Chili Chocolate Marquise

I know some of you are still deep in summer, getting your fill of popsicles, ice cream and lots of lemony things. Well, this marquise is the opposite. It’s a deep, rich, sinfully luscious chocolate dessert. My family is pretty obsessed with chocolate and although baking encouraged me to get into other (fruitier) flavors, my sister and mother still prefer anything with chocolate to lemon. 

I wanted to make this partly because I thought it looked so awesomely futuristic. Like an inverted cake of the future! 

The outside of this is a simple chocolate sponge cake that encases a smooth chocolate mousse. This is a great dessert to store in the freezer for unexpected company (Except in my house, where it was devoured on the second night.). It’s easy to put together and thaws in minutes.

The chocolate sponge cake has hint of cinnamon that pairs nicely with the chocolate mousse filling. I used Lindt chili chocolate bars, but you can use any chocolate you like, as long as it’s dark. I served this with cherries I had on hand, tossed with some cherry liqueur, but any fruit will do. 

You will have some sponge cake left over after assembling, and my next post will be a suggestion on what to do with those.

Chili Chocolate Marquise
Makes 1 loaf cake
Adapted from Gourmet Traveler

Sponge Cake
3 eggs
¾ cup (140 g.) sugar
¾ cup (75 g.) all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp. Dutch cocoa powder
½ tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. (30 g.) butter, melted and slightly cooled

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
Grease a 13-by-18 jellyroll pan and line the bottom with parchment paper or a Silpat mat.
With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high for 5 minutes, until pale and tripled in volume.
Sift the flour, cinnamon and cocoa powder into the mixture and fold. Then gently fold in the butter.
Pour the batter into the jellyroll pan and level it with a spatula (Don’t worry if it’s thin; just make sure the batter is evenly spread to every inch of the pan).
Bake for 5 to 7 minutes, until the cake springs back when lightly touched. Turn onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Mousse
12 Tbsp. (175 g.) unsalted butter
10.5 oz. (300 g.) good-quality chili chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup (60 g.) granulated sugar*
5 eggs
Pinch of salt
2 cups cherries, pitted
1 Tbsp. Kirsh or cherry liqueur

Melt the butter and chocolate together using a double boiler or using the microwave in 30-second intervals. Set aside.
Separate the eggs; reserve the whites. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and sugar for 5 minutes, until pale and frothy. Add the egg and sugar mixture to the melted chocolate. Stir until well combined and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk egg whites and a pinch of salt until firm peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture.
Line a standard loaf pan with plastic wrap. 

Slice a piece of the chocolate sponge cake to fit the base of the pan. 
Slice more pieces and build up the sides. 
Fill the cavity in the center with the chocolate mousse mixture. 
Slice another piece of sponge cake and cover the top of the filling, completely encasing it.
Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
Just before serving, toss the cherries and Kirsh together in bowl.
Carefully remove cake from the loaf pan and cut thick slices with a warm knife. 

Top the chocolate marquise with the cherry mixture or whipped cream, if desired.

*If not using chili chocolate, use ½ cup (100 g.) of sugar


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