Vegan Chocolate Fondant
Melty, bursting, rich and velvety - these extra chocolatey vegan fondants are easier to make than you'd think. Serve them with vegan vanilla ice cream, whipped cream or with a sprinkling of icing sugar (or all three).
The two most important factors of a good chocolate fondant are the following. The first is to not over bake the fondants, as even a couple of extra minutes in the oven can turn the molten centre of these solid, which is the opposite of what we're after. If you know you have a strong oven, bake them on the lower end of the suggested time frame (14 minutes), rather than for the full 15 minutes. Make sure to not leave them standing for too long once you remove them from the oven, as the cakes continue to slowly cook even once baked. I like to let them sit for 30 seconds which allows them to loosen up around the edges, making it easier to pop them out of their ramekins.
The other important factor in a perfect fondant is ensuring you're using good quality chocolate, as it's the centrepiece of the dessert. Using store-bought chocolate chips or chunks won't give the same results as a great quality bar of chocolate, as chocolate chips contain stabilisers that prevent them from melting fully. I like to use Ombar chocolate when making these fondants, and the Salt & Nibs one in particular. It's the perfect balance of rich, dark, sweet and salty and makes the centres of these extra addicting. I've also tried making different flavoured fillings for each fondant by using different flavours of their mini chocolate bars - like the Raspberry & Coconut, the Coconut & Vanilla and the Hazelnut Truffle. Choosing chocolate that you love to eat is the secret to a special fondants, so this is the time to go all out.
30 mins (+chilling)
70g dark chocolate, finely chopped (I used Ombar Salt & Nibs)
70ml plant based cream
2 tbsp maple syrup (optional)
1/8 tsp salt (if using unsalted chocolate)
1 tbsp ground flaxseeds
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
50g caster sugar
70g light brown sugar
250ml plant based milk, at room temperature
50ml neutral oil
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp plant based butter
Granulated or raw sugar (for sprinkling)
Start by making the fondant filling. Add finely chopped chocolate to a heatproof bowl. Add cream to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat, until just simmering.
Remove the saucepan from heat and pour the heated cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute, then use a spatula to stir the cream and chocolate, until thick and creamy. Fold in the maple syrup (if using) and salt.
If you have an ice cube tray, divide the chocolate amongst four different ice cube holes and place in the freezer to chill for 2 hours. If you don’t have an ice cube tray, place the bowl directly in the fridge, and chill for 2 hours.
Once the filling has chilled, preheat the oven to 180˚C. Coat 4 ramekins with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Tap out the excess sugar.
Add ground flaxseeds to a small bowl. Add 2 tbsp of water and stir to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes to thicken.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the caster sugar and light brown sugar and stir to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, oil, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract. Whisk in the thickened flax seed mixture. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry, until no dry spots remain.
Pour two spoonfuls of batter into the ramekins. Place an ice cube of filling (or one heaped tbsp of it, if still in the bowl) into the centre of each half filled ramekin. Divide remaining batter among ramekins.
Place the filled ramekins onto a baking tray and place the baking tray in the oven. Bake for 14-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 30 seconds. Use a knife to loosen the sides of the ramekin and invert the fondants onto plates. Serve right away!
by Valentina Concordia
Valentina is our Food Creative, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.