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Chocolate Terrine with Vanilla Bean Sauce

Preparation time: 45 min, plus 1 hr cooling and overnight chilling, Cooking time: 1 hr 45 min, Cals per serving: 777

ingredients

serves: 12
350 g (12 oz) plain chocolate, broken with 70% cocoa solids into small pieces
40 g (1 1/2 oz) cocoa powder, plus extra to dust
6 large eggs, beaten
125 g (4 oz)soft light brown sugar
284 ml carton double cream
5 tbsp brandy, optional
oil for greasing

for the vanilla bean sauce

568 ml carton single cream
1 vanilla pod, split, seeds removed and reserved
4 large egg yolks
75 g (3 oz) caster sugar
1/2 tsp cornflour

method

1. Put the chocolate and cocoa in a heatproof bowl over a pan of just simmering water and stir occasionally until melted and glossy. Cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 150°C/130°C fan oven/Gas Mark 2. Whisk together the eggs and sugar, then whisk the cream until soft peaks form. Gradually combine the egg mixture, chocolate and cream. Add brandy, if using. Grease and baseline a 900 g (2 lb) loaf tin and pour in the mixture; tap the base on a work surface to level the mixture.

3. Stand the tin in a roasting tray, filled with enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the tin, then cover with non-stick baking parchment. Bake for 1 1/4 hours or until just set in the centre. Leave in the tin for 30 minutes, lift out and chill overnight.

4. To make the sauce, gently heat the cream and vanilla seeds in a heavy-based pan until the cream just comes to the boil. Put to one side to cool and infuse for 15 minutes.

5. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and cornflour, add a little of the cooled cream and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining cream and stir well. Pour back into the cleaned pan and stir over a moderate heat for 5 minutes, or until thickened (it should coat the back of a spoon). Strain, cool, cover and chill.

6. Serve the terrine in slices with the vanilla bean sauce poured around and dusted with cocoa powder.

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