Should you be lucky enough to find yourself in Paris any time soon—or Milan, or Tokyo, or even Abu Dhabi—it’s worth seeking out La Pâtisserie des Rêves, a mini-chain of high-end patisseries run by French pastry master Philippe Conticini. The first shop opened in 2009 with a mission to revisit and modernise the classics of French pastry—everything from Paris-Brest to vanilla millefeuille and seasonal fruit tarts.
Those of us who are unlikely to get to any of those places any time soon can console ourselves with the molten chocolate masterpiece that is Conticini’s aptly named Ultra Chocolate Fondant.
“Conticini is just an incredible chef,” says Yolaine Corbin. “He is very generous with sharing recipes on his Facebook page and a lovely, very talented man in general.”
Conticini’s Facebook page is, of course in French; luckily for us, Yolaine has translated this recipe not just into English but has also adapted it for the Thermomix.
She says it is easy to make but the best results will depend on your choice of chocolate. “The difference between a good fondant and an outstanding one relies on the quality of the chocolate you use. Don’t compromise; you will really taste the difference. My personal favourite is the Callebaut Belgian chocolate range.”
- Place the dark chocolate in the bowl and grate 5 seconds/speed 8. Scrape the sides of the bowl, add the butter and melt 3 minutes/50 degrees/speed 2.
- With the blade running on 30 seconds/speed 3, add eggs one at a time, allowing 15 seconds between each addition.
- Add the flour and sugar and mix 20 seconds/speed 5.
- Prepare a 20-centimetre baking tin (I use a Savarin cake tin for this recipe) by brushing it with melted butter, then coat the entire surface with flour and shake off the excess so only a fine layer remains, sticking onto the butter. Pour in half of the fondant cake batter; scatter the milk and white chocolate buttons in the centre, sprinkle with a few sea salt flakes and cover with the remaining half of the mixture.
- At this stage, you can bake immediately or keep in the fridge until needed. The cake should be baked a la minute, meaning just before serving, not ahead of time.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for 12–15 minutes (keep a close eye on it, it can overcook quickly). The cake should be oozing in the middle like a lava cake.
- Dust with cocoa powder and serve immediately with vanilla ice cream, a pouring custard and fresh berries. Or just devour as is.