Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Daring Bakers overdose on chocolate!


Daring Bakers around the world hover on the website on the first of the month, refreshing their screens to find out what the month's challenge is. Or is that just me? I'm not sure why I want to find out what the challenge is on the first day, as I rarely complete it until shortly before the deadline, but maybe it's because I'm insatiably curious about almost everything. Once I find out the challenge, I do nothing. For weeks, sometimes. Not this time, though: I made this challenge early, even though I wasn't very excited about it. You see, I don't love chocolate and this was a rich chocolate mousse, with torched meringue, creamy caramel sauce and sugar-coated nuts. Oh, and the recipe was enormous! It called for 11 eggs and made 18 servings and needed some last-minute attention, so wasn't something I wanted to make for a crowd. What's a girl to do? Get out her calculator and divide the recipe by 11, of course! It made for some ridiculously small quantities, but only took me about 15 minutes to whip up.  It made 3 servings, meaning I would have got over 50 from the original recipe. That's a lot of chocolate mousse.

I knew that I wouldn't enjoy more rich and creamy accompaniments with this, so I went with candied sour cherries and kirsch. Frozen sour cherries have been my sour fruit stand-in from January when I ran out of rhubarb and even though my fridge is bulging with rhubarb right now, I'm still on a sour cherry kick. I made a quick candied cherry recipe from David Lebovitz, reducing the water and adding a few tablespoons of kirsch. For the nuts, I used green almonds, but didn't like them much. They were sour, but are a taste I haven't acquired yet. Maybe that's why I forgot to put them on the plate and left them on the counter instead, only noticing them when I took the empty marquise plate in to the sink. You'll find a picture below. The meringue was a great excuse to dust off my blowtorch, and its sweetness was a nice foil to the mousse and cherries. I hadn't used my blowtorch since making the amazing roasted marshmallow ice cream sandwiches last year. The verdict? I liked it, but found it incredibly rich. I kept going back for another taste until it was all gone. This was a dangerous thing to have in the freezer, and I'll definitely keep it in mind for my chocolate-loving friends.
green almonds
Many thanks to Emma and Jenny for the challenge! I certainly wouldn't have made this otherwise, and if it weren't for the Daring Bakers and Tuesdays with Dorie, this blog would be made up entirely of rhubarb and cardamom recipes! Though I do have a few kilos of rhubarb in the fridge...

Original challenge and recipe PDF.

Blog-checking lines: The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma ofCookCraftGrow 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.


31 comments:

Bourbonnatrix said...

I love your plating, and admire the fact that you scaled down the recipe so much! Very smart! :)

Marcellina said...

Mary, I just love your stamp! I know I've said it before, but it's fantastic! Yes, it was very chocolatey and rich. My quarter batch made 8 large serves. It is fun to make something one wouldn't normally look at, isn't it? Beautiful presentation!

Valerie said...

Gorgeous presentation! I love the personalization. Since I'm not a huge fan of chocolate either, I feel bad about skipping this, especially after seeing all the effort you put into it. You did an amazing job!!

And you're not the only one who hovers around the Daring Kitchen on the first of every month, or waits until the very last minute to put pick up a mixing bowl. I'm in good company. :D

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

I love your presentation so much! It's so cool! That chocolate mousse sounds good...but what an incredible quantity. Luckily you scaled it down

Suzler said...

I'm the same. I'm desperate for the first of the month to roll around, and then most of the time I faff around for 26 days!

Love your Mary Mary Culinary marquise! Very cool. :) Your plating's gorgeous; the cherries really liven it up, I think. I too would prefer a bit of fruity sharpness to cut through the chocolate/sweet meringue.

thefooddoctor said...

I do that too..refresh the screen and all :)
I love your pictures and the addition of the cherries is a great idea to counter the sweetness..

yummychunklet said...

How impressive! I love your logo on the cocoa covered mousse!

goodcooks said...

Wow great! I like your plating and the sour cherry sauce looks yummy.

juliana said...

lovely presentation!

Rochelle (Acquired Life) said...

I too love that cute little imprint on your marquise! It's too adorable, I need to find me something like that :D. I also like the cherries, and wish I would have thought to use some on mine.

shelley c. said...

LOL - I also refresh my screen like crazy the first day, so excited to see what each challenge will bring! How awesome that you divided the recipe by 11 to make it work for you - and you really did an awesome job! I love the look of your (personalized!) marquise, and the sour cherry sounds awesome with it. As always, amazing, amazing work. :)

kouky said...

superbe réalisation!! j'adore ta présentation de la marquise!! bonne soirée!

INMA said...

Lovely creation!!! Congratulations.

Jennifurla said...

Oh how adorable, shame you have to eat it!

Nachiketa said...

What a lovely Marquise..... and fabulous plating, the stamp is super:)
Chilli n Cherry in Chocolate Marquise on Lemon Meringue

Cheers,
The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

Ruth H. said...

I bet that sour cherriyes were the perfect compliment to the sweetness of the meringue and richness of the marquise. I did a half batch, and I am wondering what I am going to do with all of this marquise! (good thing hubby loves chocolate...) As usual, you madfe a beautiful plate and an amazing sounding dish! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!!

crumbsoflove said...

Beautiful job, as usual, Mary. I found this to be quite rich as well and opted for some fruit to pair it with. I skipped the caramel sauce and nuts to lighten it up a bit, too. Best, Sandie

Jo said...

Love your personalized marquise! This was my first Daring Bakers, but I anticipate I will be refreshing like mad come the first, I am hoping whatever next month's is I can whip it up in time for my husband's birthday on the fourth.

Renata said...

As usual, you come up with brilliant ideas. The cherries sound like a perfect pair to the rich dessert. And of course, your personalized cookie cutters (that I love!) gave it a charming look. Great job!

Sirius73 said...

Great plating! The cherries sound delicious as well. And I love the fact that you divided the recipe by 11! :-)

chef_d said...

Beautiful plating Mary! Love the cherries and the kirsch...excellent job as usual!

Valérie said...

Very nice! I love the adaptations you made, even though I agree that green almonds are an acquired taste. Your presentation is very cool, too! And I'm the same when it comes to challenges: even though I'm nearly always last minute, I have to find out about them on the very first day.

Laura said...

Great idea to cut it down . . . I made a quarter of the recipe and it was a lot.
Love the plating and the flavor combination of cherry and chocolate. Have you ever made your own cherry liqueur? Very easy . . .

The Cowboy's Wife said...

I love the way you plated the meringue! I am really amazed at the way the scorch lines look! Great job!

Karen | Citrus and Candy said...

I would absolutely love this chocolate marquise with sour cherries! One of my fave combinations :)

Koci said...

Sour cherry sauce sounds really yummy, especially paired with the super sweet chocolate base. Love the stamp, too! :D

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Love the plating too and sour cherries are so good, especially with kirsch. What the recipe made 50, ouch? Good thing I had no time.

Totally write to me with your date when you will be in Montreal!!! :)

TeaLady said...

Would check every day for the new challenge. Wish I still had time to do DB and DC. Ah, well.

Chocolate overload. NOT!! This looks heavenly.

Beth said...

That dessert looks absolutely wonderful. And now I'm off to check your roasted marshmallow ice cream sandwiches!

Cakelaw said...

What a gorgeous Marquise! I covet your food lettering stamps.

Lisa said...

Mary, this is the second time I've thought to myself.."I've gotta go check out Mary's challenge" and then like magic, your comment pops up! I love that you stamped the cocoa with your cookie stamp! Your Marquise looks amazing...top notch, fancy plating..absolutely gorgeous!