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Fondant Potatoes Butter Poached Spuds

Fondant potatoes are like boss level spuds, seared barrels of potato are seared then gently cooked, almost confit style in butter & stock.

Despite their reputation for being difficult, taking your time and not rushing results in perfectly cooked buttery and soft potatoes every time!

Fondant potatoes poached in butter and stock with a sprig of thyme.

Classic French Potato Fondant

Cooking shows that play the game of food as sport are littered with failed fondant potatoes.

So much so that you would think that they are difficult to make, but they are not, they are easy, but you cannot cheat or rush.

They are for me the undisputed heavyweight champion of the potato side dish division.

Now, I love chips, I’d sell your children (I don’t have my own hehe) for perfect roast potatoes and mashed potato makes my heart skip a beat.

But these luxurious buttery soft potatoes trump them all!

They are essentially nothing more than seared potatoes poached in butter and stock.

The name fondant indicates their french origin and it is a word that means melting, which tells you all that you need to know about the texture.

Overhead fondant potatoes poached in butter and stock with a sprig of thyme.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do the type of potatoes matter?

Yes, enormously! If you try and make these with waxy potatoes you will be deeply disappointed, it just does not work.

You want a floury or mealy potato, something like a King Edwards or Maris Piper. If you are in the US grab a Russet spud and off you go!

There is no salt in the recipe, is that right?

Yes, I use salted butter for practically everything and combining this with stock means that salt is not required. That of course does not mean that you cannot add more if you wish.

Can I use other herbs?

Yes, although thyme is my favourite. Rosemary or tarragon are other good options.

Can I use a lid rather than baking parchment?

No! The lid does not permit enough evaporation. You want the water to slowly evaporate allowing the bottom of the potatoes to sit in almost pure butter at the end of the cooking process.

The best way to make the paper cartouche is to cut a square of baking parchment around 50% larger than your saucepan. Then get all origami on it.

Fold it in half, to a rectangle, then in half again to form a square, then into a triangle. Then keep folding that triangle smaller by folding it in on itself making a long thing triangle.

Finally, grab some scissors, cut the tip of the triangle off (5mm or ⅕”), then cut the triangle into a length that is just over half of the diameter of the saucepan. Unfold and you have a circle (ish) with a hole in the middle.

Can I use a frying pan?

Not really, a frying pan allows the liquid to evaporate too quickly and risks not cooking the potatoes.

Close up fondant potatoes poached in butter and stock with a sprig of thyme.

Serving Suggestions

The question is really what cant you serve fondant potatoes with and as far as I am concerned that list is short… To be fair, I’d happily eat them with my cornflakes!

Whilst they are deceptively easy to cook they are seriously indulgent, so I tend to keep them for special treat meals.

They are great for Christmas or New Year too!

I’ve served them with everything from roast partridge and roast guinea fowl to my roast pork fillet with apple puree and roasted chicken and chicory recipe.

It is also particularly good on a Sunday lunch. Whether it is simple perfectly roast chicken or this slow cooker roast beef these are a great addition.

Overhead roast pigeon breasts, confit legs, red wine sauce, cabbage and fondant potatoes.

Equipment Used

I only name-check brands of equipment if I think they make a material difference to a recipe. If you have any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section below the recipe.

  • Stovetop.
  • 24cm or 10″ saucepan.
  • 50mm (2″) cookie cutter.
  • Paring knife.
  • Kitchen knife.
  • Chopping board.
  • Weighing scales and or measuring cups and spoons.
  • Baking parchment.
Easy fondant potatoes poached in butter and stock with a sprig of thyme.
Yield: 2 Servings

Fondant Potatoes Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Fondant potatoes are the most indulgent potato side dish, barrels of spud slowly poached in a brown butter and stock mix, the perfect side for a special meal.


  • 2 Large Floury Potatoes
  • 1 Tbsp Cooking Oil
  • 125g (8 Tbsp) Butter
  • 1 Sprig Fresh Thyme
  • 250ml (1 Cup) Vegetable Stock


  1. Lay the potato on the table and cut it into a thick slice approximately 30mm (1¼-1½") thick.
  2. Using a 50mm (2") cookie cutter or aluminium form cut out four barrels of potato, you may need to use more potatoes if yours are small.
  3. Using a potato peeler form a 3-5mm (⅛-¼") chamfer (an angled cut) around the edge of the potato barrels both top and bottom.
  4. Heat the cooking oil over a medium high heat in a medium (24cm 9-10") saucepan.
  5. Sear the top of the potatoes until they are a deep golden colour in the oil, this should take between 3 and 5 minutes.
  6. Flip over the potatoes and then add in the butter and sprig of thyme, cook the potatoes for 5 minutes in the butter. The butter should begin to brown during this period.
  7. Remove from the heat and pour in the vegetable stock, do this carefully the butter will foam a lot when you begin.
  8. Return to the heat and reduce it to medium-low.
  9. Cover the potatoes with a piece of baking parchment that is wet and has a small hole cut in the middle (a cartouche).
  10. Simmer the potatoes for 35-40 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 419Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 70mgSodium: 574mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 3gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g

Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Did you make this recipe?

If you made this recipe, I'd love to see what you did and what I can do better, share a picture with me on Instagram and tag me @krumplibrian and tell me how it went!


Saturday 24th of June 2023

Hi Brian, I’ve just made these for the first time and they were absolutely gorgeous! I served them with your savoury mince recipe with the anchovies which I didn’t tell my partner about and he asked for seconds, I love your recipes 🙏

Brian Jones

Friday 30th of June 2023

lol, when I first met my wife I would "sneak" all sorts of things into her dinner, she has become an awful lot more adventurous with her eating habits over the last 20 years.

Glad you like my stuff, fondant potatoes really are my favourite "treat" way to cook potatoes if I am showing off, they are such a show stopper!


Tuesday 21st of December 2021

Should potatoes be covered with liquid or half way or other?

Sandra Murray

Monday 1st of August 2022

@Patrick, what size pan are recommended for this recipe.. should the potatoes be crispy or just soft … can’t wait to try this recipe Thank you for sharing it Sandra

Brian Jones

Wednesday 22nd of December 2021

The liquid should be between half way and two thirds up the potato barrels. The size of the pan that you use is really important in getting fondant potatoes right, a larger pan will result in there being too much liquid and a smaller pan not enough liquid.

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