Just Plain Old Chocolate Pate

Last night we had a few friends over for a casual meal and some good conversation. It was fun and easy. We had gyoza (as a main course - which the Japanese would consider odd for sure but then we are not Japanese and we love gyoza so...) and rice and one of the couples brought a broccoli salad (which is also not very Japanese but like I said before....). Also not very Japanese is the dessert concept - at least it isn't traditionally Japanese but you should see the line-ups at the high-end chocolate shops in Roppongi Hills. Anyway, I decided to try a new recipe that I had seen in the November Chatelaine magazine that had arrived the day before. It promised to be easy and reading the ingredients it didn't look like it could possibly be anything but very, very good. It was more than that - it was incredible! And as easy as promised.

I have no pictures to seduce you with - by the time I decided that this should be shared there was nothing left but the 'remains of the day' and although that would have been a testament to the yumminess it would have been less than seductive as a visual image. Without any more fanfare here is the recipe.

Chocolate Pate

168 g dark chocolate, preferably good quality*
2/3 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 Tbsp sugar

Line bottom and sides of a small (6x3.5") loaf pan with plastic wrap, letting wrap hang over sides of pan.

Microwave chocolate, cream, butter and sugar in a bowl. Heat for 3 minutes or so, stirring occasionally. Pour into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, at least 6 hours.

To serve, turn out of pan and remove the plastic wrap. Slice into pieces and serve with cocoa powder. (Or do like I did and put it on a pretty serving platter unsliced, with a knife, and let your guests serve themselves.)

* I used my very most favourite bar - a Lindt Excellence Sea Salt Dark Chocolate. In my opinion the bit of salt really does something amazing to the chocolate.

Just so you know - it was a definitive hit with all. And again, so you know, you really, really want to make this. Soon. And often.

I served it with some softly whipped cream and bowls of raspberries, blueberries and some wonderful ripe red pears that we sliced at the table. It was (again) pretty casual presentation but it looked impressive and tasted better.

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