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
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.

47 thoughts on “Fondant Potatoes

  1. 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…

  2. 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!

  3. 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!

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

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

  7. 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’!

  8. 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. :)

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