Dark chocolate fondant, honeycomb and watercress sorbet

Ingredients

For the sorbet (makes 1 litre):

  • 600ml water

  • 50g caster sugar

  • 4 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and diced

  • 170g watercress

  • 120ml apple juice

  • 60ml lemon juice

For the honeycomb (makes 1 tray):

  • 200g caster sugar

  • 60g golden syrup

  • 200ml glucose syrup

  • 20g bicarbonate of soda

For the fondants:

  • 50g plain flour

  • 85g caster sugar

  • 85g dark chocolate, chopped

  • 3 eggs

  • 85g butter

  • Extra soft butter for lining moulds

  • Cocoa powder for coating moulds


Method

First, make the sorbet. Bring the water and sugar to the boil, then add the apples and simmer until they are cooked through and soft.  Add the watercress then remove from the heat and leave to rest for 1 minute.  Place the mixture in a blender and blend until as smooth as possible, then strain through a fine sieve into a bowl.  Stir in the lemon juice and allow to cool in the fridge.  Finally, pour the mixture into the bowl of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  Transfer to a storage container, cover tightly and freeze for at least half an hour or until ready to serve.


To make the fondant mix, add the chocolate and butter to a heat-proof bowl and place over a pan of boiling water until melted. Remove from the heat then allow to cool for a few minutes before mixing in the flour, sugar and eggs.  Allow to cool.


While the mix is cooling, use a pastry brush to evenly coat the inside of two 8cm metal moulds with soft butter.  Once coated with butter, add a tablespoon of cocoa to each and keep tipping the moulds round until the entire inside is coated with a fine layer of flour.  Tap out the excess.  Split the mixture evenly between the moulds and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before cooking.


Make the honeycomb by first lining a deep 30cm x 20cm tray with parchment paper. Add the sugar, golden syrup and glucose syrup to a large heavy bottomed pan, then place over a medium-high heat and cook until it turns a golden-brown caramel colour (or 165°C on a sugar thermometer).  With your lined tray ready, tip the bicarbonate of soda into the pan in one go and whisk in quickly.  The mixture will bubble up so be careful at this point, it will also be very hot!  Tip the mixture immediately into the lined tray, then give the tray a couple of taps to release any large air bubbles.  Allow to cool and set.  The honeycomb can be broken up and stored in an air tight container for up to two weeks.


Finally, preheat the oven to 190°C. Put the chilled fondants on a baking tray and place in the centre of the oven and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until a crust has formed on the top and the fondant has started to come away from the sides of the mould.   Remove from the oven and rest for 1 minute before turning out onto a plate.  Serve with a scoop of watercress sorbet and scattered pieces of honeycomb.

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