DARK CHOCOLATE FONDANT WITH ORANGE PARFAIT RECIPE
This is one of my favourite recipes as it encompasses the traditional pairing of chocolate and orange in an indulgent, satisfying and truly luxurious way. Get it right and this recipe will impress.
Pastry can be a little daunting, but the thing to remember is that it’s lots of little easy steps – follow the recipe like this and you’ll achieve the perfect result every time.
4 medium eggs (whole)
90g caster sugar
240g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate
30g plain flour
5 medium egg yolks
140g caster sugar
Juice and zest of 2 large fresh oranges
425ml of double cream
First make the orange parfait. This is a smooth, luxurious type of ice-cream and will need 24 hours freezer time. Add the sugar, juice and zest of the oranges into a heavy-based pan and put this onto a medium heat. This mix will need to reach 118 degrees Celsius. If you don’t have a sugar thermometer watch the mix: it will start boiling, and when the bubbles start to slow down it is ready. If you take it too far you will have orange caramel.
Have the egg yolks ready in an electric stand mixer with whisk attachment (at the very least you’ll need an electric hand whisk and metal bowl). Start to whisk the egg yolks on the highest setting then slowly pour the hot orange syrup onto the egg yolks (be careful as sugar boils at a lot higher temp than water), whisk for at least five minutes until mix is soft fluffy and holds itself, it will have changed from orange and watery to light pale and cloud-like.
Whilst the egg mix is whisking place the double cream into a bowl, whisk until soft peaks form, (the idea is when the egg mix is ready it’s the same consistency as the cream – if you over-whip the cream it will be too dense and sink when combined).
Now lightly fold the cream into the cold egg mix. This is where you can get creative: I pour the mix into a tray and then portion later but you can buy lots of fun shaped moulds and set the parfait into these, or simply pour into a plastic container and use an ice-cream scoop. The parfait will take at least six hours to set in the freezer, but I advise a good 24 hours just to be sure. This recipe doesn’t require churning.
Now for the fondant. You can also make this the day before then bake to order. I advise you make the mix a couple of hours before at least, baking a cold mix ensures you will get a gooey middle.
Whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. Melt the butter in a pan then pour the hot butter over the chocolate, stir until chocolate and butter are combined. Fold the melted chocolate into the egg mix, then fold in the flour.
Pour the mix into lined metal dariole or pudding moulds (line with melted butter and cocoa powder to stop the fondants sticking), around 60g per portion. Keep refrigerated until needed. These will last a few days so any spare can be enjoyed another time.
When ready to cook set your oven to 185 degrees Celsius, place fondants on a tray, then bake for 10 minutes. Rest for one minute then turn out onto a serving plate. Place the ice-cream parfait next to fondant and enjoy.
Note: I garnish with candied kumquats (these have been sliced then poached in a sugar syrup), fresh orange segments, chopped almonds, and honey cress. You can also make orange curd – the options are endless – but if you go with the two main elements you’ll still have a dessert to remember.