CHOCOLATE MARQUISE - Daring Baker's Challenge - May 2011


 The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrowand 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.

This month our challenge was delicious, rich, and elegant like the desserts served in fancy restaurants. Fluffy torched meringue nesting a chocolate marquise served with a boozy and spicy caramel sauce that I will never forget, and some spiced almonds for crunch. Absolutely decadent.

Leandra and I decided to work together and share this amazing dessert with our Brazilian neighbors here in Korea. We had a lot of fun and it was a hit among our guests.

Thank you Emma and Jenny for the amazing challenge!

I highly recommend that you visit THE DARING KITCHEN and take a look at all the amazing creations our fellow Daring Bakers have come up with.


(my alterations in red)


6 oz (170 grams/ ¾ cups) bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
¾ cups (180 ml/6 fluid oz.) heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (I used Korean red pepper flakes)
1/8 cup (30 ml/ 1 fluid oz.) tequila (I used vanilla-cinnamon-clove infused rum)
1/8 cup (30 ml/ 1 fluid oz.) light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons/less than 1/2 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.)
1/16 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 oz unsalted butter (1 tablespoon/15 grams), softened


Place the chocolate in 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 a minute or two before stirring. Stir until the chocolate is melted completely and is smooth throughout.
Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
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.



6 large egg yolks at room temperature
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (75 grams/ 2⅔ oz) sugar
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (1⅓ fluid oz/ 40 ml.) water
Chocolate Base, barely warm (recipe above)
1 cup (8 fluid oz./ 250 ml.) heavy cream
1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder (for rolling) (Note: We used extra brut, like Hershey's Special Dark. Make sure it's a Dutch processed cocoa, not a natural cocoa powder.)


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.

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). If you have a cake tester with a metal loop for a handle, the right stage for the syrup is reached when you can blow a bubble through the loop (as seen in the following pictures).

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.

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.

In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Set aside.

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. We used the stand mixer for this, and it took about 1 minute.

Fold 1/3 of the reserved whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Pour into the prepared pans and cover with plastic wrap (directly touching the mixture so it doesn't allow in any air).

Freeze until very firm, at least 2 - 4 hours (preferably 6 – 8 hours).
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.

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 (meringue, caramel, spiced nuts, cocoa nibs) 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.

Plate with the torched meringue and drizzled caramel sauce, and toss spiced almonds and cocoa nibs around for garnish. You want to handle the cubes as little as possible because they get messy quickly and are difficult to move. However, you want to wait to serve them until they've softened completely. The soft pillows of chocolate are what make this dessert so unusual and when combined with the other elements, you'll get creamy and crunchy textures with cool, spicy, salty, bitter, and sweet sensations on your palate.



6 large egg whites
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (210 ml) (7 oz or 200 gms) sugar
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla


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.

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.

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.

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.



1/2 cup (120 ml/4 fluid oz) (4 oz/115 gm) sugar
1/4 cup (2 fluid oz./60 ml) water
1/2 cup (4 fluid oz./120 ml) heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tequila (I used vanilla-cinnamon-clove infused rum)


In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water on medium-high heat. Boil until the water completely evaporates and the sugar caramelizes to a dark mahogany color.

Working quickly, add the cream to the darkened caramel. It will bubble and pop vigorously, so add only as much cream as you can without overflowing the pot.

Return the pot to the stove on low heat and whisk gently to break up any hardened sugar. Add any remaining cream and continue stirring. Gradually, the hard sugar will dissolve and the caramel sauce will continue to darken. When the caramel has darkened to the point you want it, remove it from the heat. Add the salt and tequila and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.


 Makes about 1 cup of spiced almonds

1/2 cup (4 oz.) sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg white
1 cup (145 grams/ 5 oz.) blanched whole almonds


Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.

In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and salt.

In a larger mixing bowl whisk the egg white until it's frothy and thick.

Add the spice mix to the egg white and whisk to combine completely.

Add the nuts to the egg white mixture and toss with a spoon.

Spoon the coated nuts onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

Bake the nuts for 30 minutes, or until they turn light brown. Allow the nuts to cool completely and they will get very crunchy. Set aside until ready to serve.


  1. I fell in love with your picture at the form..the sugar art and plating is stunning..
    a wonderful job as always Renata

  2. Desafio testado, provado e aprovadíssimo. Delícia! Parabéns a vcs duas, Renata e Leandra.
    P.S: Estou a disposição para provar o próximo desafio, viu? Bjs

  3. The way you both plated this is stunning! I'm in awe of the sugar art and the photos are gorgeous:D

  4. Wow, lucky neighbours. I bet they love you! Your presentation is so fun and quirky, especially the trails of caramel with nuts on the end and the gorgeous sugar work. Absolutely beautiful.

  5. Man, you are just amazing. Your execution of the challenges is just amazing, and your plating and photographs are stunning. I would LOVE to be your neighbor and share in your delicious creativity!! Beautiful work, as always.

  6. your presentation is stunning! wow! love it!

  7. You made awesome perfect, this time as I am not feeling well, I didn't make it. Your guests are so lucky to have the elegant desserts.

  8. WOW, you always surprise me with your fantastic creations, Bravo!!!!

  9. waou!!! superbe réalisation!! j'adore ta présentation!bonne soirée!

  10. You are lucky to have such a great co-chef for this challenge - between the steps and the quantity, it must have been great to share the responsibilities - and the finished product! I love your creative platings, and the whole thing just looks delicious!!!!

  11. Gorgeous. Art in food. I wish I lived next door to you! Best, Sandie

  12. Wow beautiful plating! Yes it's so decadent and oh so delicious...excellent job on this challenge!

  13. I can see you had a great time fiddling with the caramel decoration pieces. Such a beautiful plating with gorgeous shape of caramel.

    Bravo, you have done a great job :-)

  14. Wow, Renata, what brilliant plating though I'm not surprised you always do wonderful work! And that vanilla cinnamon clove infused rum - sounds fantastic! Did you make it yourself?

  15. Stunning presentation, Renata! I love the caramel fan, and the way it is echoed in the sauce on the plate. What lucky neighbours you have!

  16. I absolutely love your sugar art and look at that huge tray of marquise! I'd love to take that and finish it off with a spoon :P

  17. Those chocolate marquises look so beautiful! You did such a great job on this challenge! :D

  18. Your plating is awesome! Well done on a 5 star challenge!

  19. Renata,
    Nunca há apresentações como as tuas! Que luxo, que elegância! Ainda ontem a minha tia e eu estivemos a falar via skype do teu blog e das tuas fotografias fantásticas.

    bjs e boa semana

  20. Renata..that is a 5 star dessert if I've ever seen one. I'm just blown away. Your sugar work is outstanding! That's magazine cover worthy!

  21. Hi Renata

    Your chocolate marquise looks amazing. You did such a wonderful job with this challenge. Congratulations!!!

    Happy weekend :)

  22. what amazing and delicious dessert, look delicious! gloria

  23. Your plating is absolutely beautiful. I love the caramel decoration.


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