Friday, May 27, 2011

May Daring Bakers: Chocolate Marquise and Suisse Meringue

This month’s Daring Bakers Challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt They challenged everyone to make a chocolate marquise with a Suisse meringue. Other elements that they suggested were a caramel sauce and spiced nuts.

The original recipe they provided was absolutely huge, so I quartered it, because well... a) I didn’t have a pan big enough to fit it all in....or three regular sized pans, and b) let’s face it, I have the will power of a four year old. There’s no way I could hold back if I had that much chocolate around me!

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Chocolate Marquise
Ingredients:
3 large egg yolks at room temperature
1 large egg
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (40 ml) (40 grams/ 1½ oz) sugar
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon (2/3 fluid oz/ 20 ml.) water
Chocolate Base, barely warm (recipe follows)
½ cup (4 fluid oz./ 120 ml.) heavy cream
½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (for rolling)
Torched meringue (recipe follows)

Directions:
1. 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.
2. When the eggs are getting close to finished, 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).
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Set aside.
6. 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.
7. Fold 1/3 of the reserved whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream.
8. Pour into the prepared pans and cover with plastic wrap (directly touching the mixture so it doesn't allow in any air).
9. Freeze until very firm, at least 2 - 4 hours (preferably 6 – 8 hours).
10. 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.
11. 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 cubes 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.


Chocolate Base
Ingredients:
3 oz (85 grams/ 6 tablespoons) bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons (90 ml/3 fluid oz.) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/16 teaspoon cayenne
1 tablespoon (15 ml/ 1/2 fluid oz.) tequila
1 tablespoon (15 ml/ 1/2 fluid oz.) light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon/(less than 1/4 ounce) cocoa powder (we used extra brut, like Hershey's Special Dark, but any Dutch-processed cocoa would be fine. Do not substitute natural cocoa powder.)
dash freshly ground black pepper
1/4 oz unsalted butter (1/2 tablespoon/8 grams), softened

Directions:
1. Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl.
2. 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.
3. Allow it to sit for a minute or two before stirring. Stir until the chocolate is melted completely and is smooth throughout.
4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
5. 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.


Torched Meringue
Ingredients:
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon (105 ml) (3½ oz or 100 gms) sugar
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
1. Combine the egg whites, sugar and vinegar in the 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 homogeneous liquid.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.

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I decided to make a coffee cardamom marquis, so I substituted the cayenne and pepper with them, and simply left out the tequila. Jenny and Emma also provided a recipe for tequila caramel and spiced nuts, however I instead made an orange caramel (simply with orange juice and sugar), and caramelised some orange segments.

I made it as a birthday cake for my boyfriend and boy was it a hit! After the initial, nicely plated piece, he progressed to eat the rest straight from the pan and polished off the lot in two days. This is impressive considering the only times I saw him in those two days was just before work and after work (we travel together).

Although I barely got any (*ahem*), I really enjoyed this dessert. It was so soft, and delicious and I loved the contrast of flavours. I also adored the Suisse meringue. I’d never made one before, and it was INCREDIBLE. I actually sat the bowl down next to me while I did an assignment and ate it straight out of the bowl. Torching each bite as I went. Deeeeelicious!

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7 comments:

  1. Your photos are simply stunning. They make my mouth water... Best, Sandie

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  2. "Torching each bite of meringue" You're awesome! :D Great job on this challenge!

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  3. @Koci
    Haha thanks! I'm not sure if I'd call myself awesome though. I think 'glutton' is probably a better description. :P

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  4. Looks gorgeous! Great job on the challenge =).

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