Trying new things: Sweet and Savoury Fondants

Recently I have decided that it’s time to expand my cooking repertoire, try some new dishes and learn some new techniques. After flicking through my cookery books and magazines I decided to start with fondants.

Initially I just planned to have a go at the sweet chocolaty versions, but then I thought, what the heck, if I’m trying new things I might as well make a day of it and have a go at the savoury potato type as well and so an extremely calorific meal plan was born.

I started with the savoury fondant, which is essentially a piece of nicely shaped piece of potato poached in butter (and a little stock). I suppose you could really use any shape of potato provided it would cook evenly, but on the TV the chefs always seem to cut perfect cylinders from a large potato and so I thought I’d try that. After a little bit of searching in various supermarkets I eventually managed to locate two sufficiently large firm potatoes to cut my cylinders from .

Cutting out the cylinde

Cutting out the cylinders

This proved to be a lot harder than it looks on the TV. I don’t know if I’m just weak, or if they have sharper cutters than me, but it took an awful lot of huffing and puffing to get through the potato.   Once I did finally manage to cut them out I just lopped of the top and bottom to give it flat ends and then trimmed the edges slightly to make them pretty.

Starting cooking

Starting cooking

For my two 100g pieces I melted 100g of butter in a saucepan and then added my potatoes. Once they had fried on one side for 5 minutes I flipped them over, added the stock, some thyme and some garlic then turned down the heat and popped the lid on the pan. 25 minutes later a lot of my butter/stock mix was gone (I’m not sure if it evaporated or was absorbed by the potato?) and my fondants were cooked.

Finished cooking

Finished cooking

I served these with some roast chicken, peas and gravy. While there were soft, buttery and rich, I have to admit I was a little disappointed. The flavour was very similar to the inside of a good roast potato, but without lovely the crispy outer shell. I can see how these look much more elegant on a plate than a roast potato, but I think at home, where no one is judging my presentation, I would prefer a plain old crunchy roasty!

Potato Fondants

Potato Fondants

I then plunged on with the chocolate fondants. Having watched umpteen series of Masterchef over the years I’ve seen a lot of failed fondants and so I was feeling a little nervous about these. Would they stand up once out of the moulds? Would they have a lovely gooey centre? In the end these turned out to be quite straight forward to make and the answer to both questions was yes!

Chocolate Fondants

Chocolate Fondant

After reading several recipes I was a bit confused as to whether I should chill my fondants or not prior to cooking. In the end, since my recipe made two, I decided to try both methods. While they both worked, the chilled fondant rose a bit less which made it easier to stand up on the plate, so I think this works the best if you have the time.

ready to turn out

Ready to turn out

Unlike the potato fondants, the chocolate ones were not disappointing at all. Instead they were divine – rich and gooey and lovely. As I say, I was surprised how easy it was to make these and I’m definitely going to be whipping up some more in the coming weeks!

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5 thoughts on “Trying new things: Sweet and Savoury Fondants

  1. I love making chocolate fondants but I’ve never made the savoury potato ones. Like you I’ve seen them being made on Masterchef and always thought about having a go at them but now I think I’ll just stick with ordinary roast ones.

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