Sometimes, you just need a chocolate fix for you, and you alone. This Chocolate Fondant (otherwise known as Chocolate Lava Cake), it seems to me, is the perfect remedy for such occasions.
It takes about 15 minutes from start to finish and at the end of it, you have a glorious combination of spongey chocolate cake and flowing chocolate batter, with a good dollop of cream on the side. Whoever dreamed this pudding up ought to get a medal.
I was on a mission in terms of creating a Chocolate Fondant for one and made three failed attempts before I eventually got the measurements right. In terms of timing, it’s definitely a case of practice – if you don’t leave it long enough, the sides of the pudding will collapse when you invert it; if you leave it too long, it won’t be molten in the middle. It’s done when the surface feels just set but when gently pushed you can definitely feel wet batter beneath. When you take it out of the oven, you’ll think it’s too wet, but even in the minute that you let it sit and then plate it, it will continue to cook, so bear that in mind.
In the photo above, you’ll see I got impatient and took it out about a minute early so it’s a little more lava than cake; but actually I rather like it this way!! However, I made it a few months later and cooked it just over a minute longer to show how you can get a more fudgy version (see image at the bottom of the post), which might suit you better. Anyway, I encourage you to have a go and if at first you don’t succeed; try, try again!
- 30g (1 oz) butter
- 30g (1 oz) semi-sweet (at least 50-60% cocoa) quality dark chocolate
- 30g (1 oz) icing sugar (confectioner's sugar)
- Pinch of salt
- 1 whole egg
- 1 heaped tablespoon all-purpose flour
- Cocoa powder (or icing sugar) and lightly whipped cream to serve
- Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees C (400 degrees F) and put a baking tray on the middle shelf.
- Grease 1 small ramekin with butter (or spray with non-stick spray).
- Place butter and baking chocolate into a large microwave-safe bowl then microwave for 1 minute, or until butter is melted, then stir until butter and chocolate are smooth. Alternatively, you can do this in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water on the stove-top.
- Whisk the egg, along with the icing sugar and a pinch of salt. Pour in the melted chocolate and butter (a little bit to start with in order to temper the egg mixture). Add the flour then stir until combined.
- Pour chocolate batter into the ramekin. At this point the batter can be refrigerated until needed, but let it come to room temperature before baking.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes, or until the top is is set, but when lightly touched you can feel there's wet batter beneath the surface. Take the cake out of the oven immediately and let it cool for a minute (but not too long, as it continues to cook the longer it sits), then run a small sharp knife around the ramekin and carefully invert onto a serving plate. If you’re not sure the pudding is going to survive being inverted, you can always eat it directly from the ramekin!
- Dust with cocoa powder (or icing sugar) then serve hot with freshly whipped cream.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting