The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow & 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.
THE DARING BAKERS’ MAY, 2011 CHALLENGE: MARQUISE ON MERINGUE
All vegan recipes were created by Ashlae of Ladycakes.
Mandatory Items: The marquise & the meringue are mandatory items. All other components are optional, but really do make this a complete (& outrageously decadent) dessert.
Vegan Recipe Variations:
Our vegan recipes come from Ashlae (http://ladycakesbakes.blogspot.com/), who we’re going to call our little vegan miracle-worker. Ashlae took a look at all of our recipes and went to work adapting and testing – & finally came up with some amazing substitutions that neither Emma nor I would have been capable of doing. She’s offered 3 recipes below, a chocolate pudding that can be frozen, a meringue that torches beautifully, & a caramel sauce for drizzling.
Vegan Chocolate Pudding
1 package Mori- Nu soft silken tofu (approximately 12.3 oz.)
1 cup vegan chocolate chips (approximately 6 oz.)
1 Tablespoon vegan butter (approximately ½ oz.)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a food processor, blend the tofu until it is creamy & lump-free; keep in food processor and set aside.
2. In a double boiler over medium heat, melt the butter into the chocolate chips until smooth. Once melted, remove from heat & cool for 10 minutes.
3. Pour chocolate mixture & vanilla extract into food processor; blend with tofu until combined.
4. Pour into molds & freeze for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Continue with step 9 of the Chocolate Marquise recipe, substituting the appropriate recipe for your meringue & caramel sauce.
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 & 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.
Plate with the torched meringue & drizzled caramel sauce, & toss spiced almonds and cocoa nibs around for garnish. You want to handle the cubes as little as possible because they get messy quickly & 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 & crunchy textures with cool, spicy, salty, bitter, & sweet sensations on your palate.
I used a snowflake shaped silicone muffin pan for the Marquise.
Notes: Make sure you do not use water-packed tofu, it will not work with this recipe Mori-Nu is available at Whole Foods & on Amazon. If you like an intense chocolate flavor, try using 1 ½ cup chocolate chips (or 9 oz.) instead of 1 cup. Also, make sure you do not instantly pour the hot chocolate into the tofu – it will make it curdle.
1 cup water, cold
1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoon EnerG egg replacer
1 teaspoon agar-agar powder
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine ¾ cup water and the egg replacer; beat on highest speed for 6-8 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
2. While the base is mixing, combine the remaining ¼ cup water and agar-agar powder in a saucepan over medium heat; stir constantly, just until the mixture starts to thicken (this should only take1-2 minutes).
3. Once the base mixture forms stiff peaks, pour in agar-agar mixture, vanilla extract and lemon juice; mix until combined.
4. Turn off mixer & sift in powdered sugar. Resume mixing on high speed until the stiff peaks return.
Transfer to piping bag & use immediately.
When you’re ready to plate the dessert, spoon the meringue onto a plate (or use a piping bag) & use a blowtorch to broil.
This made way more meringue then I needed, so I used the rest to make meringue kisses for munching later. I also don’t have a torch at all, so I had to use a lighter to torch the meringues a bit, it worked, somewhat
For the Vegan Caramel Drizzle, I made a vanilla caramel.
Servings: Makes about 1 cup of spiced almonds
1/2 cup (4 oz.) sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ½ tsp egg replacer whisked together with 2 TBSP water
1 cup (145 grams/ 5 oz.) blanched whole almonds
Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, & salt. Add the spice mix to the egg replacer mixture & whisk to combine completely. Toss in the nuts with a spoon. Spoon the coated nuts onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, or until they turn light brown. Allow the nuts to cool completely and they will get very crunchy. Set aside until ready to serve.