Chocolate and coffee fondant fancies Recipe

  • 5 free-range eggs
  • 165g/5¾oz caster sugar
  • 5 tsp coffee extract (or 2 tsp instant espresso powder dissolved in 25ml/1fl oz boiling water, cooled)
  • 150g/5½oz plain flour
  • 10g/½oz cocoa powder
  • 40g/1½oz unsalted butter, melted
  • 190g/6½oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 375g/13oz icing sugar, sifted
  • 2 tbsp Irish cream liqueur
  • 90g/3¼oz dark chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
  • 720g/1lb 9½oz icing sugar, sifted
  • 40g/1½oz glucose syrup
  • 50g/1¾ oz white chocolate, melted (optional)
  • 20 chocolate coffee beans (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4. Grease and line a 35x25cm/14x10in Swiss roll tin with baking paper.
  2. Add the eggs and sugar to a large heatproof mixing bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water. (Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.)
  3. Using an electric handheld whisk, whisk the mixture on low speed for about 3 minutes until the mixture is warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk on high speed for 7 minutes until trebled in volume. The mixture should hold ribbons on the surface when the beater is lifted. Whisk in the coffee extract or espresso.
  4. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into the mixture in thirds, gently folding each batch in using a large metal spoon until completely combined. Slowly pour the melted butter against the inside of the bowl and fold in very gently.
  5. Gently pour the mixture into the prepared tin and tilt the tin to even out the surface. Push the mixture into all the corners. Bake for 15 minutes until slightly springy to the touch. Cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, for the buttercream, whisk the butter with a handheld electric whisk until light and fluffy. Gradually add the icing sugar on a low speed, then mix on high speed for 5 minutes. Whisk in the Irish cream liqueur the set aside until needed.
  7. When the cake is completely cool, cut in half to make two rectangles about 17.5×12.5cm/7x5in each. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on top of one rectangle. Place the other on top. Freeze for 10 minutes to firm up the icing.
  8. Remove the cake from the freezer. Trim the edges square with a sharp serrated knife, then measure a grid to divide the cake into 3.5cm/1¼in squares. Carefully cut the sponge into individual fancies. Return the cakes to the freezer for at least 20 minutes until they are firmly frozen.
  9. Working with three fancies at a time, spread the buttercream thinly, but smoothly, around the sides and top before returning them to the freezer. Repeat with the remaining fancies, ensuring that they all are in the freezer for 20 minutes before applying the fondant.
  10. For the chocolate fondant, melt the dark chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave or over a pan of simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.
  11. Mix the sifted icing sugar in a large heatproof bowl with 125ml/4fl oz water and the glucose syrup. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stirring constantly, cook the fondant until it reaches 45C. Remove from the heat and allow it to cool to 38C. Stir in the melted chocolate. Place the bowl back over the heat to maintain a temperature of 38C – this is warm enough to pour smoothly but cool enough not to slide off the fancies.
  12. Place a large thin-wire cooling rack over a baking tray to catch any drips of fondant. Take each fondant from the freezer and insert a fork horizontally in the bottom layer of sponge. Hold the fancy over the bowl of fondant and generously spoon over the fondant to completely cover the sides and top. Gently tap to shake off any excess icing, then place on the cooling rack to set, using another fork to push the fancy free.
  13. When set, carefully lift the fancies from the cooling rack with a large offset palette knife. Decorate the top of the fancies with a swirl of buttercream, piped lines of white chocolate or chocolate coffee beans, as desired.