Sure, working in the food industry can be challenging (I’m asked this all the time) but let me assure you that there are also some advantages. One perk is called the “Fancy Food Show” – North America’s largest specialty food & beverage convention which showcases over 180,000 food products sampled by over 2,000 vendors.
Instead of NYC where this show usually takes place, this July it was held in Washington, D.C. To get there, my husband and I made the 9+ drive down on our own. So, no “Bob the Builder”, “Little People” or “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” dvds were viewed en route. The show is great opportunity for brokers, buyers and retailers like me to sample new and interesting food products to sell in our stores.
In addition to hundreds of delicious samples and a few amazing dinners out, I had the opportunity to meet several food “celebrities”. Iron Chef Cat Cora was at the show, introducing her new line of private label products. I had the opportunity to meet David of “David’s Chocolate Signatures”, Dufflet Rosenburg of Dufflets, a.k.a the “Queen of Cake” as well as Lesley Stowe, owner of Lesley Stowe Fine Foods in Vancouver.
Many of my customers will recognize the name Lesley Stowe, because we sell a ton of her signature raincoast crisp crackers at the store. Lesley had a catering business and much-loved gourmet food shop in Vancouver for many years.
In 2006 she decided to close the doors to the retail store and focus solely on the raincoast crisps. She wrote a cookbook a few years back, filled with tried and true recipes from her shop and catering business. One of my favourites is the “death by chocolate pate with raspberry splash”. I phoned Lesley after the food show and asked if she would allow me to share the recipe with my readers, and she graciously agreed.
I learned that this recipe was a LSFF signature dessert for years – they even sold it to high end restaurants that didn’t have their own pastry chef’s, such as Bishop’s. Death by Chocolate even had the honour of being Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau’s favourite dessert, as he often ordered more than one piece when he was at Bishop’s!
Death by Chocolate Pate with Raspberry Splash (serves 16)
ingredients for pate
- 15 (fifteen) ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate
(Valrhona or Callebaut work well)
- 1 (one) cup heavy cream
- 4 (four) tablespoons butter
- 4 (four) egg yolks
- ½ (one-half) cup icing sugar
- 6 (six) tablespoons Cointreau or Grand Marnier
- cocoa powder for dusting, as required
ingredients for raspberry splash
- 10 (ten) ounces frozen raspberries
- 3 (three) tablespoons berry sugar
- 1 (one) teaspoon fresh lemon juice
directions for raspberry splash
- In a food processor, purée the raspberries, berry sugar and lemon juice. Pass the sauce through a sieve to remove the seeds.
directions for pate
- Line a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in the top of a double boiler; add the cream and butter. Melt over medium heat, stirring until completely smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for 1 minute, continuing to stir.
- Whisk in the eggs yolks. Sift the icing sugar into the chocolate mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk in the Cointreau until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours to set or overnight.
- Unmould the cake, removing paper. Dust the top with cocoa powder. Drizzle a large spoonful of Raspberry Splash on each plate. Using a hot, wet knife, slice cake and place on plates.