Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Chocolate Orange Fondants and Almond Pannacottas for Dinner Party ..

Finally found some time to have some friends round for dinner and spent a lovely day in the kitchen preparing everything. Decided on individual puddings and went for Chocolate Orange Fondants and Almond Pannacottas.
I was able to make the pannacottas the day before as they keep well in the fridge....Being brave making them as they have become my nemesis after a disaster in the finals of Masterchef at Theo Randall's restaurant where they didn't set properly ( but then again I only had 2 and a half hours to make 3 puddings).... I was determined these were going to ' turn out' well !!

Almond Pannacotta with Berries  (makes 8)

8 leaves of gelatine
800ml double cream
200ml whole milk
2 vanilla pods
100g caster sugar
2 tsps almond extract ( or amaretto to taste )

100g caster sugar
100ml cassis ( or any summer fruit based liquer )
200g raspberries
200 g blackberries or blueberries


Soak the gelatine in cold water for 10 minutes to soften.
Pour the cream and milk into a saucepan, split the vanilla pods and add too.
Bring to boil, remove from heat and leave for few minutes to infuse.
Shake off excess water from gelatine and stir into the pan.
Add sugar and continue to stir over a low heat till dissolved.
Take out vanilla pods and add almond extract.
Lightly oil 8 individual ramekins or cups and put them on a tray.
Pour the mix into each and chill for at least 2 hours, but best overnight.

Pour 200ml water into a saucepan, add the sugar and cassis, bring to boil.
Add 100g of each fruit and cook slowly for 30 mins until reduced to a lovely syrupy consistency.
Push through a sieve and then add remaining berries and allow to cool.

To serve .... dip the ramekins in hot water for a few seconds to help turn out and spoon the berries on top or to the side.

It worked !!! Was thrilled ... won't be scared of them again ! Enjoy xx

And Now .....

Chocolate Orange Fondants ( makes 10 )

Bit tricky too ... but the timings are the main thing to be careful of.. know your own oven's heat and adjust or practise one at an earlier stage and adjust length in oven for your own, perfect fondant .... gooey in the middle !!

230g dark chocolate
230g butter
6 whole medium eggs
4 egg yolks
100g caster sugar
grated zest of 2 oranges
100g plain flour

for sauce

4 large oranges
300g caster sugar

for cream

300ml double cream
3 tablespoons Cointreau
2 tablespoons caster sugar

dark choc to grate to decorate

To make sauce

Take off strips of peel from two oranges with a zester
Grate zest of one of the other orages and save for pudding mix
Put strips of peel and juice of all 4 oranges into a saucepan and add the sugar.
Stir on a low heat until sugar dissolves and then boil for about 8 minutes till it thickens.
Leave to cool at room temperature.

To make puddings

Preheat oven to 190 o c / 170 o c fan.

Melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl, either in microwave for a couple of minutes or over a bowl of simmering water. Leave to cool a little.
Whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, sugar and orange zest until really light and fluffy, doubled in volume ( best to use electric hand or standing mixer)
Fold in the choc mix and then the sifted flour.
Spoon into buttered ramekins or pudding basins and either cook for 10 minutes ( or time best for your oven) or keep in fridge, covered, for a couple of days and take out when required an hour before cooking to get to room temperature.

For cream

Whisk the cream, cointreau and sugar until it forms soft peaks

Turn out pudding to serve with a spoonful of the cream and a big drizzle of the sauce.
Grate dark choc over to decorate.

And opened up ... fingers crossed !!...

Hurrah !! Good Luck everyone and Enjoy xx