Friday, May 27, 2011

Chocolate Marquise with Toasted Meringue


It is almost summertime. We enjoyed one week of perfectly gorgeous weather, sandwiched between two months of solid rain, and now the city is humid and sticky, a strong indicator of no reprieve before sweltering summer days are upon us.

Summertime used to be synonymous with an easy, relaxing lifestyle. School vacation, day trips, and beach days – the days moved a bit slower, the nights lasted a little longer, and I felt that I could finally inhale deeply and enjoy life. While such summer days are a bit of a distant memory, I find myself craving even just a few days of such rest, relaxation, and simplicity.

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.

With this challenge, my mind could not help but drift towards my absolute favorite summertime dessert – s’mores. You may already be aware of my love for graham crackers and when combined with melting chocolate and a burnt, oozing marshmallow, that first bite instantly transports me to simple, summer days.

Chocolate Marquise with Toasted Meringue
makes 8 servings

Chocolate Base
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
⅓ cup plus 2 teaspoons heavy cream
⅛ teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon freshly-brewed coffee
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon Dutch-processed cocoa powder
½ tablespoon unsalted butter, softened

Chocolate Marquise
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 large egg , room temperature
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon water
Chocolate Base, barely warm
½ cup heavy cream
Graham cracker crumbs, for serving

Toasted Meringue
3 large egg whites
½ cup less 1 tablespoon sugar
Pinch of table salt

Preparation Instructions
Chocolate Base
Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl.

In a double-boiler, warm the cream until it is simmering, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Allow it to sit for one minute before whisking. Whisk until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Set aside until cooled to room temperature.

Chocolate Marquise
Line a 9"x4" Pullman loaf pan with parchment paper. Allow parchment to overhang on the sides. Set aside.

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 almost ready, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring the syrup to a boil and then cook to softball stage (235 degrees F). With the mixer running on low speed, quickly drizzle the 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, 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, fold the chocolate base into the egg mixture until the mixtures are completely blended. Fold one-third of the reserved whipped cream into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remaining whipped cream.

Pour into the prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap, directly touching the mixture so it doesn't allow in any air. Freeze overnight.

Toasted Meringue
Pour water to a depth of about 2 inches into a saucepan, place over medium heat, and bring to a simmer. Combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt in the stainless-steel bowl of a stand mixer that will rest securely in the rim of the saucepan over, not touching, the water. Whisk together and then place over the saucepan and continue to whisk until the whites are hot to the touch (120°F), about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from over the water and place on the mixer stand. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment and mix on medium speed until the mixture is very thick and holds glossy, stiff peaks when you lift the beater.

Assembly Instructions
Remove the marquise from the freezer at least fifteen minutes before serving. While it's still hard, remove from the pan by pulling on the parchment 'handles' and flipping it over onto another piece of parchment on a cutting board. Cut into circles; warm the cutter under hot water and wipe dry with a clean cloth between each cut.

When the marquise circles are ready, they should be soft, but not melted. Scoop a spoonful of graham cracker crumbs onto a plate, gently pack the crumbs with the back of your spoon, and carefully place the marquise circle on the crumbs. Scoop a generous heap of meringue on top of the marquise and, using a blowtorch, broil the meringue all over. Serve immediately.


  1. Wow...that looks incredible. Nothing like a cold s'mores! :-)

  2. This looks so amazing! I've been experimenting with a lot of s'mores variations lately, and I cannot believe I didn't think to do this. A classic original turned into a decadent treat - love!

  3. love the s'mores spin! your presentation is gorgeous! great job!

  4. LOVE the idea of combining the graham crackers! Girl Scout campfire desserts were never that good! And I should know because I was a Girl Scout :) Congrats on your successful challenge!

  5. Oh YUM. So classic and so right!

  6. I LOVE s'mores, and was actually tempted to do something like this with some of my leftover marquise... and after seeing yours, I am definitely going to try it! Awesome job on the challenge.

  7. Great idea to turn your marquise into a s'mores. I bet it was fantastic. best, sandie

  8. This looks great! Love the addition of graham cracker crumbs. It adds an additional texture to the whole dish.


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