Fondants were one of the first desserts I mastered after going gluten free. Oh my goodness, the joy of sinking a spoon into something that was both cake and sauce! Chestnut flour makes the little puddings seem more chocolatey. There is nothing tricky about these – just prepare your moulds carefully and keep checking on the fondants as they cook. You can prepare them up to 24 hours in advance and keep them in the fridge until you are ready to bake and serve – just add a couple of minutes to the baking time if cooking from chilled.
- 125 g dark chocolate (60–70% cocoa solids)
- 125 g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
- cocoa powder for dusting
- 4 medium eggs
- 75 g light muscovado sugar
- pinch of sea salt
- 40 g chestnut flour
- 25 g gluten free white flour or rice flour
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
You will need 4 dariole moulds or small ovenproof teacups.
Preheat the oven to 195°C/Fan 175°C/Gas 5.
Break the chocolate into small pieces, put into a heatproof bowl with the butter and set over a pan of gently simmering water, making sure the bowl is not touching the water. Leave until melted, stir, then set aside to cool a little.
Meanwhile, generously butter the moulds and dust the inside with cocoa powder to coat completely. Put into the fridge to chill.
Whisk the eggs, sugar and salt together, using an electric hand whisk or balloon whisk, until thick, pale and mousse-like. Add the melted chocolate mixture in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly, until thick, smooth and glossy.
Sift the flours together over the mixture and fold in gently, using a spatula or large metal spoon, until fully incorporated. Pour the mixture evenly into the moulds.
Bake for 10–12 minutes until the fondants are risen and firm on the top, but still wobbly if pressed. The top should look like cake, not glossy at all. Check after 8 minutes just in case your oven is a little fierce.
Using a cloth to protect your hand, tip each fondant out onto a plate almost immediately and tuck in! Whipped cream is an excellent companion.
Recipe and image from River Cottage Gluten Free by Naomi Devlin (Bloomsbury, hbk, $45). For more gluten-free recipes and an extract from the book, head here.