Saturday, May 28, 2011

My first ever Daring Bakers challenge!!! Chocolate Marquise with a tease of lime and coconut

So...this is my first ever challenge with Daring Bakers (click here to find out more about Daring-Kitchen)

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.

My version of the challenge ;-)
It was the 1st of the month and I was waiting and waiting and waiting...checking the Daring kitchen site over and over just to make sure I hadn't missed the posting of their May challenge.
I had no idea what to expect since this was my first challenge with them. I was excited and nervous.
The past challenges looked like so much fun and were just plain amazing!
The challenge was posted and I eagerly started!!!...what???...How??? I had never ever even heard of any of the things in the recipe...gulp...this was definitely going to be a challenge.
The recipe included so many flavors and techniques I had never tried before like; cayenne in chocolate, tequila in caramel and the marquise alone was magnificently detailed lol
But the whole reason I joined was to learn new techniques and to change my plain and simple cooking skills into Kitchen Diva skills. well this challenge will definitely kick me up a notch if not a couple ;-)

So here is my go at their decadent dessert (this is not for the faint of heart! lol)

Chocolate Coconut-Lime Marquise on a bed of Lime tinted meringue, Chocolate Coconut milk Sauce and Coconut-Caramel sauce with Almond and candied lime brittle 

It was a real challenge coming up with flavors other than the ones given for this dessert because I had never had anything like it before!
I ended up with the coconut and lime theme since I have plenty of both and I like the flavors combined with chocolate!
This dessert is AMAZING!!!and positively sinful ;-)  it has a multitude of different sensations in your mouth all at once. My husband said it was the best chocolate ice-cream he had ever had!!!
It is really worth the effort and will definitely WOW your guests! I hope you like it! we sure did!
Let me know how it turns out if you choose to make it! I would LOVE to hear how it turns out!

This is how quickly my husbands plate disappeared lol

I am posting all the recipes in the order you should make them...

1. Step one: Making the candied Lime Zest: 

Candied Lime Zest: 
  • 2 cups sugar, plus more for coating
  • 1 cups water
  • 3 limes, zest only, julienned
Bring 2 cups sugar and the water to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves and remove from the heat. Set aside.
Place the lime zest in a separate saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, drain the zest, and rinse under cold running water. Repeat this process 5 more times, using fresh water each time.
Place the blanched zest in a saucepan and cover with enough of the sugar-water syrup to cover by 1-inch. Bring the syrup to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook the zest until it is tender and translucent in color, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, cool, and drain the zest. Lay strips of zest on a wire rack to cool, then toss in the sugar until well coated. Transfer to an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to 1 month.

Recipe Coutesey Emeril Lagasse

2. Step two: Making the Almond Lime brittle:

 Almond Lime Brittle
  •  ½ lb. almonds, slivered and blanched
  • 2 tbsp. candied lime zest 
  •  1 tsp. oil 
  •  1 cup granulated sugar 
  • ¼  cup water 
  • 1/3 cup corn syrup 
  • 1 tsp. honey 
  •  1 tbsp. butter 
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • ½ tsp. baking soda 
  • 2 tsp. Malibu rum

1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the almonds into one layer on a cookie sheet pan lined with parchment paper, and toast for 6-8min, or until lightly golden. Remove from oven and let cool.
2.       Chop the candied lime zest and set aside.
3.       Line a second sheet pan with parchment paper (I used my silpat). Oil the parchment paper, wooden spoon and offset spatula to prevent sticking.
4.       Combine sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium saucepan. Stir gently. Wet a pastry brush with water and wash the inside walls of the pan to remove any excess sugar granules.
5.       Cook sugar mixture on high until it is light in color.
6.       Reduce heat to medium-low. Add the almonds to the cooked sugar. Stir well with a wooden spoon.
7.       Remove from heat and add the zest, honey, butter, salt, baking soda and Malibu rum. Mix vigorously.
8.       Pour the hot, almond brittle onto the sheet lined with oiled parchment paper. Spread the mixture out evenly with an offset spatula. Let cool.
9.       When completely cooled, break into small pieces. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

3. Step three: Make the Chocolate Base:
Chocolate Base
  • 3 oz (85gr/6 tbsp.) bittersweet chocolate (about 70% cocoa)
  • 1/3 cup + 2 tsp. (90ml/3 oz) heavy cream 
  •  1/8 teaspoon salt 
  •  1/8 teaspoon lime zest 
  •  1 tbsp Malibu rum 
  •  1 tbsp light corn syrup 
  •  1/4 teaspoon vanilla 
  •  1 tbsp (less than 1/4 oz) cocoa powder (I used extra brut, like Hershey's Special Dark, but any Dutch-processed cocoa would be fine. Do not substitute natural cocoa powder.)
  • 1/4 oz unsalted butter (1/2 tbsp /8 grams), softened
  1. Place the chocolate in a small mixing bowl.
  2. 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.
  3. Allow it to sit for a minute or two before stirring. Stir until the chocolate is melted completely and is smooth throughout.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. 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.
Servings: n/a - this is an ingredient for the chocolate marquise, not meant to be used separately

 4. Step four: Making the marquise:

Chocolate Marquise
Printable version
  • 3  large egg yolks at room temperature 
  •  1  large whole eggs 
  • 2 Tbsp + 2 tsp (40 grams/ 1 ½  oz) sugar 
  •  1 Tbsp + 1 tsp (2/3 fluid oz/ 20 ml.) water 
  • Chocolate Base, barely warm (see above recipe) 
  • ½ cup (4 fluid oz./ 120 ml.) heavy cream 
  • ½ cup Dutch process cocoa powder (for rolling) (Note: I used extra brut, like Hershey's Special Dark. Make sure it's a Dutch processed cocoa, not a natural cocoa powder.)
1.      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.
2.      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
3.      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.
4.      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.
5.      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.
6.      Fold 1/3 of the reserved whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream.
7.      Pour into the prepared pans and cover with plastic wrap (directly touching the mixture so it doesn't allow in any air). (I used some little storage containers i found at publix, they were $3.99 for four of them and they made the perfect cube, thanks Bourbonnatrix for the idea!
8.      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.
9.      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.
10.  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.
5. Step five: making the meringue:
Torched Meringue with lime zest
  •             3 large egg whites 
  •             ½ cup less 1 Tbsp (3 ½ oz/100gr) sugar 
  •        Splash of apple cider vinegar 
  •       1/8 teaspoon vanilla

1.      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.
2.      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.
3.      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.
4.      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. ( or you can used your broiler)

6. Step six: Making the sauces:

Coconut Caramel Sauce
Printable Version
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk 
  • 1 tsp Malibu rum
  • pinch of kosher salt

1.      Place the brown sugar in a small but high sauce pot. Warm over medium-high heat while consistently stirring with a spoon until melted. While stirring slowly pour in the coconut milk. The mixture will bubble and froth violently, and some of the sugar may crystallize a bit.

2.      Continue to stir until the sugar and coconut milk have mixed together and the sauce has reduced a bit. About 5 minutes.

3.      Take off heat and stir in the salt.

4.      This will keep in the fridge for a few weeks.

Recipe revised from

Chocolate Coconut Milk Sauce
Printable version

  •  8 ounces dark chocolate, roughly chopped 
  • 1 cup coconut milk
1.      Gently melt chocolate in the top of a double boiler until smooth; remove from the heat.
2.      Meanwhile, put coconut milk into a small pot and bring just to a boil over medium heat.
3.      Set aside off of the heat to cool slightly then add to chocolate and gently stir until smooth and well combined.
4.      Serve sauce warm or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. To reheat, gently warm the sauce in the top of a double boiler.

Recipe courtesy

7. Step seven: Plating the dish:

I removed the marquise from the freezer at least 10 minutes before serving.
While it's still hard, I scraped a warm knife along the edges of the little cubes to loosen the marquise
I rolled the cubes into a mixture of cocoa powder and nesquik.
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 chocolate coconut sauce, and toss the small pieces of the brittle 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, bitter, and sweet sensations on your palate.

Enjoy and hope you like it!!!

Here is the Printable version of all the recipes together: Printable full recipe


  1. Thanks for the great step by step run through! Your pics look awesome. If I go back and make the non-vegan version, I'm coming here first. Lime + coconut = mmmmmmmm

  2. Glad to see Blogger finally cooperated! Your marquise looks fantastic.

  3. Great job on the challenge!!! Love the coconut-lime theme. I bet it tasted delicious. I really loved this challenge too - it was so challenging and so impressive when it was all plated up.

  4. Welcome to the Daring Bakers and what an awesome job on your first challenge! This definitely looks like something one would get at a fancy restaurant, especially with all the little details you added. You really ran with the coconut lime flavors, which sound so good! :)

  5. Welcome to the daring bakers! Love the combo of lime, chocolate and coconut :D

  6. You did an amazing job!
    I just love your pictures..they are stunning
    and the flavors you used are pretty amazing...
    can't wait to see more of your creations

  7. Welcome to the Daring Bakers! Learning new techniques is definitely my favorite part of being in the group. Looks like you've mastered the marquise! Great job!

  8. Congratulations on your first challenge! The flavour combination sounds delicious.

  9. thank you all it was extremely fun and I learned a lot!!! can't wait to make the next challenge it's my favorite!!! so excited!