Recipe: Chocolate Truffle and fondant dessert

PUBLISHED: 10:09 22 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:09 22 May 2017




This year marks the Pig & Whistle’s fifth anniversary, but when owner Brendan Curran purchased the 15th century building, catering was the last thing on his mind.


Previously senior VIP cabin crew with an Irish airline, Brendan was moved to Southend. ‘I had planned to settle down and buy a house, but ended up buying a pub! My partner Justin is from Essex and when we came across the Chignalls it made me think of my home.

All of the open countryside and the lovely green fields remind me of Waterford in Ireland.’ Brendan’s passion is not only for great food, but exceptional service. ‘As soon as you walk in, the team are there to greet you in person, and that includes me.’

Here Brendan shares a recipe for a decadent dessert:


Serves 8-10

For the fondant sponge base

250g of dark chocolate

200g of unsalted butter

10 egg yolks

250g of icing sugar

100g of plain flour

For the hazel nut cream

300ml of double cream

100g of icing sugar

200g of hazelnuts

For the chocolate truffle

300g of dark chocolate

300ml of double cream

50g of unsalted butter

50ml of milk

For the mango purée

2 fresh mangos

For the garnish

Red vine sorrel

White chocolate

Orange flowers


For the fondant sponge base, preheat the oven to 180C and line a 32cm (12.6 inches) x 26cm (10.24 inches) baking tray with baking paper. Melt the chocolate and the butter over a bain marie.

Whisk together the egg yolks and the icing sugar until creamy, then fold in the sieved flour.

Pour the melted chocolate onto the egg mixture and whisk to incorporate. Pour onto your tray evenly and bang flat on the bench to get all the bubbles out. Place into the oven for 6-8 minutes, it should still be wobbly in the centre. Take it out and place in the fridge to cool, then cut into moon shapes using a large ring cutter.

For the hazel nut cream, crush the hazelnuts in a food processor or with a rolling pin in a bowl. When crushed into a fine dust, add all the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form.

For the chocolate truffle, break the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Heat the cream and butter in a pan on a medium heat to just before boiling point. Pour the hot cream and butter over the chocolate and mix until all of the chocolate is melted. Once done, whisk in the milk and leave in a fridge to set for at least 2 hours.

For the mango purée, remove the skin and stone from the mango and place the remainder of the mango in a food processor and blitz until completely smooth, Then place into a plastic squeeze bottle.

To assemble your dessert, place the moon-shaped fondant sponge on the plate just off centre. Using two spoons, quenelle the chocolate truffle mixture and place two of them at one third and two thirds intervals up the fondant sponge. Using a piping bag and a star nozzle, pipe the hazelnut cream between the truffles on the top, middle and bottom of the dessert. Finally topping the dessert with the mango puree, pieces of white chocolate, red vine sorrel and orange flowers.

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Pig and Whistle

Woodhall Hill

Chignall Smealy



01245 443186

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