chocolate desserts, dark chocolate desserts, desserts for special occasions, French desserts, Marquise au chocolat
A staunch chocolate admirer cannot fully appreciate a dessert bereft of their favorite sweet. “That was very good,” the chocolate votary remarks, scraping up the last spoonful of strawberry and meringue…
But there is a hint of reservation in the tone of voice. To such a person, chocolate-less sweets may be very fine, but they do not feel like the conclusion to a meal. Something is still missing…the chocolate.
Chocolate Marquise will leave chocolate lovers in no doubt that there has been dessert.
Chocolate Marquise ~ Marquise au chocolat (for 10 – 12 people, depending on the dimensions of the loaf pan used)
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Ingredients: Given in metric and the closest American equivalent measurements. The American equivalents aren’t absolutely exact, and for this dessert, it won’t matter.
(About the eggs in a Chocolate Marquise: There are other good versions of this dessert which use uncooked eggs. This recipe for Marquise may be made anywhere, including places where raw eggs are not a wise cooking option.)
- 300 grams of Dark Chocolate, chopped ( 10 and 3/5 ounces or round up and use 10 and 1/2 ounces)
- 150 grams of Butter, softened (5 and 1/4 ounces or 10 Tablespoons plus 1/2 Tablespoon
- 150 grams of fine granulated White Sugar (1/2 cup plus 1/8 cup plus 2 Tablespoons)
- 6 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder
- 6 eggs, separated: Use only the yolks for this recipe and freeze the whites for another occasion.
- 450 milliliters of Heavy Cream (2 cups)
- Optional Decoration: small branches of fresh Mint, some Cocoa Powder and some Powdered Sugar
- a Double Boiler or a homemade ‘Bain Marie’: An explanation and photo illustration for a bain-marie are found here in this previous diplomatickitchen post.
- an Electric Mixer, standing or hand–or both: three separate combinations are mixed in three separate bowls—the optimum is to use a hand mixer for the butter mixture and the egg mixture and an electric one to whip the cream.
- three large Mixing Bowls
- a Whisk
- a Loaf Pan: The photographed dessert is made in a long, narrow pan measuring 10-inches by 4 and 1/2-inches across the top, 3-inches deep, and with a 9-inch by 3-inch base. Any loaf pan will be fine; the size and number of pieces will vary a little according to the pan size.
- Plastic Wrap
- Waxed Paper
- a large, rimmed Baking sheet
- a Serrated Knife and Cutting or Pastry Board
- a flat Metal Spatula and some very Hot Water in a small Saucepan
- another Spatula (the sort used for turning and frying)
- For the Optional Decoration: a small Strainer
I. Making the Chocolate Marquise: The Marquise may be made a day or two in advance of serving.
1. Butter the loaf pan. Line it with plastic wrap: 2 sheets lining it width-wise, leaving at least a 4-inch overhang on each side and 2 sheets lining it lengthwise, leaving at least a 4-inch overhang on both ends.
2. Melt the chopped chocolate in the top of a double boiler or homemade bain-marie. When the chocolate is melted, set it off the heat, but leave it sitting over the hot water so that the chocolate doesn’t cool very much.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter with half the sugar (75 grams or estimate about 1/2 of the sugar if using American equivalent measures). Beat until the mixture is light and creamy and then beat in the cocoa powder:
4. In a second mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until it thickens, becomes creamy and turns pale yellow.
5. In a third bowl, whip the cream until it holds soft peaks and doesn’t slide about when the mixing bowl is tilted.
6. The chocolate should still be hot…If it isn’t, reheat it a little. Pour about half of the chocolate into the egg and sugar mixture, whisking vigorously all the time.
7. Whisk the rest of the chocolate into the whipped butter and sugar. Then whisk the egg and chocolate mixture into the butter and chocolate one.
8. Fold the chocolate mixture into the whipped cream and then, pour this Marquise cream into the loaf pan lined with plastic wrap and smooth the top with the flat metal spatula. Bring up the ends of the plastic wrap to cover the Marquise and put it in the freezer. (The Marquise may be made up to this point a day or two in advance.)
II. Unmoulding, Slicing and Serving the Chocolate Marquise: The instructions below are a suggestion for how to time serving the dessert as part of a dinner or lunch. A slice of Chocolate Marquise, frozen solid, will thaw at room temperature in about 30 minutes. If the dessert isn’t part of a meal, you can use this thawing time estimate to plan how to arrange and serve the slices of Marquise.
1. On the morning of the day you are serving the Marquise (for a lunch or dinner), line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Place it on a work space along with a serrated knife, a pastry board, and a spatula of the sort used for turning and frying.
2. Remove the Marquise from the freezer and set it on the pastry board. Peel back the edges of the plastic wrap covering the Marquise. Take hold of the long edges of overhang running the length of both sides of the loaf pan and pull the frozen Marquise out of the pan and place it on the pastry board.
3. Peel back the plastic wrap from all sides of the Marquise and, with a serrated knife, cut the Marquise into 10 – 12 slices and…
…place them on the waxed paper-lined baking sheet:
4. Cover the slices of Marquise with another sheet of waxed paper and wrap them, pan and all, in plastic wrap. Put the Marquise back in the freezer until an hour or two before it will be served.
5. A couple of hours before serving time, arrange dessert plates out on a work space, along with a small saucepan of very hot water, a flat metal spatula, and the turning/frying spatula. Take the pan of Marquise slices from the freezer, place them on the work space as well, and remove their wrapping of plastic and waxed paper.
6. Dip the metal spatula blade in the hot water and run it over the top and sides of a slice of Marquise to smooth the cut edges…
…Then slip it onto a dessert plate with the other spatula. When all the slices are smoothed and plated, place them in the refrigerator, lightly covered with some sheets of waxed paper until ready to serve.
7. To decorate the slices of Marquise, take them from the refrigerator just before serving, sieve a little powdered sugar and then a little cocoa powder over each plate and arrange small branches of mint around each slice.
A Note: Chocolate Marquise is for dessert in the Dinner Menu: A Lowcountry Dinner. It is based on the recipe for a chocolate and mint Marquise on the BBC’s GoodFood website.
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I can’t wait to try your chocolate marquise – your description of a chocolate lover is priceless and I can just picture a guests politely disappointed guest ! But not with this dessert 🙂
‘Somebody’ suspected the description was pointed :-)….and best wishes for a wonderful July 4 celebration in Milan. I am looking forward to hearing about it.