Talk about Death by Chocolate! Yep, folks, if you’re looking for a chocolate fix, go no further! Now, I have to say that this is not my usual dessert of choice – I tend to like my chocolate in small doses, but when a friend of mine made this recipe by Marye Audet on Bliss Tree.com and raved about it afterwards, my interest was piqued. After some internet research, I discovered that this recipe is different from most chocolate terrines in that it is baked rather than simply chilled. And, it seems that in baking it, the terrine takes on a light, airy mousse-like texture rather than the denser texture usually associated with the chilled terrine.
Be warned: It’s intensely rich, though surprisingly not sweet, given the high cocoa content. And, if you’re wondering about how the tea component tastes, it doesn’t actually taste at all. So far as I can tell, the tea simply enhances the flavour of the chocolate. I made the decision to serve it with Orange and Cardamom Crème Anglaise, which turned out to be the perfect partner, balancing out the terrine’s rich and dry texture. I also made some candied orange slices, thanks to Grace Parisi on Food and Wine.com which looked fab placed on top of the terrine. I cut the left-over orange slices into small wedges and served them individually on top of each terrine slice. It went down a treat and most everyone had second servings.
It has to be said though… the terrine’s light and fluffy texture did provide a bit of a challenge when it came to serving it, although my friend who made it says she didn’t have the same problem. In hindsight, I reckon it must have been because I scaled up the ingredients to serve a larger party and that may have put something out of kilter. Never fear though, I’ve kept the original recipe here so you’re unlikely to have the same problem.
My friend and I both felt the ganache was somewhat extraneous to the dish, in that the dish is already decadently chocolate in its own right. If I made this again, I’d ditch the ganache completely, grab an ice-cream scoop and simply scoop the terrine straight out of the loaf pan, serving it as balls on top of the Crème Anglaise instead. It’d be a heck of a lot less fussy and probably a good deal more elegant.
BAKED DARK CHOCOLATE TERRINE
- 2/3 c whipping cream divided
- 8 oz (225g) chopped bittersweet chocolate (I used 62% cocoa content)
- 2 Tbs unsalted butter, chopped
- 3 Tbs strong infusion of Earl Grey tea (I used Vanilla Black Tea)
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/4 c sugar
- 1/2 c dark chocolate, chopped
- 1/3 c heavy cream
Candied Orange Slices
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 navel orange, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
Orange & Cardamom Crème Anglaise
- See recipe – I recommend you double the recipe to make 4 cups
- For the terrine: Preheat oven to 160°C 325°F). Prepare a loaf tin (I used a 9″x 5″ x 2.5′ tin) by lining it with silver foil – try and ensure there are as few creases as possible.
- Bring 1/3 cup heavy cream to scalding (just before it simmers) and remove from heat. Add the chopped chocolate and stir until chocolate is fully melted and mixed with the cream. Add the butter and stir to combine. Add the tea and stir.
- Whip the last 1/3 cup of whipped cream to a soft peak and set aside.
- Whip the eggs and egg yolks for 5-6 minutes, or until nearly tripled in volume. Slowly add sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and continue to whip. Be sure all the sugar crystals have dissolved by testing a little of the mixture between your thumb and first finger – there should be no graininess.
- Fold the eggs into the chocolate, then fold the whipped cream in, being careful not to deflate the mixture. Spoon the chocolate mixture into the loaf tin, smoothing out the top. Set the loaf tin into a large roasting pan. Now carefully fill up the roasting pan with hot water so that it comes half way up the side of the loaf tin. Lightly place an extra piece of silver foil over top of the loaf tin to protect the surface from the direct heat.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes (you’ll want to check this timing – I found it took more like 1½ hours to cook, but that could be my oven). The main thing to check for is the liquidity of the mixture – if, when you gently shake the tin, the mixture has a rolling wave action, it’s not cooked. It’s done when the surface is dull, not shiny; the sides are firmly set, but when shaken the centre has a slight jiggle.
- Remove the loaf pan from the roasting pan and cool on a rack until room temperature. Then, cover the top with silver foil and put in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- When you’re ready to make the ganache, take the terrine out of the fridge. Place a cooling rack over the top of the loaf pan, then carefully turn the tin over – the loaf pan will now be sitting upside-down on the rack. Carefully remove the loaf pan and then the silver foil. Set the rack into a large rimmed baking tray in preparation for pouring the ganache.
- For the ganache: Bring heavy cream to scalding (prior to a simmer), remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until smooth. Pour the ganache over the cold terrine – (pour the ganache across the middle of the terrine, then using a flat long spatula gently ease the chocolate over the sides). Scoop up any chocolate that has fallen onto the tray and reapply it on any areas of the terrine that haven’t been covered. You’ll need to work quickly, as the ganache will start setting almost immediately.
- Now, for the tricky part. Very carefully lever the terrine off the rack (I used a large flat metal pizza spatula) and onto a platter to serve. Put the terrine back into the fridge.
- For the candied orange slices: Take the orange, wash it under the tap, dry it and slice it into quarter inch sized slices. In a medium fry-pan, combine the water and sugar and bring to a boil. Add the orange slices and cook over moderate heat, turning them occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a thin syrup and the orange slices are translucent, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderately low and simmer until the syrup is thick and the slices are tender but still intact, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer the orange slices to a rack to cool. The candied orange slices can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.
- Assembly and serving: Place pieces of candied orange on top of the set ganache. When ready to serve, carefully slice the terrine into about one inch slices and lay them on the serving plates. Pour some of the Orange & Cardamom Crème Anglaise around each terrine slice to serve, and decorate with a small slice of the candied orange.
Food Photography Info: Canon 550D (EOS Rebel T2i); Canon 50mm 1.8 lens / Natural lighting