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French food Friday - Chocolate, prune & brandy fondants


photo and  recipe from here

Bonjour mes belles,

I purchased French Boyfriend a fabulous bottle of armagnac for his birthday and used some to cook him a birthday dessert which went down a treat. 

This got me thinking that perhaps I should try and use more recipes that have armagnac in them as he obviously likes them and it comes from a part of France, that is not that far from where we live.

As I write this I am chomping on a prune, which as you know are rated as the best in the world and I love them. Agen is the prune capital and there are many prune producers not far from us.

Unfortunately the chocolate is not grown locally but the rest are local ingredients... 

Chocolate, prune and brandy fondants

Ingredients

  • 100g prunes, roughly chopped
  • 40ml brandy
  • A little cocoa powder for dusting
  • 150g dark chocolate, broken into small pieces
  • 150g unsalted butter, diced, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 large eggs
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 35g plain flour

Method

Soak the prunes in the brandy in a small bowl for at least 2 hours (overnight is fine), to absorb most of the liquid.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6 and put a baking tray inside to heat up. Butter 6 dariole moulds well and dust with cocoa.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir gently to blend and leave to cool a little.
Beat the eggs and sugar together with an electric whisk for at least 5 minutes until the mixture is thick and moussey and ‘holds a trail’ (when a little is dropped from the whisk it should sit on the surface of the mixture and only slowly sink back in).
Fold the melted chocolate and butter lightly into the egg mousse. Sift the flour over the mixture, then fold it in carefully. It needs to be thoroughly incorporated, but don’t overwork the mix. Fold in the prunes and brandy – again, carefully.
Divide the mixture between the dariole moulds. You can prepare the puds ahead to this point, if you like, and refrigerate them for up to 2 hours.
Bake the puds on the hot tray in the oven for 10–12 minutes. Go for the shorter time if your oven is very efficient or if your puds will be sitting around for a few minutes before serving. Go for the longer time if your oven is on the cool side or if they have been in the fridge. Turn out immediately into shallow bowls and serve at once, with chilled cream.

 bon vendredi à tous, Leeann x

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{fabulous shop in St Emilion, photo taken by moi}
Bonjour from a sunny but chilly SW France,

Hope that you had a nice weekend. We spent yesterday afternoon at a furniture auction but I will tell you more about that later in the week.

Last weekend we bought a lot of wine cases as we thought that they would make good storage, as shown in the photo above.

I particularly liked the idea of making a set of drawers with them or perhaps even a serving tray like this.

{photo from here}
We have quite a few boxes and wine box ends so any ideas that you have would be gratefully received...
Mille mercis et bonne semaine a tous.....

Leeann x

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