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.
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.