Oh no! I missed the posting deadline again! But this time, it was for a good reason. I have some exciting news that I'm going to share with you in my next post (with an appropriate dessert), but before that, here's the (fashionably late) challenge post.
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.
3 large egg yolks
1 large egg
2 tbsp + 2 tsp (40 g) sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp water
chocolate base, warm (recipe follows)
1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
1/2 cup cocoa powder for rolling
- In a 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 sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring the syrup to a boil and then cook to softball stage (235°F/115°C). 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.
- 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 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.
- 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. We used the stand mixer for this, and it took about 1 minute.
- 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 pans and cover with plastic wrap (directly touching the mixture so it doesn't allow any air).
- Freeze until very firm, at least 2-4 hours (preferably 6-8 hours).
- When you're ready to plate, remove the marquise from the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving. 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 roll the cubes in cocoa powder. These will start to melt almost immediately, so don't do this step until all of your other plating components are ready. The cuber need to sit in the fridge to slowly thaw so plating components can be done during that time. They don't need to be ready before the cubes are rolled in the cocoa powder.
- You want to handle the cubes as little as possible because they get messy quickly and are difficult to move. However, you want to wait to serve them until they've softened completely. The soft pillows of chocolate are what makes this dessert so 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.
6 tbsp (85 g) bittersweet chocolate (70% cocoa)
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp (90 ml) heavy cream
1/8 tsp salt
1/16 tsp cayenne
1 tbsp tequila
1 tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp cocoa powder (Dutch-processed)
dash freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tbsp (8 g) butter
- Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl.
- In a double boiler, warm the cream until it is hot to the touch (but is not boiling). Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.
- Allow it 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 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.
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup less 1 tbsp (100 g) sugar
splash of apple cider vinegar
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 together, making sure the sugar is moistened evenly by the egg whites and they make a homogenous 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're ready to plate the dessert, spoon the meringue onto a plate (or use a piping bag) and use a blowtorch to broil.
I didn't really love the Marquise, but everyone else did, so that balances it out. They're the people who are going to eat it anyway, not me, so I was happy. I thought it was too bitter. Overall, making it was fun, but rolling it in cocoa powder... not so much! It kept melting in my hands. Not my favorite Daring Bakers' challenge, that's for sure.
Approximate cost: 5 €