Chocoholics: beware! This chocolate terrine is one of the most dangerous home desserts I know. Once you taste it, you will constantly be tempted to prepare it once more and once more and once more… When you realise that the recipe is ridiculously easy and the result guarantees admiring looks from your guests, you will understand why I praise it so highly. Katerina from Culinary Flavours is the person I hold entirely responsible for turning me into an addict to this rich, creamy, decadent chocolate delicacy. Her seducing photos wouldn’t simply get out of my mind and when I took a first bite, I found it hard to believe that such a quick and simple preparation can lead to something so sublime.
Katerina’s recipe was called “marquise”, but it could also be named “terrine” because similar desserts bear both names in French cookery books. She has used chocolate cookies; I have used Speculoos, the famous Belgian spice biscuits, which go so well with the winter season we are approaching. Whether you call it terrine or marquise, whatever biscuits and aromatic alcohol you add, you will certainly receive sincere compliments from your guests and family. Thank you, Katerina, for making me discover one of the easiest and most impressive chocolate treats. I will certainly serve it for Christmas.
I have slightly modified Katerina’s recipe and cut down the amounts by half. Since it’s very filling and rich, this mini-terrine/marquise will suffice for six people. For a bigger group or for second servings, double the amounts. Click here to see Katerina’s original recipe and to have a stroll through her wonderful blog with recipes from Greece (her home country) and all around the world.
TIPS: If you don’t melt chocolate often, this might be the only tricky part of this otherwise easy cake. There are different ways to do it, but my favourite is to melt it, broken into pieces, in a small pan filled with hot (not boiling) cream. Whichever method you use, the most important thing is not to let the chocolate boil. I usually melt butter this way together with chocolate.
UPDATE: This recipe has been evolving throughout years (6 actually!) and nowadays I no longer add any sugar. It you are not a fan of intense very chocolatey flavours, you may add 8 tablespoons of confectioner’s sugar.
Preparation: 15-20 minutes + a night in the fridge
Ingredients (serves ten-twelve, fills a 10 x 20 cm/about 4 x 8 in baking dish; at the photograph above you see a smaller half-portion):
250 g/about 9 oz good quality dark chocolate (you can use “baking” chocolate or chocolate chips, but good quality one, without vegetable fats and with min. 70% cocoa)
150 ml/5 fl oz liquid cream (at least 25% fat)
100 g/about 3,5 oz butter
120 g/4 oz Speculoos or other biscuits of your choice
(1 flat teaspoon instant coffee)
2 tablespoons rum (or any aromatic alcohol that would go well with your biscuits and chocolate)
(crumbled biscuits, cocoa or confectioner’s sugar to sprinkle over the marquise before serving)
Melt the chocolate and the butter (in a pan (see TIPS), in a microwave oven or in a hot water bath).
Add the sugar, the cream, the alcohol and stir well.
Break the biscuits to small pieces (but not to powder!) and incorporate into the chocolate mixture.
Line a baking dish with plastic film (I advise to fold it in two so that it doesn’t break when you take out the cold marquise).
Pour the chocolate mixture into the dish, cover and refrigerate overnight.
Serve very cold, straight from the fridge, sprinkled with crumbled biscuits, cocoa or confectioner’s sugar or the way it is.