With a reputation for bringing many a cook to their knees - it’s the lake of molten chocolate that pours out of of these wonderfully indulgent chocolate pots that makes them so special.

Firstly, check that your oven temperature is spot-on before these little puds go in. Timing is also crucial, and will be affected by the thickness and depth of your ramekins – use your instincts if yours are bigger or smaller than suggested. If you’re making them for a special occasion, it’s a good idea to make an extra one for back-up. Then, if all goes well, you’ll have a spare (guard it well). Once you’ve mastered the basics, try experimenting with orange, liqueur, berries or caramel.

Here’s our step-by-step guide to the perfect chocolate fondants. Take a look at our flavour twists at the bottom of this feature, too.

CHOCOLATE FONDANTS RECIPE

Serves: 4
Total time: 25 minutes

25g unsalted butter, (at room temperature), plus extra for greasing
175g quality dark chocolate (70%)
75g caster sugar
2 large free-range eggs
25g plain flour
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Place a baking sheet in the oven to heat up, and grease 4 x 160ml ramekins.

    Chocolate fondants - lining a ramekin

  2. Break up the chocolate and melt in bain marie, then remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.

  3. Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time.

    Chocolate fondants - adding eggs

  4. Stir in the flour until just combined, then gently mix in the melted chocolate – the mixture should thicken quite a bit.

    Chocolate fondants - adding the chocolate

  5. Add the vanilla and a pinch of sea salt.

    Chocolate fondants - adding vanilla

  6. Divide between the moulds and bake on the preheated baking sheet for 8 minutes.

    Chocolate fondants - dividing between moulds

  7. Turn out immediately and tuck in.

TIP: You could also use this recipe to make one large fondant – simply bake in a 400ml ceramic dish for 18 to 20 minutes.

4 FLAVOUR TWISTS

CARAMEL – Freeze 4 teaspoons of dulce de leche or toffee sauce in 4 holes of an ice-cube tray for 2 to 3 hours. When filling the moulds, stop halfway and add the frozen dulce de leche, then continue to fill.

CARAMEL & NUTS – Follow the recipe as for the caramel twist above, and add ½ teaspoon of crushed hazelnuts.

BERRY – Add a few berries, such as raspberries, blackberries or stoned cherries, halfway through filling each mould.

CHOCOLATE ESPRESSO – Add ½ tablespoon of extra flour and 25ml cooled espresso to the batter.

For more chocolate inspiration, take a look at our gorgeous collection of recipes. And check out our selection of brilliant bakes, too.