Who likes the combination of chocolate and ginger? After making a huge batch of chocolate ginger macarons, I had to share this Chocolate Ginger Fondant Cake – a family favourite with a wee kick to it. It’s such a quick and versatile French classic that lends itself to all sorts of delicious flavour alliances.
What’s more, it tastes even better next day! So, even although it’s quick to make, prepare this fondant a day before serving and you’re already prepared for tomorrow’s dessert.
French Fondant Classic Dessert
There’s nothing really mind-boggling new really. Based on a CLASSIC FRENCH FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE, a speciality of the Aquitaine region, the ratio is normally the equivalent amount (200g) of good quality dark (bittersweet) chocolate, butter and sugar with 4-5 eggs.
Over the years, however, I’ve lowered the sugar to appreciate the chocolate better – and, ever since I discovered Trish Deseine’s idea of adding just a tablespoon of flour “as an afterthought” (from her wonderful book, Nobody Does it Better), I’ve used this version and cut down the sugar. If you prefer to keep this cake gluten free, then omit the flour (or replace with almond flour).
This is my family’s favourite version with lowered sugar and added candied ginger.
Candied (Glacé) Ginger
Have I told you before about the fantastic candied (glacé) ginger we can get in France? The best hails from the market town of Apt in the Luberon (Provence), where it’s the world Capital of Candied Fruits. Apt Union is the address if you’re heading in that direction. Buy by the kilo, as it’s great value for money (incidentally, I see they only deliver in France). If you can’t find it, no worries – use stem ginger in syrup. It tends to be a lot hotter, so thinly slice it and add only as much as you dare! (update: I see you can buy candied ginger from Trader Joe’s, Amazon and Walmart in the USA)
Add candied ginger to chocolate macarons (as I do in the recipe in Mad About Macarons) and it’s the best surprise ever to bite into the middle of a fudgy, fondant macaron.
Back to the fondant cake!
Add That Extra Touch to Chocolate
As with many plain chocolate fondant cakes (including those chocolate coffee individual fondants), I adore melting a teaspoon of coffee granules into the chocolate. It brings out the earthiness of the chocolate and renders it extra smooth. If you prefer without the coffee, a couple of good pinches of salt (fleur de sel) is just as good, as I use in this recipe.
For spice lovers who want to go the full monty, then add a good pinch of cayenne pepper – you’ll see: bittersweet dark chocolate with cayenne is incredible!
Chocolate Ginger Fondant Cake: Serving Suggestions
Either serve on its own slightly warmed or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream (my favourite recipe is in my first book, ‘Mad About Macarons’) or this non-churn Drambuie ice cream.
However, if you want to serve it Parisian restaurant style, serve with a classic vanilla Crème Anglaise (the French answer to custard but served chilled and runny).
In Autumn, I love adding a touch of spice to the French custard, simply by adding some Chai tea.
This Chai Tea Creme Anglaise is the perfect match with just enough warming spice to complement the chocolate ginger fondant cake.
Chocolate Ginger Fondant Cake
- 200 g (7oz) dark (bittersweet) chocolate No less than 60% cacao
- 200 g (7oz) unsalted butter cut roughly into cubes
- 150 g (5.5oz) sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt (fleur de sel) (or tsp coffee granules if making a plain chocolate cake)*
- 5 organic eggs (medium)
- 1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour For GLUTEN FREE, replace with almond flour
- 50 g (2oz) candied ginger (or one stem ginger in syrup, sliced)
- Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan/360°F/Gas 4.
Grease a round cake tin (25cm/10 inch) and line with cooking parchment.
- Over a pot of simmering water, place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl (bain-marie) and melt the chocolate gently for about 10 minutes.
- As soon as the chocolate and butter have melted, take off the heat. Add the sugar and mix together with a spoon, gradually add the eggs and then add the flour, mixing until just combined.
- Place the candied ginger at the bottom of the cake tin then pour over the chocolate mixture and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven (don't worry if it looks uneven, it will flatten out while cooling) and leave to cool for about 20 minutes then turn out of the tin on to a serving plate.
It’s that time to think of some delicious gifts this year…
Can’t make it to Paris? Create many Parisian teacakes and pastries with my second book, ‘Teatime in Paris‘.
Turn them into Personalised Gifts
Both my recipe books, Mad About Macarons and Teatime in Paris (my personal favourite, as it’s macaron recipes plus pastries and Paris talk too), are great gifts. If you grab your copy now, I can send you a personalised label to stick inside either book.
Just let me know by getting in touch privately via this contact form with your address details, what you’d like me to say in particular, and I’ll send it out to you with the warmest of wishes!