Keep it a secret that it's so ridiculously easy to make.

The trick to this cake is to not over-cook it and not to skimp on the butter.

Easy French Chocolate Fondant

• 50g (1/2 cup) plain flour
• 200g (7/8th cup) butter
• 200g (7/8th cup) sugar
• 200g (7 oz) dark chocolate
• 4 eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla, strong coffee or orange zest (optional)

Preheat oven to 200 C (about 390 F or gas mark 7). With a whisk mix together the sugar and eggs. Add the flour and mix till smooth. Put the butter in a 9-inch round (or equivalent) pan and put it in the heating oven till the butter has just melted. Meanwhile melt the chocolate in a bain marie (a pot floating in a slightly bigger pot of boiling water). Make sure no water splashes into the chocolate. Take the melted butter in the pan out of the oven, add the melted chocolate to the butter in the pan, mix till smooth then add the egg, sugar and flour mixture. If you are adding vanilla, coffee or orange zest for a more complex flavor, add them now. Again, mix till smooth. Put the batter-filled the pan back in the oven and cook for 7-10 minutes. The center should look slightly uncooked - if it looks cooked you've left it in too long. The fondant is best eaten cold to slightly warm and is great with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Photo note: I'm not a professional food blogger so my photo isn't as flashy as you'll find on many food sites but, believe me, the recipe is just as good.

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