Never, have I ever, seen fondant potatoes on a restaurant menu. But on cooking shows they seem quite common. So much so that after watching children make fondant potatoes on my favorite show, Masterchef Junior, I knew I finally had to make them.
So what are they exactly? They are a russet potato cut into a barrel shape, browned in butter and oil, then cooked in broth.
So nothing fancy, really, but they’re crispy on the outside, rich and luxurious on the inside, and look good on a plate.
So here’s what I did, based on this recipe, from The Hairy Bikers.
3 large Russet potatoes
2 ounces unsalted butter
2 ounces grapeseed oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
Fresh or dried thyme leaves
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut the ends of the potatoes off. Stand the potato upright and, using a flexible paring knife, cut off the peels, forming multiple ridges around the potato.
Lay the potato on the cutting board and slice crosswise in half. Continue with the remaining 2 potatoes; you will have 6 barrels.
Place the barrels in cold water for 5 minutes to get rid of some starchiness. Dry them well with paper towels.
Heat the butter and oil over high heat in a heavy skillet. Using tongs, add the barrel potatoes to the butter and oil mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
Turn down the flame to medium-high, and let the potato ends brown.
Meanwhile, have the chicken stock simmering on the stove, or somehow heated.
When the ends of the potatoes have browned, turn them over and repeat the browning, adding a little more salt and pepper, adjusting the heat as necessary.
When the ends of the potatoes are browned, pour in the hot chicken stock – carefully.
Place the skillet in the preheated oven and let the potatoes cook for about 45 minutes.
When done, the potatoes should be nice and crispy on the outside but tender and fully cooked on the inside.
Place the potato barrels on a serving plate, and drizzle on the remaining butter-oil mixture, if you don’t mind that sort of thing. Sprinkle with thyme leaves.
Often a few sprigs of fresh thyme are in the butter while the potatoes are browning, but I opted for dried thyme.
Sneak a taste and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
I made these potatoes for a steak dinner, and I now know that I will be making them again – with or without the steak.
Note: The ends of my potatoes burnt a little, as you can tell in the photos, and the burning occurred in the oven. I didn’t mind the flavor but I don’t think they’re supposed to brown that much. I went through a lot of recipes to get an idea of how to make fondant potatoes, and some required the oven to be heated to 425 degrees F. I lowered the temp to 400 degrees F, but when I make these again, I’ll use a 375 degree oven.
Wonderful! I do love potatoes cooked all ways but have never made fondant potatoes, though have had them in restaurants. I’ll be trying this! :)
They’re so easy and fabulous! I think I made mine too tall, however. They’re prettier a little shorter.
These are simply spectacular! When we lived in Paris on our 2003 visit, there was a traitteur near our apartment – she had fondant potatoes almost every day available for pick up. Nicely packaged, perfectly cooked – it was so amazing, we would sometimes just grab a rotisserie chicken, those potatoes, and dinner would feel like a feast for kings! I’ve never attempted to make them at home, afraid of being unable to reach that level… YOu know, the level of fond memories… hard to mimic…
Oh my. What a lovely meal and wonderful memories! Screw the memories I say, and make the darn potatoes! You’ll just have new memories!
yeap! You said it all! ;-)
amazing photo art, ….and i will have to try your recipe………. >
You’ll love them!
Wow! Never had potatoes like these, they look very tasty, and it’s an interesting way of preparing them.. :)
I know! It’s a fascinating process.
It looks like you used a cast iron skillet, could that have something to do with the over-browning at that temp? Perhaps try another cooking surface and see if that makes a difference. Either way, they look delicious and a great way to serve potatoes to guests for something a bit fancier!
Perhaps. I noticed some recipes only call for oil, no butter, which could also make a difference. But I like butter!
Oh yum. These look and sound so delicious. Who can resist a beautiful potato 🥔?
A good fondant potato is a delight and they also make for a great photo, as you have proved.
Thank you! I think I made mine a bit tall, but I can’t/won’t get out of my “no waste” mindset! So I used the whole long potatoes!
A very clever way to show off the humble potato Chef Mimi 😄
Thank you my dear!
Ooh lovely…don’t think I’ve ever made these!
I knew I hadn’t, just watched the kids make them on tv!
Loved your tasty recipe…….will try it :)
Wow, would you look at those fondant potatoes, they make quite a statement on the dinner table I’m sure. Wow! I’ll definitely have to replicate this, love how they stand out. Are you in Australia at the moment? I see you posting pics of Bondi Beach on Instagram, or are they old pictures? :) I remember Bondi quite fondly. Happy Thanksgiving Mimi, we’re off to NYC to spend it with the girls and bf’s. I’ve cooked up a storm even though I’m not hosting it. I posted some of what I cooked on Insta, but won’t be blogging about it :)
Thanks, Loretta! We’re home now. I’m weird about posting vacation photos while I’m on vacation! Don’t know why. I don’t think a bunch of food bloggers are going to come rob my house! NYC will be so fun. We’re going to my daughter’s for the first time (she’s 34 and just had a 2nd baby) and all I’ve done is text with her about cooking a turkey!!! So I think I’ll be in her kitchen for most of the day!
OK. Will admit. I had never heard of these. (I’ve got to get my culinary TV viewing binge back on!) These would be sooooo marvelous for the holiday table.
They actually reheat really well, too!!! You’ll love them.
Love these beautifully charred potatoes !
I’ve been so out of the loop! These look absolutely mouth watering Mimi! I surely will be making these and thank you so much for the step by step!
P.S. I love char myself!
Well I only saw these on tv! They’re really good, and the char is delicious!
We are having steaks tonight and was going to make my usual lyonnaise potatoes. After seeing this recipe, I’m making these now! YUM! :)
Yeah! You’ll love them!
Never knew what fondant potatoes were, Mimi. Something fancy shamancy, I thought. Your recipe sounds doable, not to mention yummy. I roast most things in the oven between 180 for a slow cook and 200 degrees Celsius for regular.
They’re definitely easy to make and not fancy, yet they do make a pretty presentation!
This is the most exciting recipe I’ve read in quite some time! I’m a huge potato fan, and am always eager for a new way to prepare them. They look absolutely beautiful. Thanks so much for posting them.
You’re so welcome!
On a whim, I put some sweet potatoes through this treatment for Thanksgiving, and they were fantastic.
Wow ! I hadn’t thought of that, but why not?!!! I’m excited to do the same!
What a cool recipe! Definitely a ‘must try’ for my next dinner party! Serving potatoes and making them pretty I sure a challenge.
They’re pretty and so easy!
Hi Mimi, I remember making Fondant Potatoes at Le Cordon Bleu School, except we had to cut them into thin discs. I can just imagine the Hairy Bikers making Fondant Potatoes in their travels through the ‘outback’!
Oh my. That sounds so tedious!!!
They look amazing! What a nice side for a fancy dinner.
And they were just as good the following day, so that’s a plus!
It’s funny you should say this I’ve never seen them on a menu either. Maybe I just need to make my own!
Awesome!! The photography, those potatoes, the way these are prepared. Just loving everything about it. I am gonna have to try this out! Thanks for the lovely pics and recipe. :)
You are so welcome! Merry Christmas!