May's challenge was a resounding success, dear readers. Mmm, mmm, good. Sara and I were more nervous than usual because we knew we'd be cooking for a much bigger crowded than usual -- 14 people!!! Ay dios mio. Thank you to Genevieve for letting us provide dessert at your delicious monthly supper extravaganza. To drool over the pulled pork and everything else we ate, go here.
We started that morning by making the marquise, well in advance so it had time to freeze.
Let me tell you, this was some delicious batter. It was essentially gussied-up mousse. Naturally, Sara and I undertook multiple taste tests. We had to be sure it was good. You can't tell by the pictures, but the chocolate had a little kick of heat that made it just delightful.
One of us -- yours truly -- beat the cream a little to zealously, so it didn't quite stir into the rest of the marquise as it was supposed to and instead stayed in little lumps. I have to say, though, frozen little lumps of cream are not the worst thing to find in your dessert.
Once we had the marquise ready to freeze for the day in Genevieve's freezer, we made some sweet 'n spicy almonds for a garnish. Sugar, cinnamon, cayenne, and a little salt . . .
The recipe required an unusual meringue-ish batter to get the sugar and spices to stick to the almonds. This was new to me and Sara, but ultimately quite effective. Even though we were too lazy to blanch the almonds.
During the morning we also whipped up the true belle of the ball -- the tequila caramel sauce. This sauce is not too be missed. Go make some now. I'll wait. It's easy -- Boil sugar and water until it turns into caramel. Add tequila. Cool. Eat.
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After a morning of cooking, Sara went off to watch Will race bikes and I took a nap. (Look, the night before was a late one. We were out dancing. Sara almost got into a bar fight with Snooki's doppelganger. But that's a story for another day.)
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Once at Genevieve's, after stuffing ourselves full of her Mexican-themed dinner, we were ready to finish the Challenge. The process for the meringue threw us for a loop. The picture above shows Sara uncomfortably stirring sugar into the egg whites over boiling water and keeping track of the temperature with her fingers at the same time. Yes, this was part of the recipe's instructions.
Although untested, this new meringue process worked quite nicely. We made a lot of little beds of meringue.
Yes, I mean a lot!
But, oh, all of our efforts were worth it. Our marquise on meringue turned out just wonderfully. Every last one!
Look at those delicious almonds.
There's that tequila caramel sauce I was telling you about.
What a treat! And one of our must attractive challenges yet, in stiff competition with the vol-au-vents and the croquembouche. And our festive gingerbread prison.
The only complaint we heard was that the cocoa powder that coated the marquise was a little too easy to inhale when one was scarfing down one's dessert. There was some coughing.
Apparently it didn't hinder people too much, however.
Don't worry, those last two got eaten, too.
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.