Chocolate Pate and the Premio Cake Blog di Qualità

My dear friend Barbara at My Italian Smorgasbord, surprised me with this lovely award:

Premio Cake Blog di Qualità

Thank you So much!

I have been in a quandary as to what to post for this award. I have taken far too long to celebrate the honor. For that, I apologize.

Just as I figured out what to make, we went out-of-town to visit friends for a weekend get away.

Lucky them, they got to eat the vast amount of Chocolate Pate I made for this post.

Barbara at My Italian Smorgasbord has a lovely blog full of warm delightful recipes. I encourage all of you to go read her blog and make one of her recipes. You will be back for more!

The “rules” of the game is to share a sweet recipe, tell 7 things where sweet has influenced your life and then pass it along to 3 other fellow bloggers.

I thought long and hard about what to make for this award. Barbara’s Swedish buns were amazing.

What could I make that would be deserving of this award?

Not being much of a cake baker, I looked at other desserts I was known for at my restaurant. It was a toss-up between Chilled Key Lime Souffle and Chocolate Pate with Raspberry Coulis.

Chocolate won. I’ll make the souffle another time.

Chocolate Pate

  • 12 ounces  dark chocolate: get the best you can buy, chunks or chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup raspberry coulis (recipe follows)
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • pinch salt

NOTES:

    •  Do not get any water into the chocolate. Even one drop will seize it up and makes it very hard to get a smooth melt. Make sure your bowl is dry!
    • To make a double boiler, simply place a heat proof bowl (Stainless steel bowl is best) over a pot with boiling water. Make sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the top of the water.
    • Check and make sure the flame from a gas stove is not reaching around the bottom of the pot and touching the sides of the bowl. This will burn the chocolate. Use a towel or pot holder to hold the edge of the bowl. It will get hot during the process.
Method:

Melt until smooth

In a double boiler, add the chocolate. If the chocolate is in bar form, break it up into bits for easier melting.

Bring the cream to a boil, add to chocolate. Stir to melt smooth.

Add the raspberry coulis, vanilla, salt, and butter. Stir to  incorporate and ensure everything has melted smooth.

Line your chosen molds with cellophane wrap. Give the wrap a light spray with a pan release spray. This allows the chocolate to be removed from the pan easily once it has chilled.

Line the molds with cellophane wrap

Pour the lined molds with chocolate to the top. Fold the cellophane wrap edges over the chocolate and chill at least 12 hours.

Fill and cover with cellophane. Chill

The chocolate pate will become firm but not hard. Remove from the mold, unwrap, and slice to serve.

You can serve it with Creme Anglaise (Vanilla Sauce) and Raspberry Coulis accented with fresh berries and mint (or basil!) for garnish.

Crème anglaise made from milk, eggs, sugar and...

Creme anglaise made from milk, eggs, sugar and vanilla (in beans) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

raspberry coulis

raspberry coulis (Photo credit: thepinkpeppercorn)

Raspberry Coulis

Use fresh or frozen berries

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of granulated sugar or simple syrup

Place 1 cup of raspberries into a blender or food processor.

Add the sugar or syrup and blend until liquified – 1-2 minutes.

Adjust the sugar content to your taste. You may want more, others less.

Using a fine wire mesh strainer, strain the mixture through, rubbing the seeds with the back of a spoon to extract as much pulp as possible.

The bright pink seedless result is coulis. You can use almost any fruit to make a coulis.

Coulis  is simply pureed fruit or vegetables, strained so it is smooth and full flavored.

Imagine savory coulis . . . with roasted vegetables . . . the possibilities!
Plate set up:

Plated Pate

Spoon a small amount of Creme Anglaise onto a plate; spoon Raspberry Coulis beside the Anglaise. If desired, draw a toothpick, skewer or knife tip through the anglaise and coulis to create a swirled design.

Add fresh berries and a mint leaf to the plate and serve.

Please excuse the quality of the photos; I didn’t have the lighting equipment with me.

7 Sweet Things That Influenced My Life

1) Dulche de Leche – the first time I ever tasted it in Little Havana in Miami, I knew it would be in my life forever. It is one of the reasons I love Miami.

2) Fireball Jawbreakers – As a kid these were my ‘go to’ candy. My molars suffered and have had required dental treatment. My advice is to stay away from jawbreakers and dentist chairs. They go hand in hand.

3) As I love Miami, I love France for their Fleur de sel caramel. ’nuff said. I learned to make them which is a dangerous skill. It means I can have them available ALL the time. oops 😉

4) Short breads are another weakness, especially freshly made ones, with lemon glaze, and a cup of tea. This makes me a very happy girl!

5) Anything with puff pastry or pie dough. I like making them both, making things with them, eating things made with them. There is never a scrap thrown away.

6) Ice cream and sorbet especially home-made ones. Fun thing to do with gatherings of people. I love having just a small “amuse bouche” between hot courses of a meal.

7) This isn’t a like, but really a dislike: cake. I hate cake; making them, frosting them, the way they look, smell, even the sound of the word. Cake, ew. If I had to use a word, ‘gateau’ would work much nicer that ‘cake’.
The last cake I made I punched it down to the ground. Then kicked it. Cake murder. I vowed then never to make another cake. So far, I haven’t had to. YAY!

(Hum, will they take the award away now? The award name has ‘cake’ in it!)

This is where I pass it along!

The Premio Cake Blog di Qualità Now Goes to:

Choco chip Uru

This young lady’s blog is full of fun and delicious creations. She shares what works and what doesn’t with a great sense of humor. Check her out!

Mandy at The Complete Cookbook

Mandy presents interesting foods and beautiful photography. Her new cookbook is also available, ask her about it. Her posts are delightful.

Frugal Feeding

Everything Frugal does is mouth-watering. From his breads, to his desserts and he also estimates how much the dish cost to put on your table. Drop in and see what is on his table today.

Thank you again Barbara, I am flattered.

Chocolate Cherry Bread

Believe it or not, this is not sweet chocolate cherry bread. It would be fantastic with grilled or smoked chicken or ham and honey mustard sandwiches with bread and butter pickles.

Chocolate cherry bread also makes great breakfast.

I have been perfecting a no-knead formula. Trying out different things, discovering what the dough can and can’t do has led to some interesting discoveries, such as this variation.

1. Replace 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup special dark cocoa

2. Hydrate 1 cup tart cherries,drain, fold the cherries into the bread after the first rise.

I mixed 1 tablespoon of cocoa into the flour used on the board when folding in the cherries. I did not line the rising baskets with cocoa, just flour.

If I keep making this, I’ll invest in some heavy linen cloth to line the baskets so the cloths will get stained from chocolate, not the baskets.

Recipe for Chocolate Cherry Bread

Makes 2 large loaves

  • 6 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 Tablespoons yeast
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries, soaked in warm water at least 30 minutes
  • 1/4 cup cinnamon sugar, if desired

For handling dough: Mix 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder into 1 cup of bread flour. Use this to dust the rolling surface and any sticky parts of the dough as you shape the loaves.

Combine salt, flour and cocoa powder in a large bowl

Mix the dry ingredients together before adding the wet ingredients

Combine the flour, cocoa, salt in a large bowl, stir to combine.

Warm water to 110°F sprinkle yeast on top and let bubble for 5 minutes. (This ensures the yeast is active)

Whisk the yeast and water together and pour over the flour mixture, fold until all liquid is absorbed and all flour is incorporated.

Pour in the wet ingredients and mix until everything is incorporated; form into a ball on the bottom of the bowl. Let rise for 2 hours or double in size.

Doubled in size

Form into a ball in the bottom of the bowl, cover with an oiled piece of cellophane wrap and allow to rise until doubled in size. This usually takes 2 hours.

Remove and sprinkle the top of the dough with cocoa/flour mixture, scrape to deflate and separate into equal balls of dough.

on a well floured surface, flatten one ball into a rectangle, sprinkle with hydrated cherries and cinnamon sugar if using, fold in thirds, sprinkle more cherries and cinnamon sugar, fold in half. Flatten the dough into another rectangle and roll into a log.

Pre-heat your oven to 450°F for 15 minutes before the bread is ready to bake.

Slash the loaves and place them into the hot oven for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of the bread reached a minimum of 190°F. Steaming is optional, if you want a crispy crust, steam is recommended. See how to add steam by reading the No Knead Bread post for a full description of baking off the loaves at home.

Shape into a log or ball; let rise for 1 hour or nearly double

As I mentioned before, this bread isn’t sweet. Even if you add the cinnamon sugar, the cinnamon adds to the complex flavor of the cocoa and the cherries. Simply divine for a smoked ham or turkey sandwich with whole grain mustard, lettuce and tomato.

Light lunch