Cold and Colder: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Terrine and Salty Caramel Ice Cream

In selecting a dessert to bring to enjoy with our friends Jim and Colleen on a hot day, I decided that a cold dessert was in order. But I wanted to avoid something that would require a lot of freezer space, because I know that freezer space tends to be at a premium at their house (fortunately, Tom and I have two full-sized refrigerators, so we usually have ample room in at least one of the freezers). I was happy to find a recipe that seemed to fit the bill: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Terrine with Sugared Peanuts.

Making the terrine is not difficult. You melt together chocolate, butter, and peanut butter, and fold the mixture into egg yolks that have been whipped with sugar until thickened. Then you fold in whipped cream, spread the mixture in a loaf pan, and refrigerate it until firm. Once the terrine is firm, you unmold it (I lined my pan with parchment paper, so this was easy) and pour on a glaze of made chocolate, butter, and corn syrup. You put the terrine back in the refrigerator to set the glaze, and when you're ready to serve it, all you have to do is cut it into slices. The recipe includes an accompaniment of sugared peanuts that you make by mixing together peanuts with an egg white and sugar, and toasting them in the oven until they are golden and dry.

I also wanted to make ice cream to go along with the terrine; ice cream for four people doesn't require much room in the freezer. Last year I bought a copy of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, but I had yet to try any of the recipes. The first time I tried Jeni's Splendid ice cream was during Christmas a couple of years ago, when Tom's sister had purchased ten (yes, ten!) different pints of the stuff to serve for dessert. Everyone sampled a small #60 scoop (about one tablespoon) of all ten delicious flavors. The cookbook has some incredibly unusual and creative recipes.

The last time we saw Colleen, she mentioned how much she liked the salted caramel frozen yogurt at Pinkberry, so I decided to make Jeni's "Salty Caramel Ice Cream." According to the cookbook, it is the most popular flavor in Jeni's stores, accounting for more than 20 percent of sales. The recipe includes caramel (made by dry-burning sugar in a pot on the stove) and vanilla, along with the other ingredients that compose the base of all of Jeni's ice creams: whole milk, cornstarch, cream cheese, salt, heavy cream, corn syrup, and sugar.

The terrine was pretty much what I expected -- essentially a chocolate-peanut butter mousse. That said, it was pretty tasty and had a lovely creamy, light texture. I didn't think the sugared peanuts were all that interesting on their own, but they added a lot to the dessert, which was otherwise lacking any crunchy texture. The salty caramel ice cream was improbably dense and creamy, smooth as silk. It had the best texture of any ice cream I've ever made. The flavor was also delicious, and it happened to complement the terrine quite well. I know that making ice cream to go along with a terrine is gratuitous, but I loved the result!



Everything about this dessert was amazing. Jim and I got to enjoy it for a couple days after you came over, thanks for the left overs, we would sit in complete silence except for the occasional "Yum." Amazing.
Yum yum! Im drooling at the picture!