Friday 27 May 2011

Daring Bakers May 2011: Chocolate Marquise with Coconut, Rum & Lime

The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of Cook Craft Grown 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 was incredibly excited when this month’s challenge was announced. It involved making a frozen chocolate dessert known as a marquise, accompanied by a meringue, served with a syrup and decorated with nuts. The method is quite complex, using a host of tricky and technically challenging techniques, something which always excites me – I love a challenge and the chance to learn some new kitchen skills!

Another aspect of the challenge that had me jumping up and down for joy was the fact is was naturally gluten free! Hurrah!

The recipe provided was for a peppery tequila chocolate dessert, but we were free to adapt the flavours to our own choosing. I decided to head down a more tropical route and ended up with Chocolate, Coconut, Rum & Lime!

All four flavours work together when combined in pairs, so I could see no reason why they wouldn’t all work together as a group. It turned out better than I’d hoped, the results were AMAZING! I know that sounds a bit big headed, but it was one of the best taste sensations I’ve had in a very long time. I’m longing to try and convert it into a cake combination.

Coconut was the first flavour to hit me when I took my first bite. As the frozen dessert melted in the mouth the coconut flavour mellowed out and the rich chocolate came swooping in, closely followed by a delicious combination of rum and citrusy lime. Wow. No one component overpowered the others with each one coming in layers, waiting patiently until the previous flavour had had its time in the spotlight. The rum was not too apparent, giving the dessert a ‘grown up’ sensation rather than being obviously alcoholic.

I think part of the success of the dessert was due to its incredibly smooth, soft creamy texture thanks to the large amounts of cream and egg yolks involved. It was like frozen custard in texture, even when straight out the freezer - just divine!

I also think the fact it was frozen helped keep all the flavours from jumping in at once. The chocolate and rum didn’t develop until the dessert had had time to melt a bit in the mouth, preserved in their frozen state. It softened quite quickly into an almost mousse like consistency.

The dessert was meant to be set in a large square pan and then cut into squares. I decided to also make some in a baton shaped flexible silicone ice cube mould, which I think made for a stylish presentation. I served the marquise on a blob of toasted meringue after drizzling the plate with some date syrup I found in a health food shop which lent another sweet tropical flavour. I then served it with some crush pistachios which added a little crunch and a lovely green colour which seemed fitting to tie in with the lime.

I’m not much of a meringue fan and don’t think it added much to the dish, so I probably wouldn’t make this component part again. Overall (as you can tell) my family and I adored this dessert. Yes it’s a little time consuming, but not overly difficult. The results are spectacular meaning it would be ideal for a special occasion or for when you are wanting to impress guests with your effortless domestic goddess persona.

Click to see the blogroll for other Daring Bakers take on chocolate marquise.

Chocolate Marquise with Coconut, Rum & Lime
Chocolate Base(this is half of the base of the chocolate marquise, not a component to be used on its own)
170g dark chocolate (70% cocoa)
180ml double cream
30ml rum
30ml golden syrup
½ tsp coconut extract
15g cocoa powder
zest of 1 lime
15g unsalted butter, softened

Roughly chop the chocolate and place into 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 one minute before stirring gently to melt and combine.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
Set aside until cooled to room temperature while you make the other part of the marquise base. Do not refrigerate, as the base needs to be soft when added to the marquise mixture (below).

Chocolate Marquise
6 large egg yolks at room temperature
2 large eggs
75g caster sugar
40ml water
Chocolate base, barely warm (recipe above)
250ml double cream

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. (I don’t have one so used an ordinary bowl and a hand mixer!)
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, not the whisk itself or the sides of the bowl.
When all of the syrup has been added, turn the mixer back to 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 previously prepared 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 a third of the reserved whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, and then fold in the remaining cream.
Pour into the prepared pan or individual serving moulds and cover with clingfilm, pressing it down directly onto the mixture.
Freeze until very firm, at least 4 hours (preferably 6 – 8 hours).

Torched Meringue
(If you aren't planning on serving all of the marquise at once, you can make just half or even a third of the recipe)
6 large egg whites
200g caster sugar
Splash of apple cider vinegar
¼ tsp vanilla extract

Combine the egg whites, sugar and vinegar in a heatproof bowl. Whisk together lightly until all the ingredients have combined, but don’t try and make the egg foam up.
Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Use a spatula to stir the mixture continuously, dipping a finger in ever so often to feel 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 pour into a stand mixer with the whisk attachment (I don’t have one so used an ordinary bowl and a hand mixer). Whisk until you reach soft peaks. In the last 10 seconds of mixing, add the vanilla to the meringue and mix thoroughly. Set aside until ready to use. Can be done 1-2hours in advance.

To Serve
Chopped pistachio nuts
Cocoa powder for dusting
Date syrup for drizzling

Drizzle your serving plates with some of the date syrup. Arrange a blob of meringue onto the plate and toast lightly with a blowtorch to form a lightly golden top crust (optional).
Remove the marquise from the freezer, (do this 15 minutes before serving if cutting up a big one, or not at all if you’ve made individual servings). 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 dust them in cocoa powder. These will start to melt almost immediately, so don't do this step until all of your other plating components (meringue, syrup, nuts) are ready.
Arrange the dessert on the plate and scatter over the chopped nuts.
Serve immediately.


Unknown said...

Wow, this looks really interesting. And to be honest, f it didn't have alcohaol in it, I would really want a bite of that. It looks just like a mousse :)

Choclette said...

Now that's really interesting. I've just made a Chocolate Marquise too, but it was nothing like this - it was a roulade. Anyway, yours looks fantastic - very professional. I bet it tasted good as well, I love those flavours and can imagine they'd go really well together.

Nachiketa said...

What a lovely Marquise.....
Chilli n Cherry in Chocolate Marquise on Lemon Meringue

The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

Caroline said...

Wow, looks amazing! Bonus that it's gf too!

I love the idea of freezing it in those long ice cube moulds, it gives a fabulous presentation.

Nic said...

Now that's what I call a dessert! Great flavours and lovely presentation.

Laura said...

Great flavor combination and very creative beautiful plating! So clever to use the baton silicone mold and then plate on the rectangular plate.

The Caked Crusader said...

what a gorgeous combination of flavours - I love your presentation too