Liquid-centre chocolate fondants with nut butter and pedro ximénez raisin ice cream

Liquid-centre chocolate fondants with nut butter and pedro ximénez raisin ice cream

Lamingtons & lemon tart
Patricia Niven

Nail this and you’ll look like a superstar. That’s what really matters when having friends around for dinner – you want to be seen to effortlessly pull the night together, spending more time entertaining than stressing in the kitchen. This is so achievable, and so delicious! Get prepared and make it ahead of time. Practise before the big night to understand your oven and bask in the glory of a perfectly cooked, oozing chocolate fondant. If you have trouble though, these can be cooked and served in a serving ramekin to eradicate the element of danger. Give it a go, back yourself and get used to being a legend.


Quantity Ingredient

Nut butter milk

Quantity Ingredient
400ml full-cream milk
300g unsalted butter

Pedro ximenez-soaked raisins

Quantity Ingredient
100ml pedro ximenez sherry
20g soft light brown sugar
160g raisins

Chocolate crumble

Quantity Ingredient
125g unsalted butter
175g soft light brown sugar
125g plain flour
30g dutch cocoa powder
pinch bicarbonate of soda
130g ground almonds
pinch salt

Dark chocolate fondants

Quantity Ingredient
dutch cocoa powder, for dusting
125g dark chocolate, (60% cocoa solids)
125g unsalted butter
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
55g caster sugar
pinch salt
20g plain flour

Nut butter ice cream

Quantity Ingredient
250ml nut butter milk, (see above)
200ml thickened cream
100g caster sugar
5 egg yolks
120g pedro ximénez soaked raisins, chopped, (see above)


Quantity Ingredient
small block of dark chocolate


  1. For the nut butter milk, bring the milk to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat and remove from the heat to stand.
  2. Place the butter in an extremely over-large saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter has melted and cooked past foaming and onto ‘nut butter’ stage. Remove from the heat and add the scalded milk in three stages. Be careful as the mixture will spatter furiously and the steam is dangerously hot.
  3. Once all of the milk has been incorporated, pour the mixture into a plastic container and leave, covered, overnight in the refrigerator.
  4. The next day the mixture will have separated into two mixes, a hard butter top and a liquid milk bottom. Use a sharp knife to remove the solidified butter top and strain out the infused milk liquid into a measuring jug. Reserve the butter for making pastry or greasing moulds.
  5. For the soaked raisins, put the sherry and sugar in a saucepan over medium–low heat and bring to a simmer. Pour this over the raisins in a small container, cover and leave to stand for a minimum of 24 hours.
  6. These will last for a couple of months, covered, in the refrigerator.
  7. To make the chocolate crumble, in a freestanding electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth.
  8. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and bicarbonate of soda into a separate bowl.
  9. Add all the sifted and remaining ingredients to the mixer with the creamed butter and sugar and mix well to form a dough.
  10. Spread the dough flat on a sheet of baking paper and top with a second sheet. Roll the dough to a thickness of 5 mm, place on a baking tray and chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  11. Preheat the oven to 170°C.
  12. Remove the dough from the refrigerator, remove the top piece of paper and bake for 12–14 minutes or until baked to golden and firm.
  13. Blitz into a crumble in a blender or food processor.
  14. To make the fondants, chill four 7.5 cm wide and 4.5 cm deep aluminium dariole moulds or foil cups of similar dimensions for 20 minutes, then brush with softened butter or reserved butter from the nut butter milk. Dust with cocoa powder to coat and tap out any excess from the four moulds.
  15. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a microwave in short bursts, stirring in between each burst.
  16. Place the eggs, egg yolks and sugar in a freestanding electric mixer and whisk on medium–high speed for 10 minutes until the mixture is pale and thick.
  17. Turn the mixer to low speed and add the chocolate mix to the bowl until all is incorporated.
  18. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the salt and flour with a silicone spatula.
  19. Pour the mixture equally between the prepared moulds and chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 3 hours.
  20. For the nut butter ice cream, place the milk and cream in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  21. In a mixing bowl whisk the sugar and egg yolks together until they start to thicken and pale.
  22. Pour one-third of the hot milk mixture onto the yolk mixture and whisk well. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining milk and cream and mix well with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Cook over medium–low heat, stirring constantly, until the ice cream base reaches a temperature of 82°C.
  23. Prepare a large bowl of iced water.
  24. Remove the custard from the heat and strain it into a bowl. Set this bowl in the larger bowl of iced water to cool the custard down quickly, stirring regularly. Once cool, churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the raisins just before the ice cream has finished churning. Store the ice cream in the freezer until needed.
  25. To assemble, preheat the oven to 170°C. Arrange four individual serving bowls or plates on a work surface and have a grater or microplane and the chocolate to hand. Have the ice cream ready in the freezer.
  26. Remove the fondants from the refrigerator and place them on a baking tray. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove them from the oven and allow them to sit for a minute. While they are sitting, remove the ice cream from the freezer and arrange the crumble on one side of the plate.
  27. Take a tea towel or cloth and gently turn the hot fondant upside down and onto the space left on the plate. The mould should come away easily and you should have a stable, cooked fondant. Grate some dark chocolate over the fondant. Place a scoop of nut butter ice cream onto the chocolate crumble and serve immediately.


  • If you have enough moulds then make more than you need of these to do testers. They will also store really well in the freezer for a good period of time and you can cook them from frozen, which means you can just pull out what you need whenever you need them.

    If you don’t have the moulds or are worried they might collapse when you cook them, then you can make the mixture as above and pour it into ramekins and again store in the refrigerator or freezer to be baked from cold or frozen. Just adjust cooking times for larger portion sizes.

    Use the best-quality dark chocolate that you can afford – this will show in the finished result I can guarantee. I use a chocolate with minimum cocoa solids of 60%, but choose a chocolate that is sweeter or more bitter to suit your taste. You can make the ice cream base up to 4 days in advance but try to churn the ice cream on the day of serving for the best results.

    You can make the ice cream base up to 4 days in advance but try to churn the ice cream on the day of serving for the best results.

    Do a couple of practice runs to get the correct cooking times. Not enough cooking will result in a collapsed fondant when you try to unmould and don’t overcook to ensure a runny centre. These can also be cooked from frozen. You need to test your oven with a couple of fondants to gauge the correct cooking time for your oven.
darren purchese
burch and purchese
sweet studio
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