I’ve always been in awe of the chocolate making process after watching an enlightening series featuring the modern day Willy Wonker, Willie Harcourt-Cooze. An enthusiastic middle class chocolate dreamer, he set about to live his dream of authentic chocolate making. To me, England feels like a country of chocolate addicts, or more likely, sugar addicts disgusing themselves as cacoa enthusiasts!? Without sounding like a chocolate snob, many of the milk chocolate bars that litter the countries newagents shelves have such a low cacao/‘chocolate’ content that in some countries it would be illegal to title this chocolate!
I’m an adorer of the dark stuff. The darker the better. I’ve always been amazed at how a 100% bar is created? With no sugar to bind it together its a pure cacao lovers heaven. Its painful sharing my 90% bar of goodness, when I just know that the majority will screw up thier faces in fright as they force down the ‘bitter soap’ they’ve just eaten as they compare to the likes of our dairy milk. But my chocolate interest has promted me to sample styles made from a variety of beans from all over the world and to really appreciate the differences in flavours. refining my love of the pure taste and the lower sugar content.
So when a work collegaue refreshingly and surprisingly bought in some tasty samples of his families homemade chocolate from their humble little Cotswold business – Doble & Bignall – I was keen to devour a piece and was taken by the first bite. Like beer, cheese and wine, chocolate varies in flavour substantially. Not just with the percentage but with the beans and country. Doble & Bignal have a small range of bars using beans from the likes of Panama and Venezuelan. The chocolate is smooth, tasty and distinctive. Perfect for a cheeky recipe. I kept the fonadant simple (I know…me not messing with a recipe!? Shocker) Firsty because shamefully this was the first fondant I’d attempted ever to make and the goo-cented, molten chocolate lava that should sterotypicaly weep from the middle like a happy sobbing child was far too much pressure to meddle with at this stage. So instead, go crazy on accompaniment. Frangelico mascapone, vanilla and orange ice cream or just heavily doused in a thick wall spporting, cement-like spatula of whippped double cream.
- 85g caster sugar
- 150g unsalted butter
- 150g dark chocolate (E.g. Doble & Bignal’s bar)
- 3 whole free range eggs
- 3 whole eggs yolks
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- Soft butter and cocoa powder to line the moulds
- Start by greasing 6 small dariole moulds with butter. Dust with cocoa powder and shake of any excess. Set aside on a baking try.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- In a heatproof bowl combine the sugar, butter and chocolate and melt over a pan of barely simmering water. Allow to melt fully then set aside to cool slightly.
- When it is luke warm, whisk in the eggs continuously. The mixture will begin to thicken but keep whisking (don’t be tempted to add the eggs while the chocolate is still too warm of the eggs will scramble…yuck). Then fold in the flour.
- Pour the mixture evenly into the moulds and then chill for at least 25 minutes.
- Bake in the oven for about 12 minutes. Take out of the oven, run a knife around the edge and turn out onto a plate. Serve with a dollop of your chosen cream and watch and enjoy in awe as (hopefully) your gooey fondant melts all over your plate…!
NOTE: I took my first test fondant out of the oven after 10 minutes and it still felt a little squishly in the middle to the touch. With the risk of having an overocoked fondant I took it out anyway. Shamefully on turning out it collapsed all over the plate….hence the additional mintues. However, oven will vary so perhaps cook for less time and do a touch test before remving the whole batch if the pressure is on…!
Please note – I did this by taste so the below measurements are a total guide. Start with less and keep adding more sugar and liquer until it is to your taste.
- 250g mascarpone
- About 4 tbsp sieved icing sugar (or as much as you like just to sweeten)
- 1-2 tbsp frangelico liquer (to taste)
- Whisk the frangelico and icing sugar into the mascarpone, tasting as you go along to sweeten as you like.