Saturday, February 12, 2011

Recipe: For the "Sweet"heart in all of us

All I really need is love, but a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt!  – Lucy from "Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz"

Image from Thiebault's Table blog
OK, guys and/or gals. Do something nice for your sweeetie. I don't know if today's your day to celebrate Valentine's or not, but this recipe is easy and impressive. It will keep in your refrigerator for several days if you can stay out of it, which is difficult. 

This recipe takes no higher skill level than melting chocolate and whipping some cream (and knowing how to use plastic wrap, which we all know can be a challenge). So get off your butts and impress them.

I'm going to do this recipe this afternoon, just before I make dinner.

Chocolate pâté is one of the best desserts you can make, if you like chocolate. This one's from Thiebault's Table. The headline on his blog is "recipes are meant to be shared." So share I will. 

This recipe is verbatim from There's a lot more there as well. Go check it out.

Pâté du Chocolat avec Crème Anglaise
4 Ounces semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup butter
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
Toasted sliced almonds

Melt chocolate with butter; let cool. In bowl, beat egg yolks with sugar until thick and pale in colour; beat in cocoa. Beat in cooled chocolate mixture. Whip cream and fold into chocolate mixture. 

Turn into 8 X 4 inch loaf pan lined with plastic wrap. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. 

To serve, unmould pate and remove plastic wrap. Spoon Crème Anglaise onto dessert plates. Top each with 1/2 inch slice of chocolate pate. 

Sprinkle with toasted almonds.

The pâté can be served with whipped cream, but to really impress, read on and make the classic accompaniment, Crème Anglaise.

Crème Anglaise 
Wiki Commons Creative Lic.
(see my note below)*
5 egg yolks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 cups hot milk
1 tsp vanilla.

See detailed description below. I just made it. The following are direct from the recipe.*

In bowl beat egg yolks with sugar until thick and pale in colour; gradually whisk in hot milk. 

Transfer to very heavy saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly and sauce coats the back of a spoon. 

Be careful not to boil. Stir in vanilla. Strain through fine sieve into bowl. Let cool; cover and refrigerate until chilled or for up to 1 day.

* Note: Essentially what you're making is a thin custard, so proceed accordingly. Beat the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy. This will probably take about 5 minutes. 

Heat your milk just until it's hot when you stick (an impeccably clean) finger in it. Slowly pour the liquid in a thin stream into the eggs, beating as you go. You end up with a very frothy mixture. This is good.

Transfer back into the pan you heated the milk in. Turn heat to medium and whisk – constantly. I mean it. You will start with a very frothy mixture, sort of like too much foam on beer. It will be very pale coloured.

Whisk (constantly, continually, until the cows come home). It took me about 20-25 minutes. NOT 5. What will happen is the foam will slowly subside and you will begin to see a light yellow "sauce". Continue to cook until you start to see a slight trail behind your whisk. Remove from the heat and add your vanilla.

Do not strain unless it's lumpy, although I would suggest if it's lumpy you throw it out and go to the store... Once it's cooled you can give it a whip to improve the consistency.

Place in a bowl. Press plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate.

Makes about 2 cups (or a little less.).


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