I like to take a short intermission from the fuss of Chinese New Year to remember another ‘holiday’ that falls on the same day but has sadly taken to hiding in the shadows… Valentines Day. Not that it’s a huge concern for me as I’m not exactly the most romantic girl in the world.
This year the two holidays share equal billing on February 14th. For my fellow Asian brothers and sisters, this can be a conundrum. This day of lurve will most certainly be forgotten since spending CNY with the family will take bigger precedence over a date with the loved one. V-day is also my excuse to consume a (big) buttload of chocolate desserts yet this year, this has taken a backseat to Chinese New Year baking. But no matter what, one should always take time out for dessert.
And so lets draw our attention back to the important subject at hand. Chocolate. And peanut butter. Together for a lustful tryst in a warm gooey fondant. Let’s all take a moment to savour the delicious thought…
I remember having the most killer of chocolate cravings so I did the not-very-smart thing by surfing the web for food photos and recipes and came across this. I swear my tongue seized up and I wanted to faint. It didn’t take me long to jump into the pantry and start scurrying around for a jar of peanut butter, chocolate and a spoon.
In the end I tried out the salted caramel ice cream (adapted into a semifreddo here) but I couldn’t stop thinking about that fondant. It is no doubt one of my favourite desserts. I mean i there anything more lustful than breaking through a freshly baked chocolate crust to reveal a molten pool of chocolate lava?
This Gourmet Traveller recipe is easy enough although the amount of egg whites were a touch excessive in my opinion. By the time I folded the whole thing through, the batter was incredibly light and when baked immediately, yielded a fondant that wasn’t rich, chocolate-y or peanutty enough. Weirdly enough, after leaving a few unbaked fondants in ramekin in the fridge, the batter started to darken and it tasted better! Even after 3 weeks, a couple of forgotten fondants were found, dark and seductive looking and amazingly, it baked to a beautifully chocolatey fondant.
Of course, you could avoid this by cutting down the amount of egg whites and upping the peanut butter content, which is what I did, but I’ll leave you with the original recipe. Either way, it’s chocolate, it’s sexy, it’s easy and perfect for even the most unromantic of Valentines revellers.
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Fondants
250g good quality dark chocolate (at least 60%), coarsely chopped – I used 300g
130g crunchy peanut butter – I used 160g of smooth peanut butter
20g butter, chopped
6 eggs, at room temperature, separated – I reduced this by two egg whites (so 4 eggs separated plus two extra egg yolks)
200g caster sugar
100g plain flour, sifted
Preheat oven to 170°C (150°C fan-forced). Melt chocolate, peanut butter and butter in a heatproof bowl over simmering water then stir until smooth. Remove from heat, cool slightly, stir in the egg yolks and set aside.
Whisk eggwhites until soft peaks form then while still whisking, gradually add sugar and whisk until stiff and glossy.
Fold into chocolate mixture in batches, then fold in the flour and divide between ten 250ml-capacity buttered and sugar-dusted ramekins.
Refrigerate to rest for an hour or so, then bake until edges are just set and centres are just firm but still soft, about 6-7 minutes. As it cools, the middle will sink a little but that just means that there’s gooey pleasure to be had underneath!