Long before the restaurant and the subsequent cookbooks of the same name, there was a talented chef, Lesley Stowe, who made desserts for some of the finest restaurants in Vancouver. This particular dessert was created for Bishops Restaurant, which for over thirty years has been one of the best, if not the best, restaurants in the city. It is rumoured that when former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau would come to the restaurant he would order two plates of this dessert, for himself!
The dessert is a dense, frozen chocolate slice which is served over a splattering of blood-red raspberry sauce. I have adapted it here from its original form to be dairy free. Whilst I chose to use soya cream, you could easily use coconut cream although it might have a little impact on the taste – which might not be a bad thing! I have also opted to use the egg yolk, as per the original recipe. If you were wanting to replace this I might suggest using aquafaba – although I am not sure if this would alter the texture and density. (If anyone of you do try this out, please let me know so I can update this post.)
I have also halved the recipe as the original makes 16 servings – which is far too much for most people. Finally, before you begin, you need at least 8 hours for the freezing of this recipe. As it stays in the freezer until you are ready to unveil it for your dessert, I would suggest making this ahead of time.
Makes 8 servings
- 225g Dark Chocolate (minimum 70%), broken into small pieces
- 125g Soya Cream
- 2 Tbsp Dairy-free Spread/Margarine (I used Pure Sunflower)
- 2 Egg Yolks (or 3 Tbsp aquafaba)
- 1/4 cup Icing Sugar (or Coconut Sugar ground to a fine powder)
- 3 Tbsp Cointreau, or Grand Marnier
- Cacao Powder for dusting, optional
- 150g Raspberries, frozen
- 3 Tbsp Caster Sugar (or Coconut Sugar)
- 1 tsp Lemon Juice
Line a 1lb Loaf tin with parchment paper and set aside.
Over medium heat, stir the chocolate pieces with the cream and dairy-free spread in a double-boiler until it is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and continue to stir for an additional minute whilst it cools.
Whisk in the egg yolks, until smooth. I found it is here where things for me can go terribly wrong! The temperature of the chocolate is critical. If it is too hot then once you add the eggs they could curdle, or the entire thing could split! Having made this dessert a few times, I have had the chocolate split on many occasions. Very frustrating! If you notice your mixture starting to look grainy – Stop immediately and look at the notes down below. Continuing to stir will just result in a grainy mixture swimming in a soup of oil as it carries on splitting!
Whilst stirring, sift the icing sugar over the chocolate and mix in well. Finally, add the Cointreau and whisk this in. You should have a lovely smooth mixture. Pour this into the prepared loaf tin, cover and place level in the freezer. Leave for at least 8 hours to set.
Make the raspberry sauce by adding all the ingredients into a blender and blending until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove the seeds. The sauce can be kept in the refrigerator until it is needed.
When you are ready to serve the dessert. Remove it from the freezer, unwrap it from the parchment and sift some cacao powder over the top. Splash some raspberry sauce on the serving plates (I found this best done in the sink where your creative freedom won’t be inhibited by your desire not to make a mess of your kitchen!) Dip your knife into hot water and cut your slices. Place a slice on top of the raspberry splash on each plate.
I found this tasted its best when it was removed from the freezer for about 15 minutes before eaten (allow to rest on the plate, rather than trying to cut a defrosting terrine).
Chocolate Fix – Whilst I cannot say this will fix every issue, I would say I have had the most success with this method when things have started to go wrong. Warm some reserved cream and add a tablespoon of this to the splitting chocolate mixture. Whisk this by starting at the top layer of the chocolate mix and working it down. Keep repeating until the mixture returns to a creamy, smooth mix. (This could be a few tablespoons.)
- I prefer the use of cream versus oil or hot water as it seems to keep the texture closest to that intended.