Last week was my 21st birthday. Despite the fact that, in England, the legal drinking age is 18, so 21 brings with it no real special privileges that one didn’t already hold at age 20, it’s still kind of a big deal.
So I did what any normal 20-going-on-21-year-old would do to celebrate: I slaved away all day in the kitchen to create the most lavish 21st/ 4th of July BBQ the world has ever seen. Or at least, that I’ve ever seen.
But that is a story for a different time.
The story here is about my 21st birthday present. For a 21st, people (lucky people) tend to get jewelry or expensive watches or things they will cherish forever etc etc. Luckily my parents (having known me now for 21 full years) know me well enough to appreciate that jewelry and watches really aren’t my thing, and aimed for something a little closer to my heart.
And they succeeded. The morning of my birthday I opened up a brand new KitchenAid stand mixer. My mum and I have had this running joke that I will have to hold out till my wedding to receive a KitchenAid stand mixer as a gift, so opening on now was pretty surprising. (My sister will tell you that I cried- I didn’t, but it was close.)
Then I went to Italy for a week (again, a story for another time) so I am finally christening it today! We currently have a guest staying from America, and my sister insisted that she tried my chocolate fondants, so they seemed as good a thing as any to bake first.
Chocolate fondants are surprisingly easy to bake, and always sure to impress. The one tricky thing is timing the bake perfectly to ensure they hold their shape but are gooey in the middle.
Chocolate Fondants (this is a BBC recipe)
120g butter (plus extra to grease the ramekins)
cocoa powder for dusting
120g caster sugar
2 eggs and 2 yolks
100g plain flour
Begin by melting a small amount of butter in a saucepan, then brush liberally onto the sides of the ramekins (this recipe makes 5 fondants). Then, put the ramekins in the fridge to allow the butter to harden. Once it’s hard, take out of the fridge and apply another layer of melted butter. This step is crucial to the fondants coming out easily! Then dust each ramekin with cocoa powder and put back into the fridge.
Melt the butter and chocolate over a pan of simmering water until smooth. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.
Meanwhile whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar together until they become light and fluffy (this is where the mixer comes in handy!) Sift in the flour and mix well. Slowly pour in the chocolate and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the ramekins and put back into the fridge until you want to cook them.
Heat the oven to 180 degrees, and bake the fondants for 12-15 minutes. It can be a bit tricky to know when they’re done, but the top should be forming a crust and coming away from the sides. If they seem too soft, put them back in for a minute- but don’t overcook them or they will dry out!
Serve immediately with ice cream or cream, or naked and enjoy!!