Friday, May 27, 2011

Marquise on Meringue

So last month I slacked a little with the Daring Bakers' Challenge and couldn't find the time to make the maple mouse and bacon cups.

And this month I waited till the last minute to prepare the dish... 

Where is all my time going?!

I'll tell you where: summer. With the sun shining and warm weather here to stay, that can only mean one thing..well a few things actually.. traveling, weddings, showers, festivals and lots of weekends spent away from home. Oh, and of course co-ed summer soccer league starts soon so that means another round of Domination Station!

Speaking of traveling, we had a fabulous vacay in Vegas.. we didn't really win big, but we managed to have a good time anyway! The city is amazing and the pastries at the Bellagio are ah-mazing. Who knew you could travel all over the world in just one city!?

But enough about me and my out of town adventures, this blog is about my kitchen adventures so let's get-cha what-cha want!

The May 2011 Daring Bakers' Challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt. They chose to challenge everyone to a Chocolate Marquise. The inspiration for this recipe comes from a dessert they prepared at a restaurant in Seattle.

I felt it only fitting since both the marquise and caramel included tequila that the meringues resemble cacti ;)

Chocolate Marquise (I made a quarter of the original recipe)
Makes 6 2x2 squares

3 egg yolks
1 whole egg
2 TBS plus 2 tsp sugar
1 TBS plus 1 tsp water
Chocolate base (recipe to follow)
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup cocoa powder(for rolling)
Torched Meringue

In a stand mixer, beat egg yolks and whole egg until fluffy and pale yellow (about 6 minutes).
While eggs are beating, place sugar and water in a small sauce pan and bring to a rolling boil- about 235 degrees.
With mixer on low, slowly add sugar syrup.
Once sugar syrup is added, turn mixer on high and beat for about 8 minutes.
Slowly whisk in chocolate base, trying not to deflate eggs to much.
In a small bowl, beat whipping cream till soft peaks form.
Gently fold whipping cream into chocolate-egg mixture.
Line a small 8x8 pan with parchment paper.
Pour chocolate mixture into pan and cover with saran wrap (make sure saran wrap is touching mixture)
Place in freezer for at least 4 hours- if not over night.

Chocolate Base
3 oz bittersweet chocolate
1/3 cup plus 2 tsp heavy cream 
dash of salt
dash of cayenne
1 TBS tequila
1 TBS corn syrup (I used honey because I ran out)
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 TBS cocoa powder
1/2 TBS butter, softened

Place chocolate in a small bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat cream till just boiling.
Pour cream over chocolate and whisk until smooth.
Add rest of the ingredients and whisk until smooth.
Use warm.

Torched Meringue
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup less 1 TBS sugar
splash of apple cider vinegar
1/8 tsp vanilla

Combine egg whites, sugar and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using clean hand, reach in and mix the three ingredients together, making sure the sugar is moistened evenly by the egg whites.
Over a sauce pan of simmering water, warm egg mixture.
Use one hand to stir mixture, feeling for grains of sugar.
As liquid heats up, sugar will dissolve and the egg whites will thicken.
When mixture is silky, remove from heat.
Return to stand mixer and whisk until soft peaks are formed.
In the last 10 seconds of mixing, add vanilla.
When you're read to plate the dessert, spoon meringue onto plate and use blowtorch to broil.

Tequila Caramel (this is amazing)
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup cream
1/2 tsp salt
1 TBS tequila

In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water over medium heat. Boil until water completely evaporates and sugar becomes a dark mahogany color.
Working quickly, add cream to darkened caramel.
Return pot to stove and whisk gently to dissolve any hardened sugar. When the caramel has darkened remove and add salt and tequila.

About 15 minutes before serving, remove marquise from freezer.
While still hard, remove from pan and flipping out onto another piece of parchment paper.
Cut into cubes and roll cubes in cocoa powder. These will start to melt almost immediately so don't do this until you're ready for everything else.
The cubes should sit in the fridge to slowly flaw until ready to serve.
Place torched meringue on serving plates.
Place marquise onto of meringue and drizzle with caramel.

I'm so glad I came back to this challenge.. seriously delicious.. 
I just wish we were having friends over for dinner with this dessert!

Happy Baking!