Chocolate Pâté with Crème Chaud-Froid

Pâté sometimes gets a bum rap.  It can be time consuming to make and is usually made of ground meats; most often liver,  fat, sometimes offal and et cetera - and is shaped in a mold or loaf pan then chilled.  To some it sounds absolutely repellent, but there are reasons why people consider it a delicacy and serve it at swanky parties.  It is arguably a textural thing.  I get it.

Chocolate pâté intrigued me.  In all honesty, I wondered how weird it would be.  After reading the recipe in its entirety I found that it was little more than a chocolate mousse you can slice - and a double plus, it's easy to make!  I practically leapt to the kitchen for my stash of Green and Black's and a pint of cold cream. 

Biscuit being well behaved - a rare occasion and most likely because I'm holding a piece of cheese.

It all came together so easily.  I left it in the fridge to set overnight and the next morning as I unmolded it, I said that oft spoken kitchen prayer: "please don't stick".  And you know what?  It didn't.  It came out beautifully!  I was in absolute awe of how it sliced so perfectly and still retained a light creamy mousse texture.  Believe me when I say it's all about the texture!

My hunny and I made short work of the 9 x 5" chocolate brick, eating it after lunches and dinner (...okay, sometimes breakfast, too).  I considered making cookie "crackers" to pair with the pâté, but it needs nothing else.  It is perfect as it is.  It feels special enough to serve to your Valentine or as playful party fare for a crowd.

The crème chaud-froid is a change I made to the recipe in place of the original topping, which was a clear coffee aspic.  And in case you are wondering...
  • Aspic is a dish in which ingredients are set into a gelatin made from a meat stock or consommé.
  • Chaud-froid (literally "hot-cold" in French) is essentially an aspic, but in recent times opaque sauces (everything besides clear) are referred to as chaud-froid sauces.
My funny Valentine.

Chocolate Pâté with Crème Chaud-Froid       [click to print]

Adapted from Knoxgelatine.com
10 servings

Note: The creme portion is much like a dense jello.  If you have an aversion to this texture, this recipe can be made without the cream portion.  Alternatively, whipped creme may be served on the side.

Parchment should hang over both ends.
For the crème chaud-froid:
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp creme de cacao or 1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp cold water
2 tsp powdered gelatin

Butter a 9 x 5" loaf pan lightly.  Line with a 4" strip of parchment paper down the middle.  It needs to be long enough to hang over on both ends of the pan .

Heat heavy cream on the stove-top or in the microwave until hot but not boiling. Add sugar and liquor or extract; stir and set aside. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water.  Let stand for 1 minute.  Microwave gelatin for about 10 seconds - it should be liquid.  Mix with hot cream mixture.

Pour cream mixture into loaf pan and refrigerate for 15 minutes, or until set.

For the chocolate mousse:
1/4 oz. package of powdered gelatin (about 2 tsp)
2 tbsp cold water
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk, hot - (put in the microwave for 30+ seconds)
8 oz. high quality chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups whipping cream.

In a medium saucepan sprinkle gelatin over water.  Let stand for 1 minute.  Whisk in eggs and sugar  mixing well.  Stir in hot milk.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Mixture will thicken after 5 minutes or so. When done, it should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Stir in melted chocolate and blend until chocolate has melted and  even in color (no streaks!).  Let cool.

Whip cream until stiff peaks form.  Gently fold whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until well blended. Pour mousse into the loaf pan and smooth the top.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or up to 2 days.

To un-mold, run a knife around the top edge of the mousse.  Turn pan over on a serving platter and gently tug the paper until the pâté releases. Peel off parchment, slice and serve.

Note: The cute, quirky ceramics are by Rae Dunn, you can find her site here.

link Chocolate Pâté with Crème Chaud-Froid By Published: Chocolate Pâté with Crème Chaud-Froid Recipe


  1. Mousse we can slice?! And it's so pretty! And you say it's easy! And puppies love it too?! Is there any reason we shouldn't make this!? Didn't think so...!

  2. Wow. Gorgeous and just looks like it would melt in your mouth!

  3. Gasp! It's stunning.... absolutely stunning. Love the bokah too!


  4. That is an interesting dessert! Really wonderful looking.

    OMG, I want to have such a cute pug!!!!



  5. How chic! This would be wonderful to serve at a party. Thanks for sharing with us!

  6. Gorgeous as usual Heather! Those ceramics are very cool, I especially love the one that says "stay" and how little Biscuit was posed in that picture right next to it! xo ~Lili

  7. I am SO making this! It looks like such fun! Now, how to play with it some more. Beautiful work Heather!

  8. Talk about creamy! I'd love to dive in! Biscuit looks so wistful in that last photo:)

  9. Elegant and looks totally delicious! we all need more chocolate in our lives. Great recipe!

  10. Nice idea to add gelatine so you can slice the chocolate mousse...I like the contrast of colours with the creme chaud-froid...

  11. This is the first time I've encountered a sweet pate...looks gorgeous!

  12. You actually manage to keep a stash of Green and Blacks? I buy chocolate with the intention of keeping it in my pantry, but it never seems to stay there long :(
    Lovely dessert, so elegant :)

  13. holaaaaa yo también tengo un carlinooo
    traslation (hahaha):
    hellooo, i´ve a pug too!!! two pugs: hera and lennon, y love your pug ist nice!!!

  14. What an amazing idea! It looks fantastic and it sure tastes that way too.

  15. So delicate and fun. Going to go make it now!

  16. three wors.......Yu....UMMMM.....MMMMMy! patti b.

  17. Looks divine! Such a great blog you have, i love your ideas!

  18. That looks beautiful, I have never seen this before. love your pictures too.

  19. That looks so delicious! And your dog is adorable!

  20. What an amazing recipe and beautiful photos. Such a good idea for Valentine's Day dessert.

  21. wow, heather, you rock my eye site! this is so gorgeous and your recipes are so incredibly unique and authentic! I want to bake with you!

  22. OMG chocolate pate!!! why have I never thought of that. Fabulous xox

  23. Wow, that looks so silky. Cut me off a piece of that pronto. I have a huge linky party going on at my blog right now especially for desserts and I'd like to invite you to stop by and link your recipe up.

  24. I could really go there with this pate. I am not a fan of the meaty kind - but chocolate, heck yeah! This is pretty Heather & so fun the way it slices. Thanks for teaching us about the Aspic & Chaud Froid too. I love that you went for the creamy one. xo

  25. In order to be more "frenchy" you shoud name this:
    "Mousson de chocolat" (cause "paté" is not really.... good!)

    Constie, a frenchy!

  26. This looks verrry interesting... I think I shall have to try this sometime.

    p.s I went through your blog admiring all of your photos... very nice!

    And that is one cute pug.

  27. You are so inventive! I really love your style...and now I just have to figure out how to make those light hearts with my camera! I just got a new one...and I refuse to read the manual!

    Again, super cool recipe and the pup definitely is adorable...like always!

  28. WOW, that texture looks perfect. It looks so professional and neat! And the look on biscuit is majorly cute. It makes me wanna walk over to him to give him a hug!

  29. I've never thought about doing a chocolate pate before, looks awesome. And such a cute dog!!

  30. What an intriguing idea! I've never considered making pate before just this minute. It looks divine! I really adore your dishes with the lovely stamped words too. I must admit I just set my desktop background to that last photo of the pink hearts. So pretty!

  31. Stunning! Love the bokah. Your Pug is too cute!

  32. this looks so amazing. Super chic and the dog is so adorable

  33. Is it possible to replace the geletin with arrowroot or another vegetarian substitute? As I'd love to make this but I don't eat meat! Thanks. :)

  34. Oh wow, that looks so good. And wonderful pictures by the way too!

  35. oh, heather, wow!
    thank you for sharing. beautiful :)
    @ http://www.clutzycooking.blogspot.com

  36. Thanks all!

    To Anonymous -please forgive my late response!

    I believe you can use agar-agar which is a vegetable-based substitute for gelatin. Use the flakes, I believe the powdered version is super concentrated and would make this too firm.

  37. That's excellent! Thanks for the advice! I will pop to the supermarket this evening and see what I can find. You're a star! - Rachel (aka anonymous) xx

  38. I love the dinning ware! Where did you get it from! And the puppy is adorable too :)

  39. "Please don't stick..." No kidding. So beautiful! Would love to try this!

  40. Thank you for recipe..excellent :)
    best regards Violeta, Zagreb, Croatia

  41. What would I do for the chaud/froid instead of microwaving? I love chewy, mochi like suff! ;-)

  42. Oh god, I know this comment is like 11 months too late, but in response to the first commenter, I'm sure she wasn't feeding this to her dog! Chocolate is poisonous to dogs and cats!!!

    In other news, this is currently chilling in my fridge and I am really looking forward to trying it.

  43. Just curious - what do you serve this with?

  44. Absolutely gorgeous. I love the contrast in the slices with the creme chaud on top.

  45. This is beautiful! I've always wanted to make something like a sliceable chocolate mousse, and this may just be the thing :)


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