I seriously did not think I would be able to complete the challenge this month but we somehow managed to pull it off today. I did contemplate throwing in the towel and putting myself down as a non-participant but having tasted the result this morning, I’m glad I did go through with it. Presentation is a bit rough but I’m happy to say that I’ve notched up another dessert that will no doubt please dinner guests. Hubby gave it a thumbs up!
This month’s challenge (hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrow and Jenny of Purple House Dirt) was to make chocolate marquise teamed with some amazing accompaniments, including torched meringue. It was probably the most labour intensive challenge so far with four distinct items to spend time of (the chocolate marquise itself had two parts…). By the time I got to the end of the last item, I wondered whether it was worth all the effort. It was!! I do like it when hard work is rewarded and I can definitely say that this challenge does just that.
I made a few changes to the recipe, namely using my favourite ingredient at the moment: Pedro Ximenez sherry. The chocolate marquise got a good dash of the raisiny nectar which pairs up brilliantly with cinnamon. I also made the caramel sauce with PX which gave it a slightly fruity flavour. Very enjoyable indeed.
On the minus side, being rushed as usual (my fault as I choose the most inconvenient moments to start recipes – Masterchef pressure test much?) I didn’t read the recipe correctly and ended up using double cream instead of whipping cream (which is what I believe the North Americans refer to as double cream…). As a result I had no cream to whip; just amazingly creamy double cream as we Aussies know it. This meant that the marquise wasn’t very light and instead more truffle-like in texture. Not really a minus I guess :)
I also overwhisked the egg white for spiced nuts and ended up with almond meringue… I wasn’t in the mood for restarting so decided to crush some of that to scatter over the caramel sauce when plating up. Tasted good so again, not really a minus :)
So I’m happy to report that the challenge ended up being a very satisfying one and I know I’ll be using this recipe again. Thanks to the challenge hostesses!