Dark chocolate fondant with chestnut and squash

Not yet rated

Nigel Mendham's fondant recipe is decidedly wintery, featuring cold weather ingredients like squash and chestnut. The choice of flavours is a shrewd one, as Potimarron squash has a distinct chestnutty quality so marries nicely with the ice cream.

First published in 2016




Chocolate fondant

Chestnut ice cream

Squash purée

Pumpkin granola

To serve


  • Blender
  • Piping bag and nozzle
  • Sous vide bags
  • Metal rings
  • Sous vide equipment
  • Pacojet


First make the chestnut ice cream. Boil the milk, cream and chestnut purée in a pan with 85g of the sugar, making sure that the sugar dissolves
  • 85g of sugar
  • 70g of milk
  • 90g of double cream
  • 140g of chestnut purée, unsweetened
Whisk together egg yolks and the rest of the sugar. Temper the eggs with the cream. This is done by gradually pouring the warmed cream mixture into the eggs. Return to the pan and gently heat until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, seasoning with salt and lemon juice if necessary
Pass the custard through a sieve, check the seasoning and freeze (you can also use an ice cream maker - in which case, churn straight-away). Once frozen, churn in a Pacojet and store in the freezer until ready to serve
For the purée, peel the squash, remove the seeds and chop into small pieces. Add the squash pieces to a vac pac bag along with the syrup and vanilla. Seal and cook at 85°C for 1 hour
Remove the squash from the bag and blend until smooth. Set aside until needed
Preheat the oven to 175°C/gas mark 4
To make the pumpkin granola, toast the oats in a pan until golden brown. Roast the pumpkin seeds, poppy seeds, mixed spice and sesame seeds in the oven for 5 minutes
Warm the liquid glucose, honey and pumpkin seed oil in a pan and puff the rice in a hot fryer
  • 40g of rice
  • 105g of liquid glucose
  • 105g of honey
  • 4g of pumpkin seed oil
Drain the puffed rice on some kitchen paper. When the glucose mixture starts to bubble, remove from the heat and add the roasted seeds, puffed rice and oats to the pan. Season with the salt, mix well and spread onto a lined baking tray. Allow to cool before crumbling into pieces
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
For the fondant, gently melt the chocolate and butter together in a bain marie. Then, whisk the egg yolks, whole eggs and sugar together until tripled in volume
Slowly fold the melted chocolate into the eggs and sugar, followed by the flour. Transfer the fondant mix into piping bags and grease the rings. Pipe 60g of the fondant mixture into each ring. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes - the centres should still be runny
To plate, arrange the chocolate fondants onto plates and lightly dust with icing sugar. Add a quenelle of the squash purée and chestnut ice cream alongside and scatter around some pumpkin granola. Top the ice cream with a few slices of shaved chestnut and drizzle some pumpkin oil onto the plate before serving
First published in 2016

Nigel Mendham has proved himself to be as adaptable as he is talented, prospering in restaurants all over Britain and winning great acclaim for his deftly classical cuisine.

Get in touch

Please sign in or register to send a comment to Great British Chefs.