This is so very very very late…16 days later actually, but to be fair I moved out of my old Apartment and into my new place, went to the coast, had a wonderful weekend with my Mother, and went to the dentist twice. Now I have a calm minute of a week ahead of me before things get really crazy again.
The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma ofCookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to make a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.
I wasn’t actually sure if this one was going to get made. It turned out to be one of those things that I just happened to have all the ingredients and a couple of free hours to make something.
From what I gathered a Marquise is either “a nobleman ranking above a count and below a duke” or a delicious frozen chocolate mousse, on top of a warm freshly torched meringue, and served with appropriate components of a plated dessert (nuts, something crunchy, and a sauce). I’m glad the daring bakers chose to make the latter…ha.ha.
I am on a huge cardamom kick lately, HUGE. It goes in everything: scones? YES, muffins? SURE!, coffee?Yum!, ice cream? Why not? So when I started reading about this I thought, “Mmm Cardamom and Orange are good together, Orange and Chocolate are great together, ergo Chocolate Orange Cardamom!” Then I need a liquor, why, because it is a great flavor vehicle, and I just happened to still have a ton of this fancy Oregon Brandy from my egg nog experiment. My flavors were set: Dark Chocolate, Orange, Cardamom, Brandy.
The first part of the Marquise to be made is the the actual Chocolate Marquise:
3 oz bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
3 fluid oz. heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
Cardamom To Taste
Brandy To Taste
1/2 fluid oz. light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
Warm the cream to just scalding and pour over the chocolate, let it stand for a few minutes then stir till all the chocolate is melted, add flavorings to taste. Let this cool slightly while you finish the Marquise:
Servings: 6 2″x2″ (5cmx5cm) cubes
3 large egg yolks at room temperature
1 large egg
1½ oz sugar
Enough water to saturate the sugar to look like wet sand on the beach, about 2/3 oz
Chocolate Base, barely warm (previous recipe)
4 fluid oz. heavy cream
½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (for rolling)
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 – 15 minutes.
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).
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. The hosts give a great picture of this, and seeing as I would never be able to coordinate pouring softball sugar into a mixing mixer and taking a picture with my phone, I will borrow theirs:
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.
Pour into the prepared pans (you can use a metal pan with parchment, but I used a plastic tupperware which I just dipped into warm water to de-pan) and cover with plastic wrap. Now freeze overnight!
When you are ready to serve, make the Meringue:
Servings: Makes about 1 cup of meringue.
3 large egg whites
3½ oz sugar
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
Combine the egg whites, sugar and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir the three together, making sure the sugar is moistened evenly by the egg whites.
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. 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’re ready to plate the dessert, spoon the meringue onto a plate (or use a piping bag) and use a blowtorch to broil. Or use an oven … :( One Day I will have my own grown up Blow Torch, put that on my birthday wish list.
Then unmold the frozen mousse and cut into desired shapes and coat in cocoa powder. Place on top of the Meringue, and serve or add more yummy ingredients.
The rest is up to your own creativity, I made a salted brandy cardamom caramel sauce.
Its hard to explain how delicious I thought this dessert was.