Dark Chocolate Fondant, Orange Curd and Orange Salsa

Dark Chocolate Fondant, Orange Curd, Orange Salsa and Soil (1)

For those who read my post on the Pannacotta, here is finally the outcome of our hard, hard work for the competition.

We had this awesome opportunity as a college to participate to the 2015 Oceanafest in Perth.
Once we decided who our teams were it was time to decide what food we were planning to present.
We had a cold static (a list of canapes, cold entree, cold main and cold dessert), which we weren’t that worried about. As the word itself states, it is static so we had to prepare it a day before and set it with aspic.

The live cooking was the one that excited us the most. Each one of us had to do either an entree, a main or a dessert. Guess who did dessert??? Moi!!! Not really by choice and not really by force. It was just all about the team and who was strong in what. So even though I have no pastry qualification and no pastry skill (just basic) that was what I was going to do.

Weeks before the competition, we had a massive research and came up with an amazing strategically delicious menu, but thanks to the suppliers who were not cooperative and to the time limit of the competition we decided to change it. We still came up with a great menu, which incorporated skill, technique and taste. Especially taste!

We had 50 minutes, including set up, cooking, plating, serving and cleaning up. So this meant that we had to cook and present within 30 minutes. No pressure…Arrrghhh!!!

Oh did I mention that we were NOT allowed to HELP each other? Each one of us had to silently concentrate on our course.

Our coach was Helen, our Term 2 lecturer in commercial cookery class. So we were comfortable working with her, we knew that she would push and push us until we got to perfection. That is exactly what happened. We tried our menu again and again and over and over again. Some days the taste wasn’t right, some days the timing was too long, and other days the presentation simply wasn’t inviting. We were frustrated and I admit that there were days when the nerves were so tense that I just wanted to give up.
But we were a strong team, we built and supported each other a lot.

Try 4 Try Try 5

Try 1

Try 3 Try 2

The D-day, meeting point at school at 5:30 AM, we had to be at the Convention Center, where the competition was held, by 6 AM. To set up our cold static menu that had to be judged by 7:30 AM.

There were 4 teams from our school and we were the 2nd team to compete. We were so thrilled and some how calm.
We had heard over and over again Mis en Place, so we all knew that we had to be organised.
We were ready and pumped up.

Team A went up and did a great job. Then it was time for us to own what we went there for.
Of course we wanted a medal, but the biggest accomplishment would have been to do a great job, finish on time, have a great feedback from the judges. We wanted to experience that special moment, an opportunity that we may never have again. The opportunity to be judged by people who have no clue of who we were, what skills we had, where we came from etc etc. A different kinda feedback that you would get from friends, family or even workmates.

We did a very good job and finished everything on time. We made simple mistakes that penalised us. But the judges loved our food.

We didn’t have negative feedbacks but some excellent advices on how and what to improve.

Sous Vide Salmon, Pea Puree, Pearl Cous Cous and Crispy Salmon Skin – salmon was cooked to perfection (Ajmal Jamal doesn’t even like salmon and yet he did a super amazing job)
Imagea courtesy to ACAE

Pan Roasted Quail, with Mushroom, Potato Puree, Crispy Pancetta and Quail Jus – most outstanding main of the day so far (Huyen Thu Nguyen deboned and supremed those tiny quails and made everything else on time and kept it cool when her quails flambeed, cuz she knew how to control the fire) She is a pro with Meat! She is a Vietnamese food Pro!


Dark Chocolate Fondant, Orange Curd, Orange Salsa, Soil and White Chocolate Ganache – tasted really good and was baked to the point (middle part was ouzy)

Dark Chocolate Fondant, Orange Curd, Orange Salsa and SoilCan you by any chance see a pattern in this? Let me help you, we all were out of our comfort zone.
Ajmal doesn’t like salmon, doesn’t eat and yet he practiced, he studied and gave an outstanding dish.
Huyen loves cooking Vietnames food, but is not confident with Western Style of cooking. She stepped into a main recipe that wasn’t anywhere near Oriental/Vietnamese Cuisine.
I wasn’t a qualified Pastry Chef, and yet I researched, I tried, I failed, asked for advice and it paid off.

oceanafest_team B
Image courtesy to ACAE

4 teams – 2 teams won gold medals and 2 teams won the silver medal. Plus all the other medal winners for various entries. I think our college was pretty proud of us :)


Image courtesy to ACAE

This is a delicious dessert, I loved making it and I loved tasting it. Place the white chocolate ganache on top of the fondant (the advise from the judges) and it will give it that extra decadent taste.

Bitter chocolate with a melted warm heart combined to the tangy, sweet orange curd. All complimented by the freshness of the orange salsa and the crunchiness of the soil.
It will impress anyone you will serve it to! I dare you, double dare. Prove me wrong 😉

Once you measure everything it will take you 30 minutes or less to make it.

Here is the list of ingredients and a work flow.

50g Dark chocolate
50g Butter
1 Egg yolk
1 Egg
50g Plain flour (sifted)
2 Oranges (juice and zest)
100g Butter (extra to coat the moulds)
100ml Orange juice
100g Sugar
100g Egg Yolks
1 Gelatine leaf
Orange zest
40g Caster sugar
40g Almond flour
25g Plain flour
15g Cocoa powder
20g Butter (melted)
100ml Cream
200g White chocolate
Pink salt flakes
1 Orange (diced)
Mint leaves (finely chopped)
Grand marnier
  1. Make the Orange Curd so it sets in the fridge
  2. Make the White Chocolate ganache and set in the fridge
  3. Make the Soil and bake
  4. Make the Fondant and set in the fridge
  5. Make the Salsa
  6. Bake the Fondant
  7. Plate and taste this mind blowing dessert :)
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Dark Chocolate Fondant, Orange Curd and Orange Salsa

Dark Chocolate Fondant, Orange Curd, Orange Salsa and Soil (1)

By Dalia Bonfanti Published: October 14, 2015

  • Yield: 2 Servings
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Ready In: 30 mins

For those who read my post on the Pannacotta, here is finally the outcome of our hard, hard work for the competition. We had this …



  1. Coat the inside of the mould with butter and place them into the fridge. Melt the chocolate and butter together in a bowl over a pot of simmering water (make sure bottom of the bowl is not in contact with he water). Remove bowl from heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool. In another bowl whisk the eggs and yolks together with the sugar until thick and pale and the whisk leaves a trail. Add the flour into the eggs, and then beat together. Pour the melted chocolate into the egg beating until smooth Turn the the oven to 200C and cook for 10-12 minutes. Let the fondants sit for 1 minute before turning them on the plate.
  2. Preheat oven to 150 C. In a stand mixer beat all the ingredients (to mix them well). Meanwhile melt the butter in a bowl over a pot of simmering water (make sure the bottom of the bowl is not in contact with water). Pour in the melted butter and Mix until well combined and crumbly. Cover a baking tray with baking paper. Pour the mix and spread on the tray. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool.
  3. Zest the oranges. Cut the oranges and use juicer to extract the juice. In a pot combine the zest, orange juice, butter and sugar. Simmer until butter is melted. Place the gelatine leaf into cold water to soften. Whisk the egg yolks. Pour a little bit of the hot juice mixture into the egg yolk bowl while whisking quickly to temper the yolks(this will prevent them from scrambling). Pour the tempered mixture into the juice pot while whisking. Squeeze any excess water from the gelatine and whisk that through the mixture Put the pot back on the stove till the curd thickens and coats the back of a wooden spoon. Transfer into a container and cool.
  4. Heat the cream. Pour over the white chocolate buttons. Mix well until smooth and combined. Pour into a tall round container and cover with cling wrap (to prevent from forming a film on the top and dry out) and place into the fridge to set.
  5. Using a sharp knife slice the bottom and top of the orange. Slice away the skin of the orange from the flesh with a sharp knife using downward strokes (follow the shape of the orange). Remove any white pith that may remain. Slice thinly one side of the orange to create a flat surface. Cut a thicker slice and dice the slice into small, same size cubes. Repeat on the other half of the orange Wash the mint leaves and place one on top of the other, to create a stack. Starting from the long edge closest to you, roll up tightly to create a cigar shape. Using a sharp knife start to slice crossways. And finely chop with knife. In a bowl combine the grand marnier, fresh orange cubes and fresh mint.
  6. Plate up and enjoy :)

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