This month’s challenge looked overwhelming (and very, very egg-heavy) at first read, but was actually a pleasure to make and eat. Not that I didn’t f*** up part of it – my meringues were downright bizarre – but the showpiece (the chocolate marquise) and the caramel accompaniment were delectable. They were a hit among my friends, including B., whose birthday it was and who got a candle plunked into the the middle of his marquise square.
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.
A marquise is similar to a semifreddo or even ice cream, except that it relies more on egg yolks and eggs than cream to give it its velvety texture. The custard is made by pouring in boiling sugar into a frothy yolk/egg mixture, and a chocolate base, this time with some cayenne and pepper for some extra zest, is added at the final stage for flavor. I personally think folding in the whipped cream wasn’t absolutely necessary, but it did give the marquise a bit of a rocky-road like appearance.
I also loved the tequila (OK, I used mezcal, which we had just bought in Mexico) caramel, which I drizzled onto the plate under the marquise. My meringues were just too odd and burnt from the broiler, more like toasted marshmallows. I thought I had had almonds at home and was planning to make the spiced almonds accompaniment, but I didn’t end up having them after all. They would have added a nice touch, but they were optional and I was under a bit of a deadline.