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Chocolate Hazelnut Marquise for Daring Bakers

May 27, 2011

This month’s challenge had me rearing to go from day one. I’ve wanted to mess around with plating a fancy dessert for a while now and just haven’t found the time.

“But you’re a pastry chef…?”

Yes I am. I’m qualified as one, but… I don’t work in a restaurant setting. I make cakes. Wedding Cakes, Novelty Cakes etc.

Desserts I play with in my spare time, and I loved playing with this one.

An absolutely fantastic challenge this month. Thanks Emma and Jenny!

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.

I decided to put a hazelnut spin on it since I love Frangelico more than is healthy.

I also love this tutorial on decorative caramel by Bravetart.

(Recipe From The Daring Kitchen.)

Chocolate Base

Servings: n/a – this is an ingredient for the chocolate marquise, not meant to be used separately


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 cup (30 ml/ 1 fluid oz.) frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
1/8 cup (30 ml/ 1 fluid oz.) light corn syrup/glucose syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/8 cup (2 tablespoons/less than 1/2 ounce) cocoa powder
1/2 oz unsalted butter (1 tablespoon/15 grams), softened


Coarsely chop the chocolate and place into a small mixing bowl.

In a small saucepan scald the cream (heat 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 after being in the fridge before adding to the marquise mixture. Whisk it until it is smooth again before using it in the marquise recipe.

Chocolate Marquise

Servings: 9 2.5″x2.5″ (6⅓cm x 6⅓cm) cubes


6 large egg yolks
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (75 grams/ 2⅔ oz) castor/superfine sugar
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (1⅓ fluid oz/ 40 ml.) water
Chocolate Base, barely warm (recipe follows)
1 cup (8 fluid oz./ 250 ml.) heavy cream
1 cup cocoa powder (for rolling)


Line your chosen pan with non-stick baking paper so that the paper sticks up over the edges of the pan.

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).

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.

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 (or whatever shapes you’re going for) and roll in cocoa powder. These melt quite quickly so transfer back to the freezer if your other components aren’t quite ready yet.

Plate with the torched meringue, drizzled sauce and some crushed praline for a bit of texture. 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. You can keep the plated dessert in the fridge until soft (15 – 30 min).

Torched Meringue

Servings: Makes about 2 – 2½ cups of meringue. If you aren’t planning on serving *all* of the marquise at once, you might want to scale this recipe back a bit.


6 large egg whites
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (210 ml) (7 oz or 200 g) castor/superfine sugar
Small splash of apple cider vinegar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence

Combine the egg whites, sugar and vinegar in a large stainless steel/glass bowl.

Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and warm the egg white mixture. Whisk by hand or use an electric hand beater to whisk until the mixture is hot (about 70 degrees C/160 degrees F).

Remove the mixing bowl from the stove and transfer the mixture to the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment attached. Whisk until you reach soft peaks and the outside of your mixer bowl has cooled to room temperature. 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 brown.

Frangelico Caramel Sauce

Servings: Makes about 1/2 cup


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 – 2 tbsp frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)


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 and whisk to combine. It will bubble and pop vigorously, so add only as much cream as you can without overflowing the pot.

Remove from the heat. Add the frangelico and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.

15 Comments leave one →
  1. May 27, 2011 9:57 pm

    What a lovely Marquise….. and fabulous plating, it’s mind blowingly super cool… :)
    Chilli n Cherry in Chocolate Marquise on Lemon Meringue

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

  2. May 28, 2011 2:21 pm

    Fantabulous! So elegant, love the caramel spears, such a wonderful accent!

  3. May 29, 2011 4:12 pm

    Stunning plating . . .

  4. May 30, 2011 7:37 am

    This looks incredible. I am soooo impressed.

  5. June 1, 2011 10:10 pm

    Thanks guys! :) Your comments mean a lot!

  6. pinkpolkadotblog permalink
    June 7, 2011 7:43 pm

    This looks stunning!!! You are an absolute pro!

  7. June 21, 2011 5:53 pm

    Oh that is drop dead gorgeous!!

  8. June 22, 2011 10:01 am

    I love the gradual descent of hazelnuts. I wish I had better plating skills…practice makes perfect! Yours looks great!

    • June 22, 2011 2:57 pm

      Hi Jessica, This was my first time with plating so I’m also not so skilled, practice does help! Plus it’s fun :) Thanks!

  9. June 22, 2011 5:58 pm

    This looks awesome!!

  10. June 23, 2011 3:47 pm

    Wow beautiful job with the hazelnuts and all of it ! =D

    • June 23, 2011 4:26 pm

      Thanks Xiaolu! That means a lot coming from you :) Your site is gorgeous!

  11. July 6, 2011 4:45 am

    wow this is beautiful plating! a gorgeous dessert :)

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