Moelleux vs Fondant au chocolat

In ” Death by Chocolate Cooking Class” I referred to the moelleux au chocolat that we made, but didn’t give the full recipe, and forgot to mention a key debate that came up in the class. What in the world is the official difference between a moelleux and a fondant au chocolat?? It feels like restaurants in Geneva have a tendency to use moelleux and fondant interchangeably on their menus. In my mind, the answer is in the name: a moelleux is gooey and unctuous in the center, but not runny like pure melted chocolate. A fondant (literally french for “melting”) does in fact have pure melted chocolate in the center, which runs a little when you get to it. Like a molten lava chocolate cake, for the americans among us.

What a runny moelleux au chocolat looks like...

What a fondant au chocolat should look like...

In terms of recipes, the chef was pretty clear on what the difference was. A fondant follows pretty much the same recipe as a moelleux, except in the center you put in a dollop of ganache or a piece of chocolate. Since there is no flour in that part of the mixture, it doesn’t bake, it just goes all gooey. Yum right?

A moelleux on the other hand can bake all the way through, if you leave it in the oven long enough. So, since I skipped out on all this last time, by instant popular demand (read: one person suggested in passing that I post it), here is the recipe for the moelleux au chocolat that was developed by the instructor, Chef Brett Solochek, and that we used in this week’s chocolate class:

Moelleux au chocolat

Ingredients:

  • 300g dark chocolate (70%)
  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 300g of powdered sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 150g white flour
What next?
  • Melt the chocolate and the butter in a double boiler. The water should never boil. If you don’t know what a double boiler is, blame your parents and then have a look at these helpful illustrations.
  • Meanwhile: Preheat the oven to 200C. Beat the eggs by hand, folding in the sugar until the mixture goes frothy and white. Mix the melted chocolate in with the egg mixture until even. Using a sieve, mix the flour in little by little.
  • Grab your dish(es) of choice. In our case, we used ramequins to make single helpings, like in restaurants. Butter the bottoms and sides of these COMPLETELY. I mean there shouldn’t be a single millimeter left uncovered. Then dust a layer of flour over that.
  • Now, you can finally pour in the chocolate, filling each dish up to about 2/3rds.  Put them in the fridge for at least 40 minutes. Then put them in the oven for 13-15 minutes.
  • Pull out of the oven, turn over the ramequins to release the cakes, and serve with whatever your sweet tooth obnoxiously demands. For the classic, try whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
The verdict:
This recipe gave a really rich, unctuous, but extremely runny moelleux au chocolat. Now, as a Genevoise at heart, I have to be honest and say that as delicious as these were, they just were not moelleux enough for me. Maybe if they were left in the oven for another few minutes, the center would have been moist and unctuous, with just a little bit of melted runny chocolate in the center. Which, if you ask me, is the what a proper moelleux should be like. Moelleux. NOT fondant! But ultimately, this is a question of taste I think, so taste test yer hungry little hearts out, and let us know where you stand!

Moelleux: the REAL THING!

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One thought on “Moelleux vs Fondant au chocolat

  1. It looks divine both ways – absolutely fantastic.

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