Dark Chocolate Fondants & a Change…
Things are about to get real interesting around here. Maybe you’ll like the change, maybe you wont. I’m hoping you will.
I am different now. I am healthier. I am Gluten Free.
No, I’m not kidding. I feel like I can breath again.
My stomach has often been the topic of conversation around here and quite frankly I was getting sick of it. Literally. Who wants to make all these yum things and then not want to eat them for fear of getting sick? I was so frustrated for so long. Having a chronic problem can really suck the life out of you. In the many months of trying to figure out what was wrong, I noticed a pattern. Although many foods gave me gastro-intestinal problems, it seemed that breads were the worst. So a month ago I decided to go gluten free and pray for the best. *sigh of relief* It worked. I’ve only had one bad episode since then.
So it turns out I am gluten sensitive. That means nothing containing wheat, rye, barley or oats. Wow. That’s big for me. I’m a baker. How does that help anyone?
Actually I am pretty excited. It’s a big change but its a challenge I’m ready for. I have armed myself with cookbooks and substitution lists and advice from a few brilliant gluten free blogs and I am ready to bake gluten free.
What does that mean for you guys? Not much I hope. I’m still gonna bake the same things. They’re still gonna look gorgeous and taste amazing. We’re still gonna learn things from each other and become better friends. I’ll just be healthy.
Whenever I adapt a recipe I’ll put up the original for those of you who are baking with gluten and the adapted version for those of us who aren’t. So not much will change. You don’t have to run screaming for the hills. I really hope you don’t. Because I kinda love you guys.
This Chocolate Fondant recipe is one of the first I’ve adapted. I was pleasantly surprised. It was awesome. I went with a straight substitution of wheat flour for gluten free flours. When using gluten free flours you need to add Xanthan Gum or Guar Gum. These have similar binding qualities to gluten and give the batter the required stability, thickness and viscosity. They’re not to hard to come by as you can buy them at your nearest health store and some pharmacies. (Diskem has an awesome range of gluten free flours and baking aids)
I’m not kidding though. This is yum.
(Adapted from Bake, by Rachel Allen)
- 150g (5 oz) dark chocolate (pick something you like to eat as the flavour shines through)
- 125g (4 1/2 oz) butter (unsalted if possible)
- 3 whole eggs + 3 egg yolks
- 75g (3 oz) castor sugar (superfine sugar)
- 25g (1 oz) millet flour
- 25g (1 oz) rice flour
- pinch of xanthan gum
- NOTE: if baking with gluten, use 50g (2 oz) plain flour and leave out the xanthan gum
- 25g (1 oz) cocoa powder
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F and butter/spray 4 8cm ramekins. (this is NB so don’t skimp)
Melt the chocolate and butter together, either in a double boiler on the stove top, stirring constantly, or in the microwave at 70% power for 1 minute bursts. Set aside.
NOTE: When melting chocolate in the microwave, always stir after each minute as the chocolate can look unmelted but then smooth out when you stir it. If it gets too hot it can burn and form little hard bits. yuck.
Whisk the eggs, yolks and sugar together until pale and fluffy. When I say pale I mean pale. That’s nearly white. You might wanna use a hand beater or a mixer for this. If you want it perfect it’s gonna take you at least 5 minutes, probably longer. Nobody wants to beat with a whisk for that long. Its torture.
Pour in the melted chocolate mixture and fold in carefully. Don’t wanna burst all those beautiful air bubbles you just spent 5 minutes, probably longer, putting in.
Folding with a whisk works just as well and it forces you to take your time and be gentle.
Sift the flours, cocoa powder and the xanthan gum over the mixture and fold in carefully.
When folding this mantra works pretty well…
Down, over, around, over. Well, works for me anyway. Just remember, when you’re folding you need to scrape the side or bottom of the bowl every time so nothing gets forgotten.
Pour into prepared ramekins.
Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. This is the most important part of the recipe. If you don’t bake for long enough your crust will break when you tip it out. If you bake too long you’ll have cake all the way through. It will still be yum, totally, but when you want melty middle chocolate fondants nothing else will suffice. So my advice, bake for 8 minutes, then check. Gently press your fingers on the top. You want it to have formed a crust that is dry (not still sticky) and doesn’t break when you touch it. You don’t want it to feel firm and cakey as you want the melty middle. If the top has cracked (it happens sometimes), even if stuff is oozing out, it’s most likely done.
When it comes out of the oven you have to work fast as residual heat will keep cooking it through and there goes your melty middle. Hold the ramekin using a thick dishcloth and gently run a thin knife around the edge of the ramekin. If you’ve greased it enough you might not even need to do this. Then tip it out onto your serving plate.
I made a double batch and planned to bake half of it and put the rest in the fridge until the next day. In all my scatter I put the second batch in the oven. Stupid. So I set up an ice water bath and when they came out at 8 minutes, I put them into the ice bath to cool as quickly as possible. Then refrigerated them. I didn’t think they would still have melty middles the next day but when I warmed them for 20 seconds in the microwave they came out perfect! Its good to make discoveries that save time.
The best part? No one guessed they were gluten free. Until I ate one of course.
x hugs x