Or should I say lava cake? Absolutely decadent with warm rich runny center and so chic. For chocolate lovers who want to eat like the French.
The recipe is not my own creation but French Chef Christophe Felder. For classic and simple recipes like this one, I could pretend inventing one with 10 gr more, 20 gr less here and there. But when fool proof recipes are just perfect, well why not using them? However, I give you explanations, tips and tricks, and the story behind this iconic French dessert, as you know I love French gastronomy.
Be that as it may, chocolate fondant (or should I say molten cake? lava cake?) is really something the French bake very often at home and that became a great classic of French restaurants, form small bistrots to more fancy restaurants. It’s super quick and easy, only 5 ingredients.
The only tricky part is how long you should bake chocolate fondant
Well it all depends on your oven, the size of your molds and how much you fill them, and how much more or less cooked and runny you like it. The secret of having a molten inside is to rest the preparation for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator before baking it at high temperature. The high temperature will quickly bake the outside of the cake while the inside won’t have time to bake, it will just be reheated thus melting.
In my oven it takes about 10 min at 200°C/390°F until it is well risen, all around is well cooked but in the center it is still molten under a thin cooked crust. When you shake it, it moves a bit. Try a first batch, take one off and taste until you find out the right baking time for your oven and taste.
How to serve chocolate fondants
- Either use ramequins or muffin molds, but then you will have to eat it in the ramequin with a spoon (that’s actually what we do at home) as chocolate fondants are almost impossible to unmold. You can though line parchment paper in before pouring the batter in, then once baled take the cake out of the ramequin using the excess of parchment paper.
- The second way, If you want molten cake neatly dressed on a dish like on those photos in order to see the runny inside at the first scoop, then you need to use baking circles. Cut parchment paper to cover the inside of circle. Grease the inside of the circle so that parchment paper will stick. Place circle on a baking tray covered with a sheet of parchment paper. Pour in batter that have rested 1 hour in the refrigerator and bake the same way as for ramequins. You can watch the replay of the live on my Facebook page (see video section) where I show how to.
What to serve with chocolate fondant ?
Dress chocolate fondant topped with icing sugar sprinkled, it’s really pretty. You can serve with ice cream or sorbet, crème anglaise vanilla egg custard, whipping cream, fresh fruit salad, lemon mousse…
Another way to make this dessert even more fancy, is to place in the center of each individual cake before placing them in the oven a frozen ball of caramel, lemon curd, mixed fuit… You’ll get a melting surprise! I have a recipe in French here.
The story behind French iconic molten chocolate fondant
Whatever you wall those individual desserts (molten cake, lava cake or chocolate fondant, even in French we have different ways to name it fondant, coulant, Coeur coulant or mi-cuit), this dishes was invented by the French Chef Michel Bras in 1981.
Chef Michel Bras invented this delight starting with a feeling. While returning home cross country skiing, he served on the kitchen table hot chocolate to his frozen family, chilled to the bone. The lovely memories of this moment and the taste of decadent warm chocolate inspired him to create a recipe of warm molten chocolate cake.
The Chef’s original recipe with a combination of hot and cold, was composed of two parts: a biscuit dough and in the middle a frozen chocolate ganache. Once removed from the oven, “the biscuit is cooked and warm whilst in the middle, the chocolate, as liquid as ours was that day after skiing, flows like molten lava as soon as the spoon breaks through the biscuit exterior. Visually stunning, emotionally heart-warming.” as Michel Bras says on his website.
Molten Chocolate Fondant
- 4 eggs
- 140 gr sugar
- 135 gr dark chocolate 55 to 70% cocoa according to your taste
- 120 gr butter unsalted
- 45 gr flour
- 1 pinch salt optional
- Gently melt chocolate chunks and cubed butter, ideally using a double boiler (bowl over a pan with simmering water) or in the microwave.
- In a bowl, vigorously combine sugar with 4 whole eggs until you get a smooth texture paler color. You may use a food processor.
- Slowly pour chocolate – butter mix in sugar – egg preparation continuously combining.
- Add flour, a pinch of salt (optional) and combine. That’s all.
Rest 1 hour in the fridge
- Pour into buttered ramekins or muffin pan and set in the refrigerator 1 hour in the refrigerator.
- During your meal, preheat your oven to 200°C/390°F.
- Bake the ramekins for 9 to 10 minutes at 200°C/390°F. Fondants are ready when the edges are cooked and the center is molten under a more or less cooked mini crust. Each oven being different, make a first batch, take one out and taste, and note the perfect baking time for you.
- Serve immediately and eat warm.