Fondant Potatoes

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.

Fondant Potatoes

3 large Russet potatoes
2 ounces unsalted butter
2 ounces grapeseed oil
Salt
Black Pepper
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.

By Published On: November 20th, 201747 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

47 Comments

  1. Travel Gourmet November 20, 2017 at 6:05 AM - Reply

    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! :)

    • chef mimi November 20, 2017 at 6:12 AM - Reply

      They’re so easy and fabulous! I think I made mine too tall, however. They’re prettier a little shorter.

  2. sallybr November 20, 2017 at 6:57 AM - Reply

    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…

    • chef mimi November 20, 2017 at 11:16 AM - Reply

      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!

      • sallybr November 22, 2017 at 11:26 AM

        yeap! You said it all! ;-)

  3. M.L. Parma November 20, 2017 at 9:50 AM - Reply

    amazing photo art, ….and i will have to try your recipe………. >

  4. chefkreso November 20, 2017 at 10:58 AM - Reply

    Wow! Never had potatoes like these, they look very tasty, and it’s an interesting way of preparing them.. :)

    • chef mimi November 20, 2017 at 11:15 AM - Reply

      I know! It’s a fascinating process.

  5. anotherfoodieblogger November 20, 2017 at 11:20 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi November 20, 2017 at 5:34 PM - Reply

      Perhaps. I noticed some recipes only call for oil, no butter, which could also make a difference. But I like butter!

  6. Mackay Sherry November 20, 2017 at 2:04 PM - Reply

    Oh yum. These look and sound so delicious. Who can resist a beautiful potato 🥔?
    Cheers
    Sherry

  7. Conor Bofin November 20, 2017 at 3:21 PM - Reply

    A good fondant potato is a delight and they also make for a great photo, as you have proved.

    • chef mimi November 20, 2017 at 5:33 PM - Reply

      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!

  8. Laura @ Feast Wisely November 20, 2017 at 3:37 PM - Reply

    A very clever way to show off the humble potato Chef Mimi 😄

  9. Chica Andaluza November 20, 2017 at 4:03 PM - Reply

    Ooh lovely…don’t think I’ve ever made these!

    • chef mimi November 20, 2017 at 5:31 PM - Reply

      I knew I hadn’t, just watched the kids make them on tv!

  10. mistimaan November 21, 2017 at 12:32 AM - Reply

    Loved your tasty recipe…….will try it :)

  11. Loretta November 21, 2017 at 6:15 AM - Reply

    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 :)

    • chef mimi November 21, 2017 at 6:48 AM - Reply

      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!

  12. Debra Eliotseats November 21, 2017 at 8:05 AM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi November 21, 2017 at 8:31 AM - Reply

      They actually reheat really well, too!!! You’ll love them.

  13. Megala November 21, 2017 at 10:23 AM - Reply

    Love these beautifully charred potatoes !

  14. dishinwithdidi November 22, 2017 at 5:06 AM - Reply

    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!

    • chef mimi November 23, 2017 at 3:02 PM - Reply

      Well I only saw these on tv! They’re really good, and the char is delicious!

  15. karrie / Tasty Ever After November 22, 2017 at 10:12 AM - Reply

    We are having steaks tonight and was going to make my usual lyonnaise potatoes. After seeing this recipe, I’m making these now! YUM! :)

  16. marymtf November 22, 2017 at 8:23 PM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi November 23, 2017 at 3:00 PM - Reply

      They’re definitely easy to make and not fancy, yet they do make a pretty presentation!

  17. Jeff the Chef November 23, 2017 at 6:24 AM - Reply

    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.

    • chef mimi November 23, 2017 at 2:57 PM - Reply

      You’re so welcome!

      • Jeff the Chef December 2, 2017 at 8:26 PM

        On a whim, I put some sweet potatoes through this treatment for Thanksgiving, and they were fantastic.

      • chef mimi December 2, 2017 at 8:32 PM

        Wow ! I hadn’t thought of that, but why not?!!! I’m excited to do the same!

  18. Cocoa & Lavender November 23, 2017 at 1:25 PM - Reply

    What a cool recipe! Definitely a ‘must try’ for my next dinner party! Serving potatoes and making them pretty I sure a challenge.

  19. Fran @ G'day Souffle' November 25, 2017 at 8:34 PM - Reply

    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’!

  20. camparigirl December 6, 2017 at 2:41 PM - Reply

    They look amazing! What a nice side for a fancy dinner.

    • chef mimi December 6, 2017 at 3:44 PM - Reply

      And they were just as good the following day, so that’s a plus!

  21. A Cookbook Collection December 17, 2017 at 4:15 AM - Reply

    It’s funny you should say this I’ve never seen them on a menu either. Maybe I just need to make my own!

  22. Greedyeats -Neha December 20, 2017 at 1:54 PM - Reply

    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. :)

    • chef mimi December 20, 2017 at 2:33 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome! Merry Christmas!

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