Friday, May 27, 2011

Daring Bakers' May Challenge - MARQUISE ON MERINGUE

Today is posting day again for the monthly Daring Bakers' Challenge. If you like to learn new techniques and consider yourself daring in the kitchen, I urge you to check it out. This month it was all completely new to me. Have you ever had or heard of this dessert?

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.

Shall we get started?

This recipe consists of 4 components (actually 5 counting the chocolate base). It combines a chocolate marquise, torched meringue, candied almonds and candied almond peel.

Originally the marquise had cayenne and tequila... instead I opted for orange extract and vodka. I exchanged the spiced almonds and tequila caramel for orange candied almonds and candied orange peel. The chocolate is very rich and I hoped to cut a little of that with the orange flavor... that and I love chocolate and orange combined!

You Will Need:
(Chocolate Base)
6 oz. of semisweet chocolate
3/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 c. vodka
1/8 c. light corn syrup
1/2 tsp. orange extract
1/16 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter softened

(Chocolate Marquise)
6 large egg yolks at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/3 c. sugar
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp. water
chocolate base * see recipe
1 c. heavy cream
1 c. Dutch process cocoa powder for rolling

(Torched Meringue)
6 large egg whites
3/4 c. + 2 Tbsp. sugar
splash of apple cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. vanilla

(Orange Candied Almonds)
1 lb almonds
1 egg white
1/2 tsp. orange extract
1 Tbsp. water
3 c. of sugar

(Candied Orange Peel)
1 orange with the rind & pith cut off in strips
3 c. sugar
1 c. water

First start by making the chocolate base. Start with your chocolate in a bowl. Add the cream to a saucepan and heat it till warm but not boiling. Then pour this over your chocolate. Let it stand for a minute and then stir till smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk till smooth. Set aside to cool to room temperature as you make the marquise.

Place all your eggs for the marquise into a stand mixer and beat for 10 -15 minutes. Your eggs will become fluffy and pale. It is okay to set the timer and get other ingredients ready. Just let your mixer and the eggs do their thing!

In the last few minutes bring your sugar and water to boil in a small saucepan. It will be in the softball stage (235 degrees). With the mixer on low, add the syrup mixture to the eggs. Now turn it back on high and whip till the bowl cools, about 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whip the cream till soft peaks form. Then set aside.

Now add the chocolate base to your mixer. Make sure it has cooled before adding. Whisk to combine, but do not over do it. You don't want to lose the air whipped into your eggs.

Then gently fold in 1/3 of your whipped cream. Then gently fold in the rest.

At this point you can freeze the marquise in a loaf pan, baking dish, or I chose a silicone baby food container. I think the portion sizes were perfect and I wouldn't have to cut it later.

Now freeze it for at least 3 hours. I froze mine overnight so I could make the rest of the recipe the following day.

Okay, now I made both the candied orange peels and orange candied almonds at the same time. Both are easy to make up ahead time.

For the orange peel, put them in a small saucepan with cold water. Bring them up to a boil to blanch. Strain the peel out and repeat two more times.

Then put the water and sugar in the saucepan and bring it up to simmer. Add the peels and simmer for about 45 minutes. They should be soft and translucent. Then let them cool. You can save the syrup for iced tea to use later.

The candied almonds are even easier! Whip the egg white, orange extract and water together till foamy. Add the almonds and coat. Then add the sugar and mix. Place your almonds on a single layer on a baking sheet with parchment. These will bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, turning every 15 minutes.

Easy peasy!

Now before you want to serve the chocolate marquise, take it out of the freezer and roll in your cocoa powder. They will melt quickly, so handle and move them as little as possible. Let them sit out for a few minutes so they are soft when served.

And for the last component, make the torched meringue. This was a new technique for me. In your stand mixer bowl, add the eggs, sugar and vinegar. With a clean hand mix the eggs till all the sugar is moistened.

Then put the bowl over a pan of water (quick double boiler) and heat. Continue stirring till the mixture thickens and all the sugar is dissolved. The mixture will be warm.

Then put the bowl back on the mixer and whip the eggs till soft peaks form. Add your vanilla and continue to whip for another minute or two.

Plate your meringue and use a hand torch to finish the top.

I added my candied orange peel and almond to the plate and it was ready to serve! Enjoy. ...we did!
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