I just bought a blow torch! Oh yeah…
No – I have not finally completely lost my mind.
I did it because I get bored easily. And I wanted to make one of these…
I’m always up for a challenge, although I prefer the kind that doesn’t leave me spending half the day trying to figure out how to install a new lawn mower battery. (I still have no idea…)
Which is how I happened upon The Daring Kitchen. It’s a bunch of cooks and bakers, many of whom also happen to have food blogs, who take on a monthly challenge to increase their skill in the kitchen. One baker picks a dessert, and then everyone else has to recreate the dish with their own unique twist.
This month’s baking challenge was a Chocolate Marquise on a Meringue.
I have to confess this was a new one for me. Not only had I never made one, but I’d never even tasted one. It’s sort of like a thick version of a chocolate mousse that you can either freeze or refrigerate.
My twist had to include the marquise and the meringue…
My brain ran in like twenty directions all at once (like I said, I get bored easily), but I finally settled on a Gingersnap and Bittersweet Chocolate Marquise Tart with a torched meringue topping. I’m kind of into that whole bittersweet chocolate and spice thing right now…
I started with a simple crust, very much like a cheesecake crust, only made with gingersnaps. I did add a little sugar to it, to compensate for the fact that I was using bittersweet chocolate for the marquise. I filled the cooled shells with the marquise and let it set, topped it with meringue, and then I used the blow torch.
It was really all about the torch. Torches are really fun!
The recipe for the marquise on The Daring Kitchen was a little complicated, so I opted for a simpler recipe from Epicurious.com called Bittersweet Chocolate Marquise. It made a little more than what I needed, so I just ate it by itself. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it!
I used a Scharffen Berger 70% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar (one of my favorites) which is slightly less than 10 ounces, but that’s fine. You could easily substitute semi-sweet chocolate if you’re not a big fan of bittersweet chocolate, but be sure to use a semi-sweet baking chocolate and not just melted chocolate chips.
Gingersnap and Bittersweet Chocolate Marquise Tart
Yields: 6- 4” tarts
2 ½ c. crushed gingersnaps
¼ c. sugar
½ c. melted butter
See Bittersweet Chocolate Marquise on Epicurious.com.
2 eggs whites
½ c. sugar
⅛ tsp. cream of tartar
½ tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For Crust: combine crushed gingersnaps, sugar and melted butter and stir till evenly mixed. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of 6 – 4” tart pans with removable bottoms.
Bake 11-14 minutes until set. Remove from oven and cool completely on a wire rack.
For Marquise: Make Bittersweet Chocolate Marquise according to directions, and pour into prepared, cooled shells. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before finishing and serving.
For Meringue: Whisk egg whites and sugar together until combined in a heat proof bowl. Place bowl over simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn’t come in contact with the water. Cook, whisking constantly until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture reaches 140 degrees on a candy thermometer (about 6-7 minutes).
Remove the mixture from heat, add cream of tartar, and using a hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat on high until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla during the last minute of mixing.
Place a large dollop in the middle of each marquise tart leaving a small border around the edges of the tart (to see the marquise underneath), and using the end of a spoon, pull meringue into rough peaks.
Using a torch, heat the meringue until the peaks are lightly golden. Serve immediately.