Monday, 27 May 2013

White Chocolate and Honey Coulant with Macadamias and Pistachios

I haven’t added any recipes to the blog lately because, due to circumstances being completely out of control, I haven’t cooked anything for several months. I'm hoping that situation will change soon, but for now here’s something that I baked last year and didn't get around to posting.

I'm aware that the world is in danger of disappearing under a sea of chocolate fondant and coulant recipes but they’re undeniably delicious and decadent and there’s still something special about cutting into a little cake and watching the chocolaty loveliness flow out.

This particular version is adapted from a recipe by Pierre-Yves Lorgeoux of the ‘Le Pyl-Pyl’ restaurant in Vichy. I’d love to say that I've been there but I have to confess that I saw it on an episode of ‘Les Escapades de Petitrenaud’ a while ago. It does look to be an excellent restaurant, though, so if you’re ever in the area maybe you could go on my behalf. You can find the original recipe here.
White Chocolate and Honey Coulant Uncut
I can still remember the first time I ate a chocolate coulant (or was it a fondant?) on a warm summer night in a little restaurant near the Picasso Museum in Paris. They say you never forget your first time. Ah, it seems such a long time ago now. Funnily enough, that’s because it was a long time ago.
White Chocolate and Honey Coulant
This will make 4 little coulants.

150 g white chocolate, broken into pieces
120 g unsalted butter
3 eggs
40 ml runny honey
40 ml agave nectar (you could use more honey instead)
70 g plain flour, sifted
40 g macadamias, broken into chunks
30 g pistachios, roughly chopped
Some extra butter and icing sugar to coat the ramekins

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Thoroughly butter four ramekins and dust generously with icing sugar. Pour off any excess icing sugar.

Melt the butter and chocolate together in a bowl placed over simmering water, with plenty of stirring. Set aside to cool a little.

Whisk the eggs with the honey and agave nectar. Once thoroughly mixed and lighter in colour, gradually pour in the chocolate and butter mixture while continuing to whisk. Stir in the flour followed by the nuts.

Pour the mixture into the ramekins and place in the oven for 12 – 14 minutes. It’s difficult to be exact about the timing since I've found to my cost that ramekins heat up at very different rates. You want the edges to be spongy but set and the centre to be very soft without feeling too liquid if you touch it lightly.

As soon as they’re out of the oven, run a knife around the inside edge of the ramekins in case of any recalcitrant sticky bits and invert the coulants onto serving plates. If they seem to be sticking too much or you just don’t fancy the stress, you can always eat them out of the ramekins. It might not look quite so impressive but they’ll taste just as good.

Personally I like these just on their own but they would certainly go nicely with a little ice cream. They’re fairly rich – even I couldn't eat two. Well, maybe not.

15 comments:

  1. Never heard of a coulant, but now I am intrigued - these look lovely Phil!

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  2. mmm boy, this looks great! i have also never had a coulant, these look just lovely. very excited to try.

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  3. Never heard of a coulant either but anything with white chocolate, honey, pistachios and macadamias sounds like a winner in my book. Definitely bookmarking this recipe to try.

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  4. It's nice to have you back, Phil, I was wondering where you'd gone !!
    These look lovely. I have never heard them called coulants before, but a chocolate fondant is my favourite dessert to order in any restaurant. A white chocolate one would be spectacularly indulgent I think.

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    1. Well, the only difference between a coulant and a fondant - at least in theory - is that a coulant is a fair bit runnier than a fondant. I think restaurants invented the name to prevent customers complaining that their fondant was just too liquid. I suppose it's like the difference between a thick and a thin custard. Personally, I like them all - probably too much for my own good.

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  5. Good lord. Do they make shorts for swimming in that? I'm diving in!!! Glorious pudding. Nice to have you back!

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  6. These look delicious,Phil. Definitely on my 'to do' list. Nice to see you again.

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  7. Oh good to hear from you Phil, I've missed you. Hope whatever it is that is preventing you from cooking isn't too awful. I'm joining the ranks of "never heard of coulants", but now I have, there will be no stopping me.

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  8. so lovely to see your posts again Phil - and what a come back, this is a delicious treat - would have loved to havbe a bit of that chocolatey loveliness now!

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  9. Hope things get better for you soon! I've also never heard of coulants before and I've never seen a white chocolate fondant before either but this looks really good - I wish I could have a taste now.

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  10. It is difficult to blog all the time as this is not a paid job but only a passion to do in our spare time. Nevertheless when you post a recipe it is def, going to be a very good one! All your recipes are very refined and delicious like this dessert. It looks like something out of a very posh restaurant!

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  11. I always thought fondants and coulants were the same thing, being simply a matter of choice which descriptor one uses (fondant: melting, coulant: flowing). I've seen the terms used interchangeably with seemingly little differentiation.

    I'm puzzled why folk get so excited over this particular method of preparation - the liquid centre is simply uncooked cake batter. I'm not sure too many people would happily sit and eat a bowl of uncooked cake batter, given the choice.

    My personal preference is for the liquid ganache centres in the style of Michel Bras' original Biscuit de Chocolat Coulant, a much more impressive dessert and relatively simple to make.

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  12. Dear Phil, I hope all is well and that you will be able to cook real soon.
    This dessert looks terrific.
    It sounds lovely the memory of the first time you ate this coulant or fondant. However you pronounce this dessert it looks wonderful.
    Thank you for visiting and I hope you are cooking soon.
    Blessings, Catherine

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  13. Hello, blog hopping and found your beautiful blog.

    Nice post, the dish looks delicious.

    Please visit my blogs also and feel free to add comments.

    Thanks
    Rajiv
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  14. Wow! I've never heard of coulant - I definitely think I need to pay more attention to desserts next time I'm in France. This looks amazing, macadamias and pistachios are my favourite of all nuts so this is a dream for me! I like how it looks all demure and perfectly formed in the first picture and then when you crack into it all the gooey centre spills out.

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