Last night was this year’s Academy Awards show, one of my favorite nights of the year. When I was a little girl my mother and I would watch it together every year, oohing and ahhing over the beautiful dresses and women. I would prance up and down the room pretending that I was one of those pretty ladies and of course I always won an Oscar, LOL.
We would sit in the dark and eat chocolate bars and popcorn, my mother’s favorite snacks from when she was a little girl. And to this day I still love that combination. Who says food traditions have to be savory!
We always tried to guess who was going to win in each category. When I was little my choices were based on what they wore or who had the best hair style. As I got older and actually saw most of the films, my guesses became a bit more realistic and informed.
When I started dating The Artist, our second date was watching the Oscars. He must have really liked me because he hated award shows but he was a good sport and we had fun. These days, 16 years later, we still watch it every year. He has learned to appreciate the show more, and while it still isn’t his favorite thing to do, he still humors me a bit and loves that it has become a tradition for us.
This year, instead of the usual picnic foods that I typically make for us to snack on, we had leftover Chinese food homemade by my father-in-law’s neighbors. It was heavenly and real treat – I loved that it reminded me of Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the glory days of Old Hollywood.
One of the things on my Bucket List is to attend the Governor’s Ball after the Academy Awards and feast on the amazing creations of Wolfgang Puck and his team of wizards. I truly cannot imagine how hard it must be or how much intricate planning is involved in feeding all those ravenous stars – especially since they are used to eating the best of the best. You know there is no way even one plate goes out that isn’t absolutely perfect.
I know that most people in the world cannot make miniature Oscar statues for their family parties, but we can certainly still make a totally decadent chocolate dessert worthy of the Governor’s Ball. And that is what led me to today’s Chocolate Monday recipe. Can’t you just imagine sitting down to dinner and feasting on Chocolate Pate!
I found it posted on the delightful website, All Women Stalk a site dedicated to celebrating women and all the things we like to do. They cover topics like diet, love, hair, beauty, health, fashion, movies, celebrities, weddings, lifestyle, etc. They specialize in lists such as “The 10 Best Healthy Snack Ideas,” “7 DIY Beauty Treatments to Try,” “The 12 Best Ways to Lose Stomach Fat Fast,” “10 Awesome St. Patrick’s Day Treats to Make,” and the one where I found today’s recipe, “The 50 Best Chocolate Desserts – Your Ultimate Chocolate Dessert Guide.”
While a Chocolate Pate may sound difficult to make, it is actually really easy. Not only is it easy, but it can be made ahead so you can serve this on a weeknight even if you have worked a full day. It tastes a bit like fudge but much softer, with a mousse-like consistency.
All Women Stalk suggests serving this with a cranberry coulis (coo-lee) which is especially appropriate around the holidays, but you can also make it with strawberries, raspberries or even oranges. If you are making this for true chocoholics, mix up a quick ganache and use that to drizzle over the top or on the plate when you are serving this. A white chocolate ganache would be delicious and a beautiful contrast if you prefer.
I love desserts like this – special, indulgent, and easy to make! Have a wonderful Chocolate Monday everyone!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
If you want to make this a little differently, you can make a chocolate or graham cracker crust, bake it and let it cool. Then pour the “pate” mixture into the crust and refrigerate. It slices beautifully and is very easy to transport. I also really like the textural crunch you get in every bite.
If you are making a pie, I think serving it with a topping of lightly sweetened whipped cream is perfect. To make it even more yummy, try sprinkling the top with chocolate shaving, extra chocolate chips, or even some chocolate cookie crumbs.
Chocolate Pate with Cranberry Coulis
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1-1/2 cups jellied cranberry sauce
3/4 cup cranberry juice cocktail
1 tsp lime juice
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, divided
1 large egg yolk
2 cups (12 oz pkg) semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whipped cream, for garnish, optional
Chocolate shavings, for garnish, optional
Make Cranberry Coulis: Place cranberry sauce, cranberry juice cocktail and lime juice in blender; cover. Blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Prepare Pate: Line an 8 x 4-inch baking pan with plastic wrap. Set aside. Whisk 1/4 cup of the whipping cream and egg yolk together in a small bowl.
Combine chocolate chips, corn syrup and butter in a heavy-duty medium saucepan. Melt over lowest possible heat. When chocolate begins to melt, remove from heat; stir. Return to heat for a few seconds at a time, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat.
Add cream mixture to saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat for 1 minute. Let cool to room temperature.
Beat remaining cream and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until soft peaks form. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold chocolate mixture into the whipped cream. Pour into plastic-lined loaf pan*. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or freeze 3 hours.
To Serve: Spoon a little coulis on each dessert plate. Place a slice of Chocolate Pate on top of the coulis. Garnish with whipped cream. Serve cold.
* If you prefer, you can prebake a graham cracker or chocolate cookie crust and cool. The fill it with the pate mixture and chill until firm. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings if desired. Store, covered, in the refrigerator.
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