This delicacy deserves THE spotlight on the Hall of Fame of Desserts, perfect for closing with a golden key a very special dinner.  It is classy, looks absolutely gorgeous, and according to Claudio, our dear friend who prepared it, it’s not too complicated to make.  Granted, Claudio is a fantastic cook, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect until he showed me the recipe.  In this case, I must agree with him: if you have access to canned pureed chestnuts, this will be one of the simplest desserts you’ll ever make, but even if you don’t,  making the puree is worth the effort, so you can taste this masterpiece and swoon with each bite.

(from Le Cordon Bleu – Receitas Caseiras)

185 g  (6.5 oz) semisweet chocolate, chopped
90 g  (3.2 oz) butter, at room temperature
90 g (3.2 oz) granulated sugar
400 g (14 oz) canned chestnuts puree
¼ tsp instant coffee, diluted in 1 tsp warm water
¼ tsp vanilla
30 ml  (1/8 cup) rum
shaved semisweet chocolate
fresh fruits of your choice (strawberries, blueberries, aguaymantos)

Lightly grease a loaf type pan with oil, cover the bottom with parchment paper, and oil the paper.

Melt the chopped chocolate in a bowl over simmering water (without letting the water touch the bottom of the bowl), stirring often.  Once it is completely melted and smooth, allow it to cool for 5 minutes.

Beat the butter with the sugar in a KitchenAid type mixer until creamy.  Incorporate the chestnut puree, and the melted chocolate.  When the mixture is very smooth, add the vanilla, coffee, and rum.  Pour into the prepared loaf pan, smooth the surface with the back of a spoon or a small icing spatula, cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

To unmold, carefully run a spatula around the edges, invert the terrine on a serving platter, and decorate with fresh fruits of your choice, shaving chocolate all over.

Cut in slices, and serve.  Count the seconds until the first compliment!   😉


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  This recipe is from a Brazilian edition of a Le Cordon Bleu publication from many years ago. I could not find a link to the specific book, but if you click here, you’ll be directed to the huge LCB  collection available at

Both Phil and I were blown away by this dessert!  It is creamy, rich, and even though I was firm on my intention of having a very small slice after the great dinner they had served us, I was powerless, unable to resist a second (bigger) slice.  It melts in your mouth, with the fresh fruits balancing the intense chocolate flavor.  The aguaymantos (fisalias in Portuguese) were a terrific touch, with their slightly tart taste and exotic look, they added extra pizazz to the dessert.
That’s what their garden looks like at winter time…  a tropical paradise indeed!

ONE YEAR AGO: Bewitching Farro Salad

TWO YEARS AGO: From sea to table: sushi

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  1. This definitely looks and sounds swoon-worthy. I particularly like the inclusion of chestnut puree and the rum must be heavenly. Do you taste the coffee at all or does it just lend an earthy flavour? And what about that so-called winter scene… are you kidding me?! Great post Sally.


    • I cannot say I tasted the coffee per se, it was just one of those desserts that have such intense flavor, sweet but not too sweet, deep, dense but light – a contradiction of terms in gastronomical form!

      yeah, Brazilian winter is another contradiction in terms, isn’t it? That garden in the summer is an explosion of colors, flowers, birds, pretty spectacular too


    • I would be grateful enough if my garden looked like that in the Summer! 😉 Let’s say Phil and I have serious issues as gardeners..

      I was also quite intrigued by the chestnuts – Claudio made the puree himself, but I intend to search for the canned stuff, knowing my limitations and skills


    • Fruit and creamy chocolate dessert – a combination that is hard to beat. As to the garden, it is gorgeous indeed, and you should see their home, encrusted on a hill, blending perfectly with the environment – an amazing place!


    • Celia, I haven’t searched for it yet, I bet it will cost an arm and a leg here too – maybe we should go for a “from scratch” version? I would need some meditation beforehand.


  2. The dessert looks and sounds terrific. The stonework in the garden is beautiful. I’ll think about it when I can’t see my garden over the snow piles from plowing snow.


    • They also have a “wall garden” on a big stone wall on the other side of this garden, that keeps getting more and more beautiful as the years go by. They made small “holes” in the wall where all sorts of native plants and orchids grow. ONe day I’ll post a photo of that too.


  3. Re. the aguaymantos, when I was a child, a family friend made gooseberry pie every 4th of July. It was also tart/sweet and I loved it. I also really like tomatillos.


    • Gooseberry is indeed pretty similar to aguaymantos, not sure if it’s the same species, but definitely related. I had never tried it or heard of them. Nice to learn something new (and get to savor it too… 😉


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