Chocolate Fondants

Chocolate Fondants
03 March 2007

Serves 4
Preparation time 1-2 hours
Cooking time 30 mins to 1 hour
For the fondant
175g/6oz dark chocolate (at least 70 per cent cocoa solids)
110g/4oz softened butter
40g/1½oz ground almonds
2 large free-range eggs, separated
40g/1½oz cornflour
90g/3½oz caster sugar
4 good quality dark chocolate truffles
cocoa powder, for dusting
For the fondant, preheat the oven to 180C/355F/Gas 4.
8. Grate 40g/1½oz of the dark chocolate into a bowl and set aside.
9. Melt half of the butter and brush liberally around the inside of four ramekins. Dust the ramekins well with the grated chocolate, shaking out any excess, then place onto a baking sheet and set aside.
10. Place the remaining chocolate, including any shaken out excess, and the remaining butter into a heatproof bowl and place over a pan of barely simmering water to melt.
11. Add the ground almonds, egg yolks and cornflour to the melted chocolate and stir well.
12. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form when the whisk is removed.
13. Gradually add the caster sugar, whisking constantly.
14. Gently fold the egg white mixture into the melted chocolate mixture, taking care to retain volume in the whites.
15. Spoon half the chocolate and egg mixture into the base of each prepared ramekin. Place a chocolate truffle on top, then fill each ramekin with the remaining mixture.
16. Smooth the tops of the fondants with a palette knife, then transfer to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes, until risen (the surface should be slightly wobbly), then remove from the oven and serve immediately.
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