Bittersweet Chocolate Terrine with Gingerbread, Cashews, and Sesame
For the Bittersweet Chocolate Terrine:
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Melt the chocolate with the salt over a double boiler; keep warm. Warm the eggs, yolks, and sugar to 110°F and whip in a standing mixer until tripled in volume. Meanwhile, whip the cream to medium-soft peaks; keep cold. Carefully fold the egg foam into the melted chocolate in 3 additions. Fold the cream into the chocolate until evenly distributed. Transfer the mixture to a foil-lined half hotel pan, or a 9-inch x 9-inch cake pan. Cover the pan with foil and make slits to vent. Bake in a water bath for 50 minutes; rotate after 25 minutes. Remove the pan from the water bath, and chill the terrine in the pan for 6 hours, or overnight. Use a heated knife to trim the ends and slice portions.
For the Vanilla Bean Whipped Cream:
Scrape the seeds of the vanilla bean into the sugar, and use your fingers to mix the two together and evenly break up and distribute the seeds. Mix the cream with the sugar mixture and allow to infuse for 2 hours. Whip the cream by hand to form very dense, tight peaks. Keep cold.
For the Cumin Toffeed Cashews:
Put the cashews on a Silpat-lined sheet pan and preheat them in a 275°F oven for 20 minutes. Cook the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, cumin, and garam masala to 250°F. Pour the sugar syrup over the cashews on the sheetpan and stir to coat. Bake for an hour in the oven, stirring at 15 minute intervals. After an hour, remove a cashew and let it cool. Check to see if the toffee coating has become crisp. If not, continue cooking and stirring until this happens. With two gloves on each hand (to protect from heat), break up the cashews while still hot to individual pieces or small clusters.
For the Dark Gingerbread Purée:
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, ginger, cassia, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the molasses, canola oil, water, eggs, orange zest, and fresh ginger. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Pour onto a sheet pan lined with parchment and bake for 25 minutes.
For the Gingerbread Pudding:
Break up the gingerbread and place in the bowl of a food processor. Scald the cream with the sugar and salt and pour over the gingerbread. Let the gingerbread stand in the hot cream for 2 minutes. Turn on the food processor and let it run for 2 minutes, or until the gingerbread pudding is very smooth. Taste and season with salt or sugar if necessary. While still hot pass through a fine chinoise. Store in the refrigerator.
For the Salty Sesame:
Toast the sesame seeds until very dark (even darker than seems correct). While still hot, chop the sesame seeds with the salt until broken up. The oils should be warm enough to cause the salt to cling to the seeds during chopping. If not, re-warm the seeds before chopping.
To Assemble and Serve:
Spoon a tablespoon of gingerbread pudding on a plate and offset the terrine over the top. Place a dollop of vanilla bean whipped cream on one corner of the terrine and a small amount of the salty sesame on the other side. Scatter strips of crystallized ginger and cumin toffee cashews over the plate.