This is a real show-stopper of a pud - a combination of chocolate mousse, alcohol-soaked cake and raspberries is always a sure-fire winner. Don't make it look too perfect, though, as I think slightly homemade looks more appealing. The terrine is ideal for parties as it's best made a day ahead to allow the flavours to combine, but don't turn it out and decorate it until a couple of hours before you need it.
Serves: 6-8 Prepare: 40 minutes Cook: 30 minutes
2 large free-range eggs
50g (2oz) caster sugar
few drops of vanilla essence
40g (1 1/2oz) plain flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
25g (1oz) butter, melted and cooled
2 tbsp brandy
1 tsp instant coffee granules dissolved in 75ml (3fl oz) boiling water
400g (l4oz) fresh raspberries
cocoa powder, chocolate curls and extra raspberries, to decorate For the chocolate mousse:
175g (6oz) good-quality dark chocolate
300ml (1/2 pint) double cream
- Make the chocolate sponge first. Preheat the oven to 190C / fan oven 170C / Gas Mark 5. Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla essence in a mixing bowl and whisk with an electric mixer until very thick and pale: the mixture should hold its shape on the surface if you drop a spoonful on to it. Sift the flour and cocoa powder over the surface and fold in quickly and lightly, then fold in the melted butter. Pour into a greased and base-lined 10 x 30 x 7.5cm (4 x 2 x 3in) loaf tin - it will only just half fill it - and bake for 25-30 minutes until well risen and firm to the touch. Turn out on to a wire rack to cool.
- To make the mousse, break up the chocolate and place in a small bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until melted, then cool slightly. Whip the cream until floppy then whisk in half the cooled chocolate. Fold in the remaining chocolate with a metal spoon.
- To assemble the terrine, cut the cake in half horizontally and place one half back in the loaf tin. Mix the brandy and coffee together and sprinkle half over the cake in the tin. Spread half the raspberries over the cake and top with chocolate mousse. Level the surface, top with the remaining raspberries and arrange the other half of the cake on top. Sprinkle with the rest of the brandy and coffee.
- Cover the terrine with foil, arrange weights along the foil (cans of beans are ideal) and chill for several hours. To serve, run a knife that has been dipped in hot water around the edges of the terrine, then carefully turn it out on to a serving plate. Dust with cocoa powder and arrange chocolate curls and raspberries on top. When ready to serve, cut the layered terrine with a warm knife.
Busy mum's lifesaver: Make sure the terrine is really chilled to make it easier to turn out. If it collapses a bit, hide any cracks with the cocoa and chocolate curls. You could even use a bought chocolate sponge loaf and just cut pieces to fit. Make chocolate curls using a swivel-edged vegetable peeler and a thick bar of dark chocolate.
The Busy Mum's Cookbook and The Busy Mum's Vegetarian Cookbook by Mary Gwynn are both published by Simon & Schuster for £20 hardback. On Friday 7 June Mary will be demonstrating recipes from her Busy Mum's cookbooks at Wealden Times Midsummer Fair in the Chefs' Theatre.
Photographs: David Merewether