Blanc’s got a few Michelin Stars to spare with his cooking inspired by his childhood in the French countryside made with fresh, high quality ingredients. However, his signature dish is a bit of a surprise – a chocolate fondant, a dish all the rage in the 70s, and Blanc’s version has never been bettered.
Salted Caramel: Place the dark muscovado sugar and cream in a saucepan. Using wet hands and spoon, add the glucose (which sticks to dry hands) to the sugar and cream mixture and bring to the boil. Meanwhile, heat the caster sugar in another pan over a low heat, stirring continuously until caramelised. Remove from the heat.
Carefully, pour the hot cream and glucose mixture over the caramelised sugar and return the mixture to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the caramel mixture has thickened and darkened. Stir in the salt and black pepper and stir gently once more. Set aside to cool. Freeze the caramel in ice cube trays until set.
Grease the insides of 4 ring moulds, 5cm in diameter and 6cm deep, with butter.
Mix together the cocoa powder and caster sugar until well combined, and dust the inside of the ring moulds with the mixture, shaking off any excess. Place the prepared ring moulds onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Meanwhile, place the eggs and egg yolk into a bowl and whisk together until pale and fluffy.
Sift the icing sugar into the whisked eggs, whisking until well combined. Next, add the arrowroot and whisk until the mixture is pale, thick, has doubled in volume and the beaters leave a trail on the surface of the mixture when lifted. Next whisk the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until well combined.
Using a ladle,fill each of the prepared ring moulds with the chocolate fondant mixture until they are three-quarters full. Add one piece of frozen caramel to the centre of each ring mould and press down. Cover the caramel cube with the fondant mixture. Chill the chocolate fondants in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
When the chocolate fondants have chilled, preheat the oven to 200C/ Gas Mark 6 and bake for just 5 minutes. Remove the fondants from the oven and allow to cool.
When the fondants have cooled, run a butter knife around the insides of each mould to loosen the fondants. Carefully remove the moulds, and chill the fondants in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
For the chocolate sauce, heat the milk in a pan until just simmering. Add the chocolate and whisk well until smooth and well combined, then remove from the heat.
When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 180C/ Gas Mark 4. Bake the fondants for 8 minutes.
To serve, place a spoonful of the chocolate sauce into the centre of each of four serving plates, and place the fondants on top. Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and a scoop of ice cream.