“A terrine is noting more than a fancy meat loaf cooked in an earthenware or other ovenproof dish, chilled and served cold.” so says Madeline Kamman in The Making of a Chef. Then why am I overwhelmed with the thought of taking this on? Doesn’t it involve pate? She goes on, ” a pate is a terrine mixture baked in pastry…a sasucisson is a terrine mixture shaped into a large sausage by stuffing it into a natural skin or a plastic cook-in bag; it is generally poached.” Oh dear. And finally, ‘a galantine is a very large cooked sausage, the forcemeat of which contains the meat of one or several birds or other meats. The skin of one of the birds is used as a container for the forcemeat.” Bring it on home Madeline, “There is no beating around the bush: They are much work.”
So began my research for this IMBB with this round hosted by Derrick at An Obsession with Food. So if a terrine is just the cooking vessel there had to be in this day and age an introductory terrine recipe out there. I wouldn’t have to skin a rabbit, a hare pluck a duck or pheasant. Thankfully no, but I did learn that a 3 pound rabbit yields 1 generous pound of meat.
After sorting through dozens and dozens of simple terrine recipes I ended up with a mildly involved one, Chocolate Peanut Butter Terrine, uncovered at Godiva.
One more hurdle to jump, the pan. At Sur La Table at the Ferry Marketplace the sales person tired to pass a Bûche de Noël mold off as a terrine pan. I argued and scoffed. This is a half circle. He said, same thing. No, no it’s not. Thirty minutes later I was in the restaurant supply store combing the aisles and came across a flattened pan with hinges. It wasn’t inexpensive at about $35.00 but it was less then the enameled cast iron version I fancy.
What demystified the terrine for me is thinking about it from the sugar side of the equation and connecting the mousse to the equivalent of a pate. For a first attempt at a terrine I think I did okay. The mousse was a perfectly smooth consistency. I was thankful for the hinged pan as it made unmolding it fairly simple. It should be noted that making sure that when filling the terrine that the corners are checked.
This recipe will be fairly simple for the experienced and a good challenge for those with confidence. Also I didn’t use Godiva chocolate. As I recently went to a French imported food warehouse sale and bought 10 pounds of bittersweet Valrhona I had more than I needed on hand. I also think I got off easy, next time I’ll ratchet up the challenge and take on terrine of Pears and Foie Gras from Madeline Kaman’s book or the Dry-Cured Magret with Duck Liver Mousse, Chinese Cinnamon, and Black Vinegar Reduction.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Terrine
Adapted from a recipe from Godiva Chocolatiers
“Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse”
11 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tblspn unsalted butter
6 tblspn smooth peanut butter
4 lrg egg yolks
4 tbl granulated sugar, divided in 1/2
1 3/4 cup heavy cream
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
5 tbl unsalted butter
2 tsp light corn syrup
Sweetened whipped cream
1/2 cup unsalted nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (See note)
Note: To roast peanuts, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Spread peanuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast 5 to 8 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer the nuts to another baking sheet and cool completely.
At least 4 hours or day before serving prepare the chocolate peanut butter mousse
Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9 1/4-by-5 1/4-by-2 3/4-inch metal loaf pan. Line the pan with plastic wrap so that the plastic extends about 2 inches beyond the rim of the pan. This excess plastic will need to completely envelop the terrine as it chills. Place the pan in the freezer.
Next fill a medium saucepan one-third of the way with water and bring to a simmer. Place the chocolate, butter and peanut butter in a medium metal bowl over the simmering water and melt the ingredients. Set the chocolate mixture aside, keeping it warm.
In a 4 1/2-quart bowl of an electric mixer, using the wire whip attachment, beat the egg yolks at medium speed until well blended. While continuing to beat, add 2 tablespoons of the sugar in a steady stream.
Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and place over a pot of hot water. The bottom of the bowl must touch the water. Cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly until the mixture is thick and tripled in volume, and registers 140 degrees F for 3 to 5 minutes on an instant read thermometer. Be careful as to not cook the eggs.
Remove the bowl from the heat and whisk the mixture until it is room temperature.
Using a large rubber spatula, gently fold in the reserved chocolate mixture.
In a chilled stainless steel medium bowl, using a hand-held electric mixer set at medium-high speed, whip the cream and 2 tablespoons of the sugar until soft peaks begin to form.
Using the rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture.
Carefully scrape the mousse/terrine mixture into the prepared terrine pan. Smooth the top with the rubber spatula. Tap the pan on the counter to eliminate any air bubbles. Cover the top of the terrine with the plastic wrap overhang. Refrigerate for at least four hours until set.
Unmold the terrine:
Unfold the plastic wrap from the top of the chilled terrine, and use it to lift the terrine out of the loaf pan. Invert the terrine onto a rack set on top of a cookie sheet. Remove the plastic wrap from the terrine.
Glaze the terrine:
Melt the chocolate and butter according to the directions in the Chocolate Melting Tips. Whisk in the corn syrup. Remove the melted chocolate from the double boiler and let cool for about 5 told minutes so it can thicken slightly. Pour the glaze over the terrine, spreading it evenly over the entire terrine using an offset metal cake spatula.
Refrigerate until set, about 15 minutes.
Slice the terrine with a hot, dry knife into 9 even slices, and then again in half making a total of 18 pieces. Place 3 pieces of terrine on each dessert plate.