If you haven’t heard of Chocolate Marquise don’t worry I hadn’t either until this months Daring Bakers Challenge. I am so glad that our hostesses Emma of CookCraftGrow and, Jenny of Purple House Dirt, chose this dessert for us because it was INSANELY GOOD! I’m not trying to toot 😉 my own horn here, this was a delicious dessert that satisfied the senses. The pictures don’t even do it justice, even as I was taking them I didn’t realize how good it would be! The chocolate flavor was rich but a secret ingredient added the tiniest bit heat, with sweet and salty caramel sauce and crunchy sweet and spicy toasted almonds a top a light toasted meringue it was perfect (did I mention I loved it). This dessert was fancy to say the least, but it really wasn’t very difficult to master, just lots of steps to making it. The chocolate marquise can be made ahead of time because it’s a frozen dessert (yay) I love that part, and the caramel sauce and nuts can be made ahead too. So all that is left to do is make the meringue and plate the dessert. If you try any new dessert this one has to be at the top of your list, it will impress and become a favorite of yours as it has now become of favorite of mine. Happy Eating
Begin by Making the Chocolate Base
6 oz (170 grams/ ¾ cups) bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
¾ cups (180 ml/6 fluid oz.) heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/8 cup (30 ml/ 1 fluid oz.) tequila (I did not use)
1/8 cup (30 ml/ 1 fluid oz.) light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons/less than 1/2 ounce) cocoa powder (we used extra brut, like Hershey’s Special Dark, but any Dutch-processed cocoa would be fine. Do not substitute natural cocoa powder.)
1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 oz unsalted butter (1 tablespoon/15 grams), softened
Directions: I did not include picture for the base since it is pretty straight forward
Step 1: Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl.
Step 2: In a double-boiler, warm the cream until it is hot to the touch (but is not boiling) I did this in the microwave just be careful and watch it. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.
Step 3: Allow it to sit for a minute or two before stirring. Stir until the chocolate is melted completely and is smooth throughout.
Step 4: Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside until cooled to room temperature. Do not refrigerate, as the base needs to be soft when added to the marquise mixture. If you make it the day before, you may need to warm it slightly. Whisk it until it is smooth again before using it in the marquise recipe.
6 large egg yolks at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (75 grams/ 2⅔ oz) sugar
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (1⅓ fluid oz/ 40 ml.) water
Chocolate Base, barely warm (recipe follows)
1 cup (8 fluid oz./ 250 ml.) heavy cream
Step 1: In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg yolks and whole eggs. Whip on high speed until very thick and pale, about 10 minutes.
Step 2: When the eggs are getting close to finishing, make a sugar syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring the syrup to a boil and then cook to softball stage (235F/115C). If you have a cake tester with a metal loop for a handle, the right stage for the syrup is reached when you can blow a bubble through the loop. I didn’t use a thermometer and it worked out perfect I just boiled it for a little while and went ahead.
Step 3: 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.
Step 4: When all of the syrup has been added (do it fairly quickly), turn the mixer back on high and whip until the bowl is cool to the touch. This will take at least 10 minutes.
Step 5: In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. 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 consistent as possible without losing all of the air you’ve whipped into the eggs.
Step 6: Fold 1/3 of the reserved whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream.
Step 7: Pour into a wax paper or parchment paper lined 9 X 9 in. pan and cover with plastic wrap (directly touching the mixture so it doesn’t allow in any air). Freeze until very firm, at least 2 – 4 hours (preferably 6 – 8 hours).
1/2 cup (120 ml/4 fluid oz) (4 oz/115 gm) sugar
1/4 cup (2 fluid oz./60 ml) water
1/2 cup (4 fluid oz./120 ml) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 tsp. of tequila (I used vanilla instead)
Step 1: In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water on medium-high heat. Boil until the water completely evaporates and the sugar caramelizes to a dark mahogany color.
Step 2: Working quickly, add the cream to the darkened caramel. It will bubble and pop vigorously, so add only as much cream as you can without overflowing the pot.
Step 3: 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 vanilla and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.
1/2 cup (4 oz.) sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg white
1 cup (145 grams/ 5 oz.) blanched whole almonds
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
Step 2: In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt.
Step 3: In a larger mixing bowl whisk the egg white until it’s frothy and thick.
Step 4: 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.
Step 5: Spoon the coated nuts onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Step 6: Bake the nuts for 20 minutes, or until they turn light brown. Allow the nuts to cool completely and they will get very crunchy. Set aside until ready to serve. If making ahead make sure you store these in a zip-loc bag to keep moisture out.
6 large egg whites
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (210 ml) (7 oz or 200 gms) sugar
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Step 1: Combine the egg whites, sugar and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk together.
Step 2: Over a saucepan of simmering water, warm the egg white mixture. As the liquid heats up, the sugar will slowly dissolve and the egg whites will thicken. Put your finger in the liquid and it is uniformly warm, nearly hot it is ready.
Step 3: 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.
Step 1: Take the marquise out of the freezer and turn out on the counter. Peel off the wax-paper, and using a sharp knife cut into squares. Put the squares back into the freezer until you are completely ready to use.
Step 2: Tear off a rectangle piece of wax paper and sift about 1/2 cup of cocoa powder onto the paper.
Step 3: Get a dessert plate and sprinkle some spiced almonds on plate.
Step 4: Put a spoon into the caramel sauce and pull out and make zig-zag pattern over the dessert plate.
Step 5: Put a dollop of meringue onto the middle of dessert plate or if you have frosting piping bags and tips you may pipe it onto the middle.
Step 6: Torch your meringue or put it into the oven under a broiler for a minute to get browned. I used my new torch (mother’s day present )
Step 8: Add a small dollop of meringue onto and torch careful not to melt the dessert and top with nuts and more caramel and more powder cocoa if desired.