There's a reason why only the boldest and bravest bakers attempt to bake a melt-in-the-middle fondant.
Leave it in the oven too long and there will be no gloriously gooey chocolate centre which oozes out as you dig into it. But take it out of the oven too quickly and you’ll end up with a raw liquid mess on your plate which even the most dedicated of chocoholics won't want to touch.
This week, on The Great British Bake Off, it's pudding week. Along with budding bakers tackling the not-to-be-messed-with fondant, they'll also attempt to make a steamed pudding signature and a showstopper 'not to be trifled with'.
So if you're keen to get in on the pudding action and want to avoid a hot collapsing dessert, we've rounded up some top tips from our food assistant Vanessa Graham.
1. Make sure your mould is well greased
Fondants can be tricky but I’d suggest making sure your ramekin or pudding mould is well greased and floured as it gives the mixture something to ‘grab onto’ so it can rise evenly. It also means the mixture sticks to the dusting of flour or cocoa and not the tin! This means it will slide out nicely.
2. Match your dusting to your pudding colour
Try to use whatever is closest in colour to your mixture. So for chocolate melt in the middle puddings I’d use cocoa, but for something pale like raspberry I’d use flour. If you use flour on chocolate fondant the flour will show on the outside of the pudding.
3. How to know when they're cooked
I try to make sure my fondants have a bit of a wobble to them still, just a tiny bit of give when gently tapped.
4. Don't check them too early
Try not to check them too early – follow your recipe as you don’t want them to collapse. The puddings will start to pull away from the edge of the tin, but if they start to crack across the top then they’re overcooking.
5. A cheat's guide to making fondants
If you’re really not getting on with chocolate fondants, an easy cheat is to make ‘melt in the middle’ cupcakes - using a fairly thick chocolate cake mixture, pop a chocolate truffle (e.g. Lindor) in the centre of each cake and top with more mixture. Bake for the same amount of time as stated in the recipe, maybe another minute if especially pale. Serve warm with a dusting of icing sugar.