Chocolate Hazelnut Fondant with Drunken Sloes
If you’ve made our recipe for sloe gin and/or sloe cider, this is the perfect way to give the booze-soaked fruit a final, glorious send-off. The sloes taste a little like sour cherries, their tartness a lovely contrast to the rich, soft chocolate truffle and toasty hazelnuts.
- 80g shelled, skinned cobnuts or filberts
- 50g gin- or cider-infused sloes, drained
- 150ml double cream
- 25g light muscovado sugar
- 2 teaspoons runny honey
- Generous pinch of sea salt
- 150g dark chocolate (miminum 70% cocoa solids)
- Preheat the oven to 150˚C. Roughly chop the nut kernels and scatter them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven and set a timer for 5 minutes (this is important – it’s all too easy to forget and end up with a tray of burnt nuts). When the timer goes off, check to see if the nuts are golden and aromatic – if very moist they may need up to 10 minutes longer, but keep setting the timer for 5 minutes and checking until they’re done. When the nuts are golden brown, remove from the oven and tip onto a plate to cool.
- Stone the sloes: the best way to do this is to use a cherry stoner or olive pitter (either of these gadgets will push the stone out of the fruit without also removing half of the flesh).
- Line a 1kg loaf tin with a strip of baking parchment cut to the width of its base, leaving it long enough to allow some paper to overhang the sides of the tin. Wet the parchment lightly to make it stick to the tin.
- Set a large heatproof basin over a pan of just-simmering water. Add the cream, sugar, honey and salt and warm gently for about 4 minutes, then add the broken up chocolate and turn off the heat. Leave to slowly melt for around 5 minutes, stirring just once or twice to check on the progress (be patient – if you heat the mixture too much or stir too often you may cause the chocolate to split, and then it will only be good for the dustbin). Once the chocolate has melted, tip in the toasted nuts and sloes. Stir briefly and gently to combine, then pour into the prepared loaf tin. Shake gently to level, and allow to cool completely before putting in the fridge. Leave it for a couple of hours or ideally overnight to set.
- Remove from the fridge just before you want to serve. Use the parchment to lift out the bar of chocolate and, using a sharp knife, slice into slim fingers. If you’re offering these around, put each finger in a square of baking parchment, to make them easier to handle, and turn them on their side to expose the pretty mosaic of fruit and nuts embedded in the chocolate. In the unlikely event that any of the truffle fingers are uneaten, store them in an airtight container in the fridge.
Recipe and photos by Otherwise for Wild Food UK