Three years ago (Sarah says it's more), I promised to make her chocolate fondant. I used some friends to practise on, and served them some nice, if heavy, individual chocolate cakes. I was beaten.
Three years (or over) later, Sarah was poorly and I decided chocolate fondants were the cure. It was time to face my nemesis.
The trick, they say, is the preparation of the ramekins. Upward strokes of melted butter, chill, repeat. Mixture is at the right temperature and comes out easily. You don't want to take any risks with these tricky little buggers.
An added challenge... this week is Masterchef final week. So I am feeling all cheffy and inspired!
Fondants one and two: I make a batch of four, although I use an extra few dozen bowls and utensils to make one fondant gluten-free. The GF fondant struggles to find its legs, but tastes yummy. Looked a mess though. I'll have to experiment with adding xanthan gum or vitamin C powder or one of those faffy ingredients that makes GF baking vaguely possible. Sarah's, however, slid effortlessly onto the plate, held up strong with all that gluten no doubt, and score! The centre was gooey and oozed out all over the plate in a very pleasing way.
Fondant three: If this were Masterchef, how could I ponce about with this recipe and impress Michel Roux? I know! Cut out some paper stars, add strawberries cut into flowers, and dust with icing sugar. Fondant wobbles menacingly tonight, so it gets an extra one minute in the oven. Capricious things, they are.
Fondant four: Out of strawberries. What have we got? Aha, tonight is clementine and pistachio night. Peel and de-skank clementine segments, make a wheel shape, and throw over a few salted pistachios. Dust with cocoa powder. Sorted. Fourteen and a half minutes - that's what they need in our oven. Maybe it's the big ramekins.
Next time: how can I booze them up with a good glug of brandy?
Oh, and Sarah is feeling much better, if a little full. But she has requested no chocolate fondant for dessert tomorrow.