Monday 18 June 2012

Valrhona chocolate fondant

When I did the chocolate workshop for Valentine's Day, we were told about different types of chocolate, one of which was Valrhona. I'd never tried it, so when I was given a recipe book for Christmas and I spotted a recipe for a Valrhona chocolate fondant dessert, I bookmarked it for later. But the recipe looked pretty complicated so I hadn't gotten around to making it.... Then V came up as the letter for Alphabakes this month and I decided I couldn't put it off any longer!

According to Wikipedia, Valrhona is a French chocolate manufacturer founded in 1922 by a French pastry chef, Albéric Guironnet. It is today one of the leading producers of chocolate in the world and while it is sold to the mass market, the chocolate is commonly used by professional chefs. And it's expensive! These two small bars cost me almost £13 including postage - that's a lot for 140g of chocolate!

The recipe is from Galvin: a cookbook de luxe, by the Michelin-starred chefs Chris and Jeff Galvin, who run restaurants including La Chapelle, Bistro de Luxe and Galvin at Windows. I've never eaten in any of their restaurants but my boyfriend's mum knows them through her job and got me a signed copy of their recipe book for Christmas.

Unfortunately I don't think I've got time to email the publishers to ask for permission to reproduce the whole recipe here in time to enter it in this month's Alphabakes, so I will give a general overview of how I made the dessert. As usual, I altered a few bits anyway, and I didn't bother with the homemade honeycomb that was also part of the recipe, to be served with the chocolate fondant.

To begin, I heated some cream

Then break up a small quantity of the Valrhona chocolate (I actually divided all quantities given by three, as the recipe was to serve six and I only wanted it for two people) and add to some cocoa powder. Pour the heated cream mixture over the top and stir until dissolved.

Line an ice cube tray with clingfilm and pour the chocolate mixture in. Freeze overnight.

This is the interesting part of the chocolate fondant - it's what I would call a reverse fondant! Usually they are served warm with a hot liquid centre, but this dessert is served at room temperature, with a cold liquid centre!

The next day, to make the main part of the dessert - melt the rest of the chocolate in a bain marie

Heat cream and trimoline. I'd never even heard of this and had to Google it; it's a type of inverted sugar used in the baking and confectionery industry to prevent recrystallization of sugar. I couldn't find any websites showing where I could buy this - though admittedly I didn't look all that hard, because I did find a few websites saying I could use honey as a substitute so I decided to do that instead.

Add the cream then cubes of chilled butter to the chocolate mixture

Pour half into two ramekins

Place one (or two, if they are quite small!) of the frozen chocolate cubes in the middle

Pour the rest of the chocolate mixture over the top

Refridgerate - I think the recipe said for about two hours, but I found them very solid so took them out of the fridge at least an hour before we wanted to eat them. I also decorated the top with some Dr Oetker chocolate stars.

And serve! You can just see in this picture when you dig in with a spoon, the fondant is like a thick chocolate truffle texture, and there's a lovely liquid chocolate centre!

 This recipe was a bit of a faff, and I'm glad I didn't try to do the honeycomb at the same time - maybe next time! It tasted absolutely delicious though and was definitely worth the effort. My boyfriend commented that he thought it would taste just as nice using any good quality chocolate like Green & Black's, and that I should make it again but not necessarily go to the lengths (and cost) of ordering the Valrhona. I'd be interested to know if anyone else has tried Valrhona chocolate what they think!

I am entering my Valrhona chocolate fondant in Alphabakes, hosted by Ros from TheMoreThanOccasionalBaker, as this month the letter is V. You've still got until the 25th to enter, then check out my site on July 1st to find out the letter for next month!

 Laura Loves Cakes and Dolly Bakes are hosting a new challenge, Calendar Cakes, and their theme for this month is Euro 2012. As Valrhona chocolate is French, and France is still in Euro 2012 (so I'm told, I'm not a football fan!) then this should qualify as a suitable entry!

I'm updating this to share it with the Classic French challenge, as the theme this month is chocolate fondants. And I don't have the time right now to make one of these again! The challenge is hosted by Claire of Under the Blue Gum Tree on behalf of Jen at Blue Kitchen Bakes.


  1. Ooooo fabulous! How decadent...although I'll have to take your word that it tastes good as I don't eat chocolate That's some expensive chocolate!! :-) Thanks very much for entering our challenge!!

    1. It was lovely, but I don't think my taste buds are sufficiently refined to know one chocolate from another - I'm happy with a bar of Galaxy!

  2. Gosh, never seen the choc frozen for the middle before. It looks lush. Certainly would be interested in seeing you make a comparison version with G&B which would make it more affordable.

    1. It's a nice reversal on the usual chocolate fondant, isn't it? So far it's the only thing I've dared make out of that recipe book, it's all Michelin-starred type stuff! I was going to send this in for Made with Love Mondays but then read the full rules and realised chocolate might not count due to the fat content? But it certainly was a labour of love!

  3. I must register a complaint that I am craving this, and the only chocolate I have is a Fruit Club Biscuit. Bad times... Looks ace! X

    1. It was very rich and I actually couldn't quite finish it- so my boyfriend helped! Definitely the kind of dessert you only have occasionally as a treat!

  4. wow this looks AMAZING!! I really want to try it (will have to borrow that book from you one day) I love the reversal on a chocolate fondant and would also be interested to know if it tastes just as good with ordinary chocolate. Thanks for going to the expense for AlphaBakes - I'm sure there were no complaints from Mr :)

    1. Haha it was a tough task but someone had to do it!! I'd wanted to try this and some other types of chocolate since doing the chocolate workshop. The tutor was very much of the view that he would rather have a square of Valrhona than an entire bar of Dairy Milk - though I must not have particularly refined tastes as I'd take the bar of Dairy Milk!

  5. Wow this is great idea, a fun twist on the traditional fondant. The chocolate looks very tasty and I would love to just dive in with a spoon now.

    I must have missed this when you first posted it, thanks for linking it up with the Classic French challenge.

  6. Fabulous first entry for the Classic French challenge. Thanks so much for joining in. I asked for creative fondant ideas and this is certainly a novel take on the traditional recipe. It looks gorgeous!


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