CHOCOLATE AND STAR ANISE FONDANTS
Prep time 20 mins, plus chilling Cooking time 15 mins
FOR THE COATING: 50g unsalted butter, melted Cocoa powder, for dusting FOR THE FONDANTS: 200g dark chocolate (70 per cent cocoa solids), melted 200g cold unsalted butter 200g caster sugar 4 whole medium eggs, plus 4 egg yolks 200g plain flour, sifted 4 tsp star anise, ground with a pestle and mortar and passed through a small, fine sieve Brush 8 ramekins with melted butter, making upward strokes. Place the ramekins on a baking tray in the freezer for 10 minutes. Take the ramekins out again, brush them once more with melted butter, and put them back in the freezer for 10 minutes. Take them out and dust the insides with cocoa powder, making sure to tap out any excess. To make the fondants, preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C. Melt chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, being careful not to allow the bowl to touch the water. Roughly chop butter and add to the chocolate, stirring until it melts in. Whisk sugar and eggs until they are light and fluffy and doubled in size. This will take about 5 minutes in a stand mixer, or 5-10 minutes with a handheld mixer. Add the butter and chocolate mixture, and mix. Now add flour and star anise, and fold in using a large metal spoon. Divide the mixture between the ramekins, leaving a 1cm gap at the top of each. Cook for 10-12 minutes. The fondants will start to come away from the sides of the ramekins. Take them out of the oven, and leave in the ramekins for 1 minute only. They will still be hot, but they need to be turned out straightaway and served, otherwise the residual heat will cook them right through.
You can freeze the fondants before baking, ready for another occasion. If you are cooking from frozen, cook at 200°C/fan 180°C for 17 minutes.