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Fondant carrots

Updated: Wed, 3 January, 2024

These fondant carrots are NOT made from fondant icing with orange food colouring. They are an exquisite side dish, worthy to accompany the best roast meats.

fondant carrots

How to cook carrots?

Carrots are rather boring but quite reasonably versatile. You needn't cook them: raw and grated or cut into matchsticks they make a great salad, either on their own or with their mate celeriac in a remoulade.

They can of course be boiled but who would want to boil vegetables when there are so many better ways of preparing them? Roasted carrots are gorgeous and not only around Christmas time.

Fondant carrots in a savoury sense

Fondant carrots is another cooking option. I must admit I am quite fond(ant) of this cooking method: butter, lots of it, in conjunction with vegetables never goes wrong. Plus the awfully satisfying sizzle and spit when you add boiling water to the already foaming and bubbling butter!

The resulting sauce is gorgeous, sweet and buttery, almost a glaze. The seasoning for these must, must involve some caraway and cinnamon.

This method of cooking carrots is similar to carrots Vichy, but there you start off with carrots in water, brought to the boil, with butter added later. I am not entirely sure how the end product is different to fondant carrots in taste: to be able to truly tell the difference you'd have to have the two side by side.

But I’d rather start off cooking the vegetables in butter, almost frying them, then add liquid for the softening process.


How to cook fondant carrots

That's precisely how: I don't even bother to melt the butter before I add the carrots but pack everything into a saucepan: carrots, butter and seasoning. Carrots can be peeled or not, but they should be cut into as uniform pieces as possible. The amount of butter, unsalted, might seem daunting but this is a French dish after all: it’s all about butter.

raw carrots

Chantenay carrots are the best for this if only because they tend to be evenly shaped and sized, and require no peeling. But you can happily use ordinary carrots, small and even.

The seasoning, as previously mentioned, is caraway, cinnamon, honey and black pepper. Salt is added at the very end, to taste, as you never know how salty the stock will turn out to be once it’s reduced.

I let it start off over high heat under the lid, shaking the pan every now and again.

When the butter has stopped foaming and the carrots threaten to catch to the bottom of the pan, hot water or stock go in making a great show of spittle, sizzle and steam.

how to fondant carrots

Now you need to lift the lid or put it back on again, thus regulating the amount of liquid in the pan. The carrots need to soften but you also want the sauce to reduce to just coat the carrots, so keep an eye on it.

After about ten or fifteen minutes the liquid will leave but a touch of shiny, buttery glaze. And a handful of snipped chives adds the sharpness but, more importantly, vibrantly contrasting colour!

Other fondant vegetables

Potatoes are the fondant classic but you can apply the method to various vegetables: celeriac and beetroot included.

carrots fondant cooked in butter

More carrot recipes

Carrot cake, simple and easy but unconventionally filled with apricot jam and decorated with chocolate ganache. Classic carrot cake with a zing!

Zingy carrots, the best carrot salad without mayonnaise or mustard, carrot salad exploding with flavour. The simple grated carrot salad takes minutes to prepare and goes well with any main dish. Grated or julienned, my zingy carrots recipe is one to try.

Homemade coleslaw with lightly fermented vegetables. This is Tom Kerridge's coleslaw recipe with light and healthy yoghurt and lemon dressing.

More tasty vegetable side recipes

Savour the flavour of sautéed chard! Discover a tantalizing recipe that brings out the best of this versatile leafy green. From its vibrant colours to its incredible health benefits, this recipe will show you how to create a mouth-watering dish. It’s not all about spinach or kale, you know.

Sesame roasted broccoli with a hint of sweetness from maple syrup, soused in olive and sesame oil, ready in 20 minutes. Broccoli like you’ve never tasted before!

Roasted beetroot in a casserole dish with honey, thyme and balsamic. Cooking fresh beetroot can't be easier long and with gutsy flavours. My balsamic thyme beetroot is a great vegetarian dish that goes with rice or lentils.

fondant carrots

Fondant carrots

Servings: 2Time: 30 minutes


  • 200g (½ pound) small Chantenay carrots
  • 40g (3 tbsp) butter
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 250ml (1 cup) hot chicken stock
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp snipped chives


1. Wash and top the carrots. If you can’t get Chantenay carrots, cut ordinary, small ones into 5cm/2 inch pieces.

2. Place the carrots in a saucepan large enough to fit them in more or less single layer with the butter, honey, the caraway and the cinnamon and season with black pepper. Place the pan on high heat and cover with a lid.

3. Cook for a few minutes until the butter has foamed off and the carrots almost start to catch to the bottom, then pour in the hot stock. It will bubble and sizzle spectacularly!

4. Keep it bubbling on high heat under the lid, topping up with the stock or water if all liquid has evaporated but the carrots are not yet tender to the point of a sharp knife. It should take about 15-20 minutes, depending on their size. There should be no liquid, but the thick, buttery sauce left.

5. Taste and season with salt. Snip some chives into the pan, stir and serve.

Originally published: Fri, 11 March, 2016

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Hello! I'm Anna Gaze, the Cuisine Fiend. Welcome to my recipe collection.

I have lots of recipes for you to choose from: healthy or indulgent, easy or more challenging, quick or involved - but always tasty.


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