I joined the Daring Kitchen last month and this is the first month that I am able to participate. The May 2001 Daring Bakers’ Challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.
The original recipe a double batch, but I only made the Quarter Recipe Variation so as not to tempt the family with all of the extra calories! If it’s in the house we would eat it.
The mandatory items were the chocolate marquise and the meringue, the other components were optional and we were also able to make changes for the spices if we wanted. This recipe appears to be quite difficult, but once I got into the details it was not too hard and the final product was fantastic and I will be saving this recipe for a very special occasion coming up. The recipe seems daunting, but I completed it over a two-day period, I like those kinds of recipes. You should really give this dessert a try. Thanks to Emma of CookCraftGrown and Jenny of Purple House Dirt for really pushing my cooking boundaries.
recipe adapted from Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt – May 2011 Daring Bakers Challenge
Servings 6 2″ X 2″ cubes
Prep Time – 8 hours total – Prepare small 4″ X 6″ pan lined with parchment paper
Chocolate Marquise Ingredients
3 large egg yolks at room temperature (save egg whites)
1 large egg
2 TB + 2 tsp sugar
1 TB + 1 tsp water
Chocolate Base, barely warm (recipe follows) I made this base first before the marquise so it has time to cool
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (for rolling ) I used Ghirardelli Ground Chocolate and cocoa which has dutch processed cocoa powder – do not use natural cocoa powder
Torched meringue ( recipe follows )
Spiced Almonds ( recipe follows)
Cacao Nibs (optional ) I did not use as I could not find in the area stores.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg yolks and whole egg. Whip on high speed until very thick and pale, about 10-15 minutes. When the egg yolks are getting close to finishing, make a sugar syrup by combing the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring the syrup up to a boil and then cook to soft ball stage (235F/115C).
With the mixer running on low speed, drizzle the sugar syrup into the fluffy eggs, trying to hit that magic spot between the mixing bowl and the whisk.When all of the syrup has been added ( do it fairly quickly) turn the mixer back on high speed and whip until the bowl is cool to the touch. This will take at least 10 minutes.
In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks and set aside. When the egg mixture has cooled, add the chocolate base to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Try to get it as mixed as possible without losing all the air you whipped into the eggs. I used the stand mixer and took about 1 minute. Fold 1/3 of the reserved whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, and then fold the remaining whipped cream.
Pour the mixture into your prepared pan than has been lined with parchment paper. and cover with plastic wrap (directly touching) the mixture so it doesn’t allow in any air. Freeze until firm. I froze mixture overnite.
When you are ready to plate, remove the marquise from the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving. While it is still hard, remove it from the pan by pulling one the parchment paper handles or by flipping it over onto another piece of parchment paper.
Cut the marquise into cubes and roll in the dutch processed cocoa powder. Not natural cocoa powder. They will start to melt immediately so do not do this step until your other plating components are ready (meringue, caramel, spice nuts, cocoa nibs) are ready.
To plate: Place the torched meringue on the plate and drizzle with the caramel sauce and spice nuts and cocoa nibs for garnish if you are using. Place the chocolate marquise cube that has been rolled in the cocoa powder on top of the torched meringue. handle the chocolate cubes as little as possible as they get messy quickly. Place the completed plates back in the refrigerator, the chocolate will continue to soften completely. I left in refrigerator for about 10 minutes.
The soft pillows of chocolate are what make this dessert unusual and when combined with the other elements, you’ll get creamy and crunchy textures with cool, spicy, salty, bitter, and sweet sensations on your palate.
Chocolate Base Ingredients
This is an ingredient for the chocolate marquise and not meant tobe used separately.
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate ( About 70% ) I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet chocolate – but it was only 60%
1/3 cup + 2 tsp heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt
1/16 tsp cayenne
1 TB tequila – I did not use – I used rum extract
1 TB light corn syrup
1 /4 tsp vanilla
1 TB cocoa powder – again I used Ghirardelli ground chocolate and cocoa
dash of freshly ground black pepper
1/2 TB unsalted butter , softened
Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl.
In a double-broiler, warm cream until it is hot to the touch (but not boiling). Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Allow to sit for a minute before stirring, as the cream will start to warm and melt the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted completely and is smooth throughout. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside until cool to room temperature , do not refrigerate as the mixture needs to be soft when added to the marquise.
Torched Merinque Ingredients
Makes about 1 cup of meringue
3 large egg whites – I used the ones I saved from earlier
1/2 cup less 1 TB sugar
splash of apple cider vinegar – just swish small amount of vinegar , I used 1/4 tsp around in bowl.
1/8 tsp vanilla
Combine the egg whites,sugar and vinegar in a bowl of a stand mixer. Using your (clean, washed) hand reach in the bowl and stir the three ingredients, making sure the sugar is moistened evenly by the egg whites and they make a homogeneous liquid. Over a saucepan of simmering water, warm the egg white mixture. Use one hand to stir the mixture continuously, feeling for grains of sugar in the egg whites, as the liquid heats up, the sugar will slowly dissolve and the egg whites will thicken. This step is complete when you don’t feel any more sugar crystals in the liquid and it is uniformly warm, nearly hot.
Remove the mixing bowl from the saucepan and return it to the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk until you reach soft peaks. In the last 10 seconds of mixing, add the vanilla to the meringue and mix thoroughly.
When you are ready to plate the dessert, spoon the meringue onto a plate and use a blow torch to broil. Since I do not have a blow torch, I used my broiler. Just watch it very carefully as it will burn.
Tequila Caramel Ingredients
Makes about 1/4 cup caramel
1/4 cup sugar
2 TB water
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 TB tequila – I left this out and I did not add rum extract.
In a heavy bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water on medium-high heat. Boil until the water completely evaporates and the sugar carmelizes to a dark mahogany color.
Working quickly at this point, add the cream to the darken caramel. It will bubble and pop vigorously, so add only as much cream as you can without overflowing the pot. Return the pot to the stove on low heat and whisk gently to break up any hardened sugar. Add any remaining cream and continue stirring. Gradually the hard sugar will dissolve and the caramel sauce will continue to darken. When the caramel has darkened to the point you want it, remove it from the heat. Add the salt and tequila ( if you are using) and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.
Spiced Almonds Ingredients
Makes about 1 cup of spiced almonds – the extra almonds are great on salads!
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg white
1 cup blanched whole almonds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
In a small bowl, combine the sugar,cinnamon, cayenne and salt.
In a larger mixing bowl whisk the egg white until it’s frothy and thick. Add the spice mix to the egg white and whisk to combine completely. Add the nuts to the egg white mixture and toss with a spoon. Spoon the coated nuts onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake the nuts for 30 minutes, or until the turn light brown. Allow the nuts to cool completely and they will get very crunchy. Set aside until ready to serve. Which in my house means hide them before someone thinks they are a snack!