Friday, May 27, 2011

Daring Bakers: Chocolate Marquise

The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow 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.

This was my first Daring Bakers challenge, and whoa, they weren't kidding about the challenges being daring. An overly adventurous baker I am not (at least not yet). So, this dessert proved to be quite a feat for me! What the heck is a Chocolate Marquise anyway?! Well, I can tell you this... the dessert has French roots, it was a bit of a stretch for my budding pastry skills, and it was pretty darn time consuming. At least the end result was rather enjoyable :)

There were five components to this dessert including: a tequila and cayenne pepper flavored chocolate base for the marquise, the completed frozen marquise, cayenne toasted almonds, torched meringue and an irresistible salted caramel sauce... Wait a sec...let me catch my breath.... whew, what a list! All the elements weren't overly difficult to make if you know the basics behind making caramel, ganache and meringue. It was actually more of a challenge of timing and patience to pull this one off. 

The Marquise itself was unusual and quite wonderful. It had a lovely silky texture that melted on your tongue, and the caramel..... mmmmm! So good! The meringue and toasted almonds did not blow me out of the water, and I probably could have done without them from a taste perspective, but they did make for a pretty plate.

Will I make this again? Nope, too much work! But, it really was a nice treat and a cool thing to be able to say I made. I am very eager to see what next month brings...

Happy baking!
Jaime @ The Great Cake Company

Chocolate Marquise
Servings: 9 - 2"x2" cubes

Hint: Make in the order listed below

Chocolate Base (for completed Marquise)
3 oz (85 grams/ 6 tablespoons) bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons (90 ml/3 fluid oz.) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon (15 ml/ 1/2 fluid oz.) tequila
1 tablespoon (15 ml/ 1/2 fluid oz.) light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon/(less than 1/4 ounce) Dutch Processed cocoa powder
dash freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon (8 grams) softened

Completed Marquise
3 large egg yolks at room temperature
1 large egg
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (40 ml) (40 grams/ 1½ oz) sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (2/3 fluid oz/ 20 ml.) water
Chocolate Base, barely warm (recipe above)
½ cup (4 fluid oz./ 120 ml.) heavy cream
½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (for rolling)

Line a 6" square baking ban with parchment paper. Be sure to leave a little extra on either side for easy removal of the Marquise from the pan.

Begin by making the chocolate base. Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl. Pour the heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl and warm it in the microwave until the cream is hot to the touch (but is not boiling). Remove it from the microwave and pour over the chocolate. Allow the heavy cream to sit for a minute or two before stirring. Stir until the chocolate is melted completely and is smooth throughout. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Set aside the chocolate 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.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg yolks and whole eggs. With your whisk attachment, whip on high speed until very thick and pale, about 10 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). Remove the pan from the heat and immediately drizzle the sugar syrup into the fluffy eggs (while the mixer running on low speed), 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 and whip until the bowl is cool to the touch. This will take at least 5 minutes.

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. Fold 1/3 of the reserved whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Pour into the prepared liners and freeze until very firm, at least 4 hours (preferably 6 – 8 hours). Remove the pan from the freezer and place in the refrigerator about 15 minutes before cutting. Do not allow marquise to sit out more than 5 minutes before cutting and serving. It melts quickly. If the dessert appears too melted, return the freezer for a few minutes.

Toasted Almonds
1/4 cup (2 oz.) sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 large egg whites
1/2 cup blanched whole almonds

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum 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 parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake the nuts for 15-20 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.

Tequila Caramel
1/4 cup (60 ml/2 fluid oz) (2 oz/55 gm) sugar
2 tablespoons (1 fluid oz./ 30 ml.) water
1/4 cup (2 fluid oz./ 60 ml.) heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon tequila

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. 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. 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 and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.

3 large egg whites
1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon (105 ml) (3½ oz or 100 gms) sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

When about ready to serve, make the meringue.

Combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Using a whisk to stir continuously, heat the egg whites over a saucepan of simmering water. The egg white mixture is ready when you can no longer feel pieces of sugar between your fingers when tested.

Remove the mixing bowl from the saucepan and return it to the stand mixer fitted 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 first drizzle the caramel sauce and then place a dollop of meringue onto each plate. Torch the meringue by hand or under a broiler set to 'low'. If using the broiler, watch very closely so you don't end up burning the meringue. Also, do not place Marquise under the broiler, unless you want a puddle of chocolate.


  1. Beautifully done, great job on your first challenge! Welcome to the Daring Bakers!

  2. Welcome to the Daring Bakers, and great job on your first challenge. The picture shows the details beautifully.

  3. Great job on your first challenge - I wish you had more photos, it looks beautiful!

  4. Thanks for the comments my fellow bakers!

    Ashlae - I know, for some reason I just couldn't get a decent shot of this dessert. I promise more pictures for next month :)

  5. Hi Jaime! Welcome to the Daring Bakers club! Great job on your first challenge. Your plate looks awesome! Are you counting down the days until the 1st to see what the next one is? I am! See you next Sunday!

  6. Hello and welcome to the daring bakers..
    you did a stunning job on your first challenge..and your pictures are just beautiful

  7. Congratulations on your first challenge! Love the flowery shape of your marquise. Well done!


Please let me know what you think, and thanks for stopping in :)