I used to sell a lot of this dessert when I was catering. It is a great celebration dessert AND it is best to make it several days ahead. Before I could enter it, I had to cut the recipe down to just one. (We used to make 3 or more at a time!) I named it for my dear friend Kristin Mellen, who loves chocolate and apricots together.
You can serve it as is with a dollop of softly whipped cream, or atop a puddle of Creme Anglais, if you must. —ChefJune
chopped dried apricots
1 1/2 pounds
semi-sweet chocolate I use Valthona)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (I use Kerrygold)
pure vanilla extract (I use Nielsen-Massey)
First, line a 4-5 cup mold with plastic wrap. Then line with aluminum foil, fitting the foil carefully into the corners so the finished terrine will be attractive.
Warm apricots with brandy until most of the liquid is absorbed and the apricots are plump. Use very low fire to avoid burning.
Over a bain marie, melt chocolate and butter. Stir frequently and do not allow mixture to exceed 120o F.
Separate the eggs. Beat whites with a pinch of salt to soft peak. Do not overbeat. Set aside. Add the yolks and vanilla to the cooled chocolate-butter mixture and combine thoroughly. Add apricots and hazelnuts and again combine thoroughly.
Gently stir in 1/3 of the whites. Add remaining whites and fold in very gently until no whites are visible. Mixture will mound slightly and apricots and nuts will be suspended throughout the mixture. Fill prepared pan very full. Cover top of pan with plastic wrap and chill several hours or until firm.
To serve: remove terrine from fridge and remove from mold still wrapped. Let sit at room temp for about 20 minutes, then (still wrapped) slice into 12 slices using a serrated knife that you dip into hot water between slices. Unwrap terrine and plate each slice on a cold plate. Garnish with whipped cream.