Monday, September 24, 2007

Fondant potatoes

How to make Fondant potatoes

"How do you make those amazing potatoes?" everyone keeps asking, "What's the recipe?" so this is how I make them (call it a recipe if you will):

How to cut fondant potatoes
Peeled or not peeled? If you're doing these at home, and you have relatively small potatoes you could leave the skin on. For cosmetic appearances, I cut them with a cutter as shown below. There is a link on the left sidebar to a great set of cutters ideal for fondant potatoes!
If you leave the skin on the potatoes while you cut you can make chunky oven bake chips with the trimmings as shown below. If you peel them before cutting you can use the trimmings to make mashed potato, which can be used fresh or frozen for future use.

Cut the top of the potato so you have a flat surface.

Turn around and do the same with the other side.
You cut out the potatoes with a cutter. Now, carefully with a small vegetable knife, run around the sides of the cutter to release the trimmings. Now with a potato peeler go around the edges so you have a 45 degree angle edge which prevents the edges from burning. If you are cutting these in advance you can store in water in the fridge.


How do you cook fondant potatoes?

They are cooked in chicken stock, a little butter (about 80 - 100g will do 12) and thyme. You can also add garlic, lemon, bayleaves, saffron etc. You cook them in this till the liquid is reduced to half, turn them and keep cooking till the liquid is reduced to a thick syrupy glaze.

The whole of the stove is taken up with cooking 180 fondant
potatoes for a wedding in August 2008
Then you transfer them to a baking tray and spoon the glaze on top to coat them - it should be like spooning syrup on top - then bake them till they are crisp and golden, about 15 - 20 minutes at 180 oC.
Served with the fillet of beef:

Fillet of beef with oxtail, caramelised shallots and fondant potato.
See more on this dish here.

6 Hour cooked shoulder of Home Farm lamb with roasted lamb cutlet served with leek stuffed fondant potato, steamed kale, broad beans and balsamic jus
Fondant potatoes stuffed with leeks - it's like the fondant potato suprise see more here.

Leek filled fondant potatoes at a wedding
Can I make fondant potatoes in advance?

Yes - you can also make these the day before, leave them to cool and refrigrate them. To reheat pop them in the oven on a baking tray for around 15 minutes at 180 oC.

What type of potato do I use for fondant potatoes?

For flavour - I always favour desiree. A good all rounder is maris piper. Estima are great too - depending on time of year. Near the end of the season they get floury and tend to fall apart when making fondants.

Can I freeze fondant potatoes?

Yes! Best way is to prepare them as above, transfer them to the baking tray and spoon the glaze over as above, but at this point let them cool down and the glaze set on top. Freeze them at this point - with enough space between so they don't stick together. They can go straight into the oven frozen to finish cooking - c 25 - 30 minutes till golden (and of course - hot in the middle). At first as they defrost they look soggy - don't worry however - it's the science of freezing starch. Once they are up to temperature they are completely back to normal!

Using the potato off-cuts

The off-cuts from the potatoes make great chunky potato wedges - roll in olive oil and maybe a little smoked salt:. Serve with homemade tomato ketchup.
FAQ - Why are they called 'fondant' potatoes?
It's hard to find a definition. If you wiki fondant it tells you fondant is water and sugar cooked to the soft ball stage. Fondant is a base ingredient all pastry chefs have stored ready to make sweets and icing. A similar proccess is taking place when you cook fondant potatoes but with stock (aka water) and butter instead of the sugar.
When I asked the first time I ever cooked them, at Charingworth Manor, I was told fondant means 'cooked in their own juices'. When we did them there, they were cooked just in butter (lots of), garlic and herbs - it turns the humble potato into almost a confection - so we're back to the origins of 'fondant' being in the pastry kitchen again. I prefer using chicken stock as well - it gives you more flavour. And less calories of course.

Cider fondant potatoes
Instead of cooking these in chicken stock you could use cider, or a combination of the two. Beer? Well I haven't tried, but it's an idea.......

Related posts:
Rosti potato
Dauphinoise potato
Rosemary roast potatoes pronto
Boulangere potato
Mashed/ creamed potato
Sunday roast
Grilled fillet of beef with oxtail, caramelised shallots and fondant potato

5 comments:

Jan said...

Oooh thank you - You have saved my life!
I need to make those but had no idea how to! A fantastic blog you have here by the way!

Checkboard said...

Fondant Potatoes - Fondant is the French adjective for "melting", hence the name.

Anonymous said...

This sounds DIVINE!
I ran across these 2 words on the menu of Buxted Park Hotel, E. Sussex, where a former priest/employer of mine in Connecticut/USA lived, after he moved back to the UK. He was the parish priest, near the manor.
I need to make this.

James said...

Yes - everyone needs fondant potatoes in their lives! :o)

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