Thursday, May 26, 2011

{DBC} marquise on meringue

It's not actually the 27th quite yet; in fact, it's only the 16th. But since I won't be in the country then, this month's DBC was completed ahead of time, and I've written up this post early to submit on the 27th [Valencia time].

Moving on, I visited Tommy earlier today for our monthly DBC bake-date, and had a lovely time creating this month's challenge: chocolate marquise on meringue.

Chocolate marquise is a French dessert akin to a souffle, though much more dense, consisting of whipped cream folded with egg yolks and a chocolate base sauce. The challenge for this month was to create a marquise and serve it atop torched meringue, and to offset some of the sweetness of the meringue and richness of the chocolate marquise, Tommy and I opted for a mixed berry compote.

[This is one of those desserts for which you'll have to undo the top button of your jeans.]

The actual challenge recipe seems somewhat daunting, since there are so many parts to it, but it's pretty simple over all. I'll give you the recipes for the marquise and the meringue [both of which are a quarter of the full quantity], and as for sauces, you can use any you'd like. The given sauce was a tequila caramel sauce, but I thought caramel might have been too heavy. So instead, we went with a mixed berry compote. Tommy had also suggested white chocolate sauce, and fudge or any other sort of berry sauce would work just as well. It's your prerogative.

Chocolate Marquise on Meringue
Adapted from the May Daring Baker's Challenge
Yields 6 2x2-inch cubes

 For the chocolate base, you'll need:
  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tsp heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • dash freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp butter, softened

For the chocolate marquise, you'll need:
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp water
  • chocolate base, barely warm
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

For the meringue, you'll need:
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • pinch of cream of tartar

To prepare the chocolate base:
Heat whipping cream and chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl for 30 seconds. Remove and stir the chocolate until it melts. If need be, heat for an additional 10 seconds, but be careful not to over heat. Stir in remaining ingredients and set aside.

To prepare the chocolate marquise:
Line a small loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside. Beat egg yolks and egg on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 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 reduce heat and cook for an additional 45-60 seconds. Lower the mixer speed and quickly pour the sugar syrup into the eggs. Increase mixer speed to high and beat until the bowl is cool to the touch, at least 8-10 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, and pour the cooled chocolate base into the egg mixture and mix until just combined, about 1 minute.

Meanwhile, whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form. Fold 1/3 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten the batter, and then fold in the remaining cream, being careful not to deflate the mixture. Pour the marquise into the prepared pan and cover the top [directly touching the marquise] with plastic wrap, making sure that no air bubbles are trapped underneath. Put in the freezer and chill for 3-4 hours [if possible, 6-8 is ideal], until marquise is firm.

To prepare the meringue [do this when ready to plate]:
Preheat the broiler in your oven. Beat egg whites, sugar, and vanilla on high speed until soft peaks form, 5-7 minutes. Add in cream of tartar and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently scoop a generous amount of meringue onto a heat-proof plate. Stick the plate under the broiler, watching it carefully, until the top of the meringue turns a golden brown. This will happen very quickly, so it's important to keep a close eye on the meringue. Remove from the broiler and allow the meringue to cool for at least 5 minutes.

To assemble the marquise on meringue:
When ready to plate, remove the marquise from the freezer. While it's still hard, remove it from the pan by pulling on the parchment 'handles' or by flipping it over onto another piece of parchment.

Cut it into cubes and allow the cubes to sit in the fridge to thaw slowly, about 10 minutes. Once softened, roll the cubes in the cocoa powder. These will start to melt almost immediately, so make sure the plated meringue is on hand. Arrange the marquise on top of the meringue [but handle as little as possible, as these can get very messy] and drizzle with sauce or compote. Place the plated marquise in the fridge and wait until they've softened completely before serving.

In all honesty, the quartered recipe only called for 1/16 tsp of cayenne pepper, but Tommy accidentally added 1/4 tsp [following the original quantity]. Needless to say, I loved the extra heat in the chocolate, so I've kept the 1/4 tsp measurement. But if you're more sensitive to heat, then by all means reduce the quantity. I wouldn't suggest omitting it completely, because it gives the marquise a very intriguing depth of flavor that is far too unique to forgo. We also broiled the meringue rather than torching it, because (1) we didn't have a blowtorch on hand, and (2) we wanted to give the meringue a more even tan. It worked out just as well.

Ours also turned out somewhat messier than it should have...because we waited approximately 2 hours for the marquise to freeze instead of the minimum 3. In future, if I prepare this, I will probably allow it to freeze for the full 8 hours simply for ease of cutting and handling. But the 2 were more than enough for us, and it was still amazingly decadent.

As for next month's challenge...there is almost a guarantee that I will not be participating. However, I promised Tommy I would send him the challenge if he's interested in whatever is selected for June. If he likes it, he has offered to prepare it, in which case I'll update with the challenge post on the 27th and give all credit to him for participating for me.

And as long as it's not something I've been dying to make, I think I can handle a month without baking.

It might even be a welcome break.

[I anticipate suffering withdrawal symptoms two weeks from now.]


  1. superbe réalisation! très contente de découvrir tin joli blog!bonne soirée!kouky


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