Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Three Chocolate Paté Recipes: The Perfect New Year's Eve Dessert

Several weeks ago, I posted a recipe for milk chocolate paté, which is delicious. Since then, I have been experimenting with a few other kinds chocolate paté recipes, using both milk and dark chocolate, and some fun toppings. And since this is a 'snack' type of dessert, served with cheese spreaders or butter knives and cookies, it really is a great dessert to serve at your New Year's Eve party or New Year's Day gathering.  

This is also a fantastic way to use up all that extra chocolate that you bought for baking before Christmas, or that you found in your stocking (let's face it, there are always too many treats in the house on January 1st!). So feel free to use my recommended chocolate brands below, or replace with chocolate chips, baking chocolate, Lindt chocolate bars, or whatever you have on hand!

Be sure to check out the 'Tips & Substitutions' Section at the end of this article for some alternate ideas (i.e. the best cookies and chocolate to choose) and what to do for your gluten-intolerant friends.

Here are the recipes...

Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Paté with Fresh Blueberries


You need...
  • 8 ounces of white chocolate (see tip at bottom of this article for choosing white chocolate), about two-and-one-third 100 gram bars
  • 1/4 cup of whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • 1/8 tsp ground vanilla bean, or 1 the scrapings from 1 vanilla bean (or use pure vanilla extract if you have no access to vanilla beans)
  • 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries

Instructions:
  1. Line a small loaf pan or a cupcake pan with plastic wrap.
  2. Break or chop your white chocolate and place in a heat-proof bowl.
  3. Chop your butter and place in a medium saucepan with the whipping cream and vanilla bean or extract.
  4. Turn the heat to medium and stir using a wooden spoon or small silicone spatula until the butter is melted fully and the mixture comes nearly to a boil.
  5. Pour the cream/butter mixture over the chocolate and stir until smooth.
  6. Pour into your prepared pan.
  7. Let sit on counter overnight or for 8 hours. Then refrigerate for 1 hour until firm. 
  8. When the pate is set and about 2 hours before serving (or before your party), flip the pate upside down onto a serving plate and remove the plastic wrap.  Then place the blueberries on top, or press them into the top and all around the sides. You can also sprinkle with white chocolate shavings if you like!
  9. Add a cheese knife or butter knife, and shortbread or other cookies of your choice to your platter to serve (see tips below for choosing the best cookies). 

Hazelnut Milk Chocolate Paté with Caramel

You need...
  • 8 ounces of a Hazelnut milk chocolate bar (see note below on the chocolate bar brand that I used and my reasoning for using it), about two and one-third of a 100 gram bar
  • 1/2 cup of whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup of butter
  • Dulce de Leche sauce, butterscotch sauce for ice cream or SKOR bits for decoration and added flavour

Instructions:
  1. Line a small loaf pan or a cupcake pan with plastic wrap.
  2. Break or chop your hazelnut chocolate bars and place in a heat-proof bowl.
  3. Chop your butter and place in a medium saucepan with the whipping cream.
  4. Turn the heat to medium and stir using a wooden spoon or small silicone spatula until the butter is melted fully and the mixture comes nearly to a boil.
  5. Pour the cream/butter mixture over the chocolate and stir until smooth.
  6. Pour into your prepared pan.
  7. Let sit on counter overnight or for 8 hours. Then refrigerate for 1 hour until firm. 
  8. When the pate is set and about 2 hours before serving (or before your party), flip the pate upside down onto a serving plate and remove the plastic wrap.  Then place press the SKIR bits into the sides, or place your caramel sauce into a small sandwich bag and cut a tiny hole off the corner to drizzle your sauce over the pate. You can also garnish with whole roasted hazelnuts or chopped hazelnuts!
  9. Add a cheese knife or butter knife and shortbread or other cookies of your choice to your platter to serve.
Dark Chocolate Peppermint Paté with AfterEight Crumble


You need...
  • 2/3 cup of whipping (or heavy) cream
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 5 ounces of 55% to 70% (see note below on how to choose the percentage of dark chocolate), you'll need nearly two 100 gram bars.
  • 1 to 1.5 tsps. of peppermint extract (or 8 to 10 drops of peppermint oil)
  • about 5 or 10 AfterEights or two mini candy canes

Instructions:
  1. Line a small loaf pan or a cupcake pan with plastic wrap.
  2. Break or chop your dark chocolate and place in a heat-proof bowl.
  3. Chop your butter and place in a medium saucepan with the whipping cream and peppermint.
  4. Turn the heat to medium and stir using a wooden spoon or small silicone spatula until the butter is melted fully and the mixture comes nearly to a boil.
  5. Pour the cream/butter mixture over the chocolate and stir until smooth.
  6. Pour into your prepared pan.
  7. Let sit on counter overnight or for 8 hours. Then refrigerate for 1 hour until firm. 
  8. When the pate is set and about 2 hours before serving (or before your party), flip the pate upside down onto a serving plate and remove the plastic wrap.  Top with chopped AfterEights or crushed candy cane pieces.
  9. Add a cheese knife or butter knife and shortbread, chocolate or other cookies of your choice to your platter to serve.

Tips and Substitutions:

For those gluten-free folks, be sure to buy some gluten-free cookies and place them on a separate plate with some additional pate, to be sure that everyone can enjoy your delicious dessert.  Attach a little sign on a toothpick to indicate that it is 'gluten-free'.  If there is only one person who needs 'gluten-free', you can make mini pate's in a mini cupcake container at the same time as you make the larger ones (see picture of the mini pates to the right).

For the white chocolate pate, Green & Blacks has a nice white chocolate bar, or use Joe's (sold at Walmart and other places), or try something at the bulk store, lke Bulk Barn.  Try to choose something with natural vanilla flavouring (not vanillin or artificial flavour) or it will be too sweet tasting.

For the hazelnut milk chocolate pate, I used Camino's Hazelnut 38% Milk Chocolate bar because the hazelnuts are broken up in small pieces, which makes the resulting pate easier to cut through and spread on crackers.  Some hazelnut bars have whole hazelnuts in them, so just be sure to read the package first.

For the peppermint dark chocolate pate, choose your chocolate percentage based on how bitter you like your dark chocolate, BUT keep in mind that by adding the cream and butter, you will be reducing the sugar, so a 70% will taste much more bitter than the 70% dark chocolate that you may be used to). I used about 1 and a half bars of Green & Blacks 70% dark chocolate - it's Organic and Fair Trade, and it was definitely very bitter. Semi-sweet chocolate chips and semi-sweet baking chocolate have a lower percentage of cocoa solids and would be a nice fit with peppermint.

Shortbread cookies really are the best with all three flavours of the pates, and if you want to make your own, you can find my recipe here. Ginger cookies (like the spicy Mary's gluten-free ginger cookies) go well with the white chocolate pate, and chocolate wafer cookies go well with the dark mint chocolate pate (or just spread it on an AfterEight instead of a cookie!). 

2 comments:

  1. I love chocolate, prepared in every possible way!! This banana chocolate cake looks fantastic. I'll try to make this specialty tonight! Thank you for this wonderful recipe!!!
    delicious chocolate recipes!

    ReplyDelete