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 (I think the restaurant was Tango, the dessert was called El Diablo, and the pastry chef was Bennie Sata).
The basic idea of this recipe: frozen chocolate marquise (like a mousse), served on top of meringue, with optional sauce and candied nuts. Instead of cutting my marquise in cubes, I froze it in silicone muffin cups. The marquise sits atop mocha meringue with a garnish of chocolate sauce and caramel pecans.
For variation, I placed a round of orange chiffon cake beneath the remaining marquise cups and a blob of of coffee meringue (with cream folded in for more stability) on top. The resulting two-tone cones were frozen and dipped in chocolate. These mocha “mountains” were garnished with double chocolate meringue walnuts.
The recipe as given by our hosts was a bit large for my purposes, so I made a quarter of the recipe, plus I adapted it to be dairy-free (pareve).
I made another adaption, as well, to the method. The full recipe calls for making a pate a bombe: a hot sugar syrup is poured over egg yolks which are whipped until thick and airy and cold. The method is analogous to the Italian meringue method where a hot sugar syrup is poured over whites which are beaten until thick and airy and cold. I was taught that small batches of cooked meringue are more easily made by the Swiss method: whites and sugar are heated together and then whipped. Egg yolks and whole eggs can be whipped this way as well.
Here is the recipe, as I have cut it down and adapted it (folr the original recipe, go here):
The chocolate marquise is made by folding together three components into a chocolate mousse-like mixture: (1) a chocolate ganache/truffle mixture, which is called the “chocolate base”; (2) pate a bombe (whipped sweetened yolks–the yolk version of meringue) which is folded into the chocolate base to lighten it; and (3) whipped cream which is folded into the combination of chocolate ganache and pate a bombe to further lighten the mixture.
The chocolate ganache recipe should be made first. It cools while you are making the pate a bombe. When the pate a bombe is ready, you fold together the chocolate ganache with the pate a bombe. You now have a bowl with the combined mixture and a dirty bowl which held the ganache before you added it to the pate a bombe. Clean this bowl and whip the cream in it. Then fold the cream into the chocolate ganache/pate a bombe mixture. That’s it, you are finally done with the marquise mixture. Pour it into your container(s) and freeze.
(1) Chocolate Base (Chocolate Ganache or Truffle Mixture)
3 ounces 70% chocolate (actually, I went with Callebaut 60/40 because I was afraid 72% Schmerling would be too bitter, but I think it would work fine), finely chopped
3 ounces cream or Rich’s Whip
1 Tbl. corn syrup (I went with honey, which give a very nice and very subtle taste)
1 1/2 tsp. butter (I used coconut oil)
1 Tbl. liqueur (I used vanilla extract)
Make a ganache: Put the finely chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream until almost boiling and pour over the chocolate. Wait a minute to let the mixture start to melt. Stir until evenly melted and then mix in the corn syrup (or honey), the butter (or coconut oil), and the liqueur (or vanilla).
Set aside until cooled to room temperature. DO NOT REFRIGERATE. While it is cooling, make the pate a bombe.
(2) Pate a Bombe turned into Swiss style whipped yolks
3 yolks (2 extra-large is fine)
3 Tbl. sugar
(for pate a bombe method of original recipe, you also need 1 Tbl. 1 tsp. water)
If you are making the pate a bombe method, do the following:
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.
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.
Otherwise, if like me, you want an easier method, just combine the yolks, egg, and sugar in a bowl and heat the mixture over a pot of hot water, whisking constantly, until the mixture gets to 140 degrees for about 5 minutes or until it hits 160 degrees (this is for safety regarding avoiding salmonella from raw eggs–it will whip before this temperature is reached).
When the right temperature is reached, put the bowl and whisk attachment on the mixer and whip until the yolks are thick, light, and cool. This can take from five to ten minutes.
Fold together the ganache and pate a bombe.
(3) Whipped Cream
4 ounces cream or Rich’s Whip (1/2 cup)
Whip the cream until light and thick. Fold it into the chocolate mixture (combination of chocolate ganache and pate a bombe).
Pour the marquise mixture into molds (I was able to fill 8 cupcake molds plus two mini bundt pans, but you could also fill a loaf pan or a square pan and cut slices or squares to serve). Freeze until solid. Unmold and dust with Dutch process cocoa, if desired, and serve over toasted meringue with caramel or chocolate sauce and candied nuts as a garnish.
3.5 ounces sugar
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 and they make a homogeneous liquid.
Over a saucepan of simmering water, warm the egg white mixture. Whisk continuously. 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.
Mocha Tortoni or Frozen Angel Food Cakes
Adding whipped cream and coffee flavoring to the meringue is an idea that I got from the following two recipes: Helen Corbitt’s Frozen Angel Food Cake and Lois Levine’s Coffee Tortoni.
2 ounces pasteurized egg whites (2 whites)
1/8 tsp. salt
4 ounces sugar (1/2 cup)
1 tsp. coffee powder (can use more
1/2 – 1 cup cream (1 cup is the right amount, but I used 1/2 cup; I used Rich’s Whip which is sweetened, you might need a bit more sugar if you are using real cream)
1 tsp. vanilla
Make meringue with the egg whites and sugar (if using fresh egg whites, use the Swiss or Italian method so that the whites cook to a safe temperature). Whip the cream with the coffee and vanilla. Fold together the cream and meringue.
Pour into silicone mini bundt pans or muffin cups and freeze. Serve unmolded with fresh fruit and chocolate sauce.
variation: add toasted sliced almonds and a 1/2 tsp. almond extract.