GBBO recipe challenge time! This week we have Hannah Bond (From abondgirlsfooddiary.co.uk) who takes on the pudding challenge with an amazing chocolate peanut butter fondant bake.
Name: Hannah Bond
Occupation: Editorial Intern at Hachette Publishing
- How did you get into baking?
My first memories of baking involve my beloved Mamgi (grandmother in Welsh!) teaching me to make pastry for apple pie at her dining table, because I was too short to reach the kitchen counters. I baked throughout school, and always brought in cakes for people’s birthdays. I really got into it at university, and started doing my own bread and teaching myself to make macarons. From 2015-2016 I studied for the professional diploma at Leiths School of Food and Wine, and while it wasn’t all about baking, it covered and lot and really helped me get to grips with things like souffles and making my own puff pastry.
- How long did the cake take from start to finish?
30 minutes if you’re taking your time, but you could do it in 20 minutes if you’re determined!
- What’s your favourite thing about the cake?
Chocolate fondants are actually very quick and simple to put together, and they don’t use any unusual ingredients or tricky techniques. You just have to decide not to be afraid of them! They’re a very impressive pudding but take very little time and effort.
- What was the hardest thing about making the cake?
The success of a chocolate fondant does all depend about getting the timing right. I have made these before and I know my oven, but if you’re doing them for the first time then do watch them carefully. Even if they do overcook, though, the worst that can happen is you have a little chocolate cake!
- Tell us about business/blog.
I started my blog, A Bond Girl’s Food Diary, in 2015 as a hobby before I went to culinary school, and it’s grown from there. I still have to do it alongside working full time, but I try to publish at least 2-3 posts per week. It’s been a great way to encourage myself to try new things, and to improve my food photography skills.
My favourite recipe for these is from the great Nigella, and I've not changed a great deal because her ratios are perfect.
You can skip the contrasting centres and the berries if you like, but both are excellent if you have them lying around
You will need 6 individual pudding moulds, or darioles, for this recipe. It's really not a tricky thing to bake, but I appreciate that not everyone has darioles. Sadly, I don't think normal ramekins would work for this, because they're not as deep, so the puddings would be likely to cook through and you wouldn't get the molten centre. Darioles aren't expensive though, if you'd like to have a go at this recipe and you don't have any to hand...
You can also serve these with cream or ice cream, but honestly, with the liquid centres I don't think you need anything extra.
This recipe makes six individual puddings. If you don't need six at once, keep the spares in the fridge until you want to eat them, and cook when you're ready.
350 grams good dark chocolate (I like Green & Black's 70% for this)
50 grams soft butter (plus more for greasing)
cocoa powder, for dusting
150 grams caster sugar
4 large eggs (beaten with pinch of salt)
1 tsp vanilla extract
50 grams Italian 00 flour if you have it, or plain is fine if you don't (I have tried both and prefer the texture from pasta flour)
6 tsp smooth peanut butter or salted caramel (or both!)
a handful of fresh or frozen mixed berries
- Pop your chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of simmering water to melt, and stir it occasionally. Preheat your oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6 and pop a baking sheet in there to heat up (unless you are cooking the puddings later). Butter your six darioles, line the base of each with a little circle of baking paper, then dust them with cocoa powder and tap out the excess.
- When your chocolate has melted, take the bowl off the heat to cool a little. In another bowl, cream together your butter and sugar until well-combined. Gradually beat in your eggs and salt, and then your vanilla. Sprinkle the flour over the batter, and then mix again until well combined. Add your melted chocolate, then mix again until well combined and smooth - you should have a fairly thin, glossy batter.
- Divide two thirds of the batter between your six darioles, until they're each around two thirds full, then add a generous teaspoon of peanut butter (or salted caramel) to each. Divide the remainder of the batter between your darioles, covering the filling, and smooth the tops.
- If you're cooking them later, pop your moulds into the fridge until needed. If you're cooking right away, pop them in the oven for 10 minutes (12 if cooking from the fridge). If you're serving with frozen berries, just microwave them for one minute until they're warm and releasing their juices. To serve, turn each pudding out onto a plate, top with a spoonful of berries, and eat immediately.