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Chocolate Fondant with Pistachio Crème Anglaise by Raymond Blanc

Serves: 6Course: DessertCategory: ChocolateMachine: MixerTotal time: 25 plus 2 hours for setting
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An irresistible chocolate pudding. Beyond the warm, crisp, spongey shell is a gooey, glossy, runny yolk of melted chocolate. Of course, the fondant can be served with cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream, though pistachio crème anglaise makes it extra special. The perfect treat for those who are not fans of Christmas pudding, this is a decadent alternative to complete the festivities.

Ingredients

To coat the rings:

For the chocolate fondants:

For the pistachio crème anglaise:

Optional: chopped pistachios and almonds to scatter over the crème anglaise before serving.

Tools

Method

To coat the rings:

  1. Mix the caster sugar and cocoa powder. Brush the inside of each metal ring with soft butter and then dust them with the sugar-cocoa powder mix (it will stick to the butter). I can assure you that when that butter melts during baking, it will create the most beautiful crust.
  2. Place the rings on a lined baking sheet and keep them in the fridge until needed.

To make the fondant mixture:

  1. Sieve together the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, and then keep to one side.
  2. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium-sized heat-resistant bowl on top of a saucepan of simmering water to create a bain-marie – the bowl’s base shouldn’t touch the water in the pan. Melt the chocolate with the butter, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is fully melted and glossy.
  3. In the bowl of your, Kenwood stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whisk the eggs, sugar and double cream on speed 5 for 1 minute. Reduce the speed to 1, pour in the melted chocolate mix and increase the speed to 4. Whisk until combined.
  4. Now reduce the speed to 1 and add the sieved flour little by little. Increase to speed 2 until the mixture is fully combined and evenly coloured.
  5. Divide this mixture between the 6 chilled rings so that the mix comes only two-thirds of the way up the side of each ring. Place the tray of rings in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours. Meanwhile, you make the crème anglaise.

To make the pistachio crème anglaise:

  1. In the Kenwood Mill grinder attachment, blend the pistachios for 20 seconds. Pour in the almond milk and continue to blend until it’s a smooth purée.
  2. In the Kenwood stand mixer, and using the whisk attachment, cream together the egg yolks and sugar until they are a pale straw colour.
  3. In a small saucepan on a medium heat, bring the milk and vanilla puree to a simmer. Pour the boiling milk onto the eggs and sugar, whisking continuously.
  4. Return the milky egg mixture to the saucepan and, over a medium heat, stir with a wooden spoon. Once the sauce coats the back of the spoon, it’s ready to come off the heat (that’s 83ºC if you’re using a thermometer).
  5. Strain the sauce through a sieve into a bowl and stir with a spatula for a minute or two to prevent it from curdling. Now add the pistachio paste and stir. If you don’t intend to use the sauce straight away, cover it with non-PVC clingfilm and keep it in the fridge. (NB: If the crème anglaise curdles – it can happen – simply pour it into a jug blender and pulse until smooth. The sauce will never have the same texture, but this little trick will save the day and spare your blushes.)

To make the pistachio crème anglaise:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  2. Keep the fondants on the lined baking tray. If cooking the fondants from the fridge, bake (on the lined tray) for 11-12 minutes. If baking from frozen, bake for 13-14 minutes.
  3. Once the fondants are out of the oven, let them rest for a minute before de-moulding by running a knife around the inside of each ring.
  4. To serve, place each warm fondant in the centre of the plate and dust with icing sugar. Pour crème anglaise alongside the fondant. Over the crème, scatter a few pistachios and almonds and await loud applause from your lucky guests.