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.
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.
Chocolate Pâté with Crème Chaud-Froid [click to print]
Adapted from Knoxgelatine.com
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.
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 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.