You've had a hard week. Trust me on this. Work has been annoying and stressful, your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/significant other is driving you mad. The way they load the dishwasher, answer the phone, blow their nose leaves you very irritable. The children (if any) are just being little demons, pulling each other's hair out and crying constantly. The dog has just pooed in the middle of the sitting room floor and is grinning at you comically while you try to give out to him.
You need some TLC. And I've got just the treat for you! These caramel, chocolate fondants are rich and luxurious, the culinary equivalent of a hot stone massage. A thin chocolate sponge encases caramel and chocolate liquid gold. Clear the house of all other humans and animals, put a few of these bad babies in the oven, get your favourite box set out and be prepared to totally relax!
100g butter softened, plus extra for greasing
50g plain flour sifted, plus extra for dusting
100g plain chocolate (minimum 70% coco solids)
2 egg yolks
125g caster sugar
1 tin condensed milk or tin nestle caramel
Fresh whipped cream to serve.
1. Boil your tin of condensed milk for about 1.5 hours. Do not let the water boil off or you will have a caramel explosion on your hands. (Trust me, alot less fun than it sounds). You can buy the caramel post-boiling now if you like. I now Nestle produces it.
2. Greasing and lining your tins is very important. I used small ramekin dishes. You could use heatproof cups or dariole moulds. Cut out a circle of greaseproof paper the size of the bottom of your ramekin. Melt some butter in a small dish in the microwave (about 10g only). Use a pastry brush to brush butter all around the dish, bottom and sides. Push the greaseproof down to the bottom of the dish and dust the sides with a bit of flour. Place the dishes in the freezer for about 10 minutes.
3. For the fondants. Melt the butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water or alternatively in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring briskly in between. Allow to cool for ten minutes.
3. Whisk the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until light, fluffy, about 5-6 minutes. Beat the chocolate mixture in then gently fold in the sieved flour.
4. The mixture will be very light- this is OK.
5. Spoon the chocolate mix into the prepared dishes until they are less than 1/3 full. Then place a heaped teaspoon of caramel into the centre of the chocolate mix. Cover the caramel with the rest of the chocolate mix until you have filled all 5 dishes. The dishes will probably only be 2/3 full but that is OK because the mix is very rich.
6. Put in the freezer for around 2 hours. This will help the mixture to firm up and prevent collapse later.
7. Bake at 190oC for 15 minutes until the sponge is wobbly but has a spring to it.
8. Leave to stand for 5 minutes.
9. Run a knife around the outside of the mould numerous times, freeing the fondant from the dish. Then very gently invert the fondant. I usually run the knife around a good few times, place a plate on top of the dish then invert the whole lot.
10. Serve with cream.