Chocolate marquise is the perfect dessert for making ahead and it will keep perfectly in the freezer until you are ready to serve to your guests or, if you are like me, just cut yourself a sneaky slice!
Elegant enough for entertaining, a special meal at home or family get togethers, anyone who likes chocolate will love this frozen chocolate mousse.
Get ready for some seriously chocolatey heaven, that's naturally gluten free, and you don't even need any cream!
This dessert is perfect for Christmas or New Year because you can make it way in advance and whip it out of the freezer when you need it. There is so much other food preparation at Christmas that it's great to get a dessert fully prepared.
The basic recipe is made from store cupboard ingredients, so no rushing out to buy fresh cream or other expensive ingredients. However, you can go a bit crazy and serve it in lots of different ways too or add different ingredients for a change.
This recipe was inspired by my raspberry parfait, which is a type of rich, no churn ice cream.
The great thing about this recipe is that I normally keep all the ingredients in my kitchen!
- Plain chocolate - the quality and taste of chocolate can vary wildly so I prefer to use a chocolate which is about 55% cocoa solids. This gives a rich flavour, without being too sweet. In the US this would be semisweet chocolate, which has a cocoa solids range of between 35-65%.
- Butter - many people prefer to use unsalted butter in desserts but a little salt from salted butter will actually temper the bitterness from the chocolate. I always have salted butter so this is what I use.
- Eggs - always large and free range. I find that medium sized eggs are too small for most baking or dessert recipes.
- Sugar - caster or fine sugar is used because it dissolves quicker than normal granulated.
- Orange extract - completely optional but delicious!
See recipe card for quantities.
- 1 kg or 2 lb loaf tin
- balloon whisk - hand or stand mixer is easier
- 2 glass bowls
- cling film
The eggs will be eaten raw in the chocolate mousse, so be sure that you know the status of your eggs if you are giving this dish to a vulnerable person . Some eggs are pasteurised and some hens are vaccinated against salmonella, which should be marked on the box. In the UK if you buy eggs with the Lion Mark then the eggs are safe to eat raw.
Make sure that the bowl you use for mixing meringues is freshly washed and dried and preferable glass or metal. A miniscule amount of grease in the bowl can mean that your egg whites won't whip correctly.
I normally store my eggs at room temperature, but if you put your eggs in the fridge for an hour or so before you are ready to bake, then they will be easier to separate.
Separate each egg and add the whites to the whipping bowl one at a time. This makes it easier in case you come across a bad egg without wasting the rest. More importantly you can check the egg white. If you have the slightest bit of yolk in the white it can stop the egg whites from whipping.
When the meringue has reached the right consistency handle it as little as possible with metal spoons or a spatula so that you don't allow the air to escape.
Line a loaf tin with cling film as this makes it easier to remove from the tin.
Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a very clean large glass or metal bowl, ready for whipping and the yolks in a smaller bowl.
Break the chocolate into pieces and melt over a bain marie or in the microwave.
Bain marie method
Put the chocolate and butter in a small glass bowl which will fit suspended over a saucepan. Pour in about 3 cm of water in the bottom and check that the water is not touching the bowl. Bring the water to a simmer then turn off the heat and let the chocolate melt, stirring . When it's almost melted remove it from the water and stir to make sure that no lumps remain. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
Put the chocolate in a a microwaveable bowl and set the power setting to 50%. Heat in 30 second bursts, stirring occasionally until the chocolate has melted. Stir through the butter until it has melted. Allow to cool.
Add the sugar and orange extract to the chocolate mixture and stir until it dissolves.
Whip the egg whites with an electric mixer or by hand until you reach the stiff peak stage.
💭 Top tip
- They have reached the stiff peak stage when you can turn the bowl upside down and the contents do not move.
Take a tablespoon of the whipped egg whites and stir into the chocolate to loosen the mixture. This makes it easier to fold in the rest of the egg whites.
Use a large metal spoon to fold in the egg whites, taking care not to knock the air out of the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and cover the top with cling film.
⏲️ Freezing time
Freeze for at least 6 hours to allow the chocolate marquise to set.
For best results take it out of the freezer, but leave it in the tin for about 2 hours. The dessert will be easy to slice and serve.
Of course, you can just slice it directly from the freezer.
💭 Top tip
- It is best to use a knife dipped in a jug of hot water for easy slicing. Wipe the knife in between cutting.
🥗 Serve with
- fruit - such as raspberries, strawberries or cherries
- ice cream - or whipped cream or crème fraîche
- chocolate - you can make the dessert extra rich by replacing a quarter of the chocolate with white chocolate. If you choose to use a different chocolate you may need to adjust the amount of sugar you add.
- Orange essence - use a teaspoon of vanilla essence or another flavour such as mint. - add chili pepper flakes while cooking to imbue heat into the dish, or banana peppers
- Adult only - add a tablespoon of brandy or a liqueur, such as coffee, mint, orange or cherry, in place of the essence.
- Fruit - stir in fresh raspberries, stoned cherries or cut strawberries to the mixture before freezing. You could also stir in small meringue pieces, chopped hazelnuts or small pieces of caramel toffee or honeycomb.
The chocolate marquise dessert should be stored in the freezer for up to one month.
Desserts to try
- 1 kg or 2 lb loaf tin
- cling film
- whisk or electric mixer
- 2 glass bowls
- 400 g dark chocolate between 50-70% cocoa solids
- 200 g butter
- 60 g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon orange extract
- 6 eggs
- Line a loaf tin with cling film.
- Separate the eggs, putting the whites in a very clean large glass or metal bowl, ready for whipping and the yolks in a smaller bowl.
- Break the chocolate into pieces and melt over a bain marie with the butter.
- Add the sugar and orange extract to the chocolate mixture and stir until it dissolves.
- Whip the egg whites with an electric mixer or by hand until you reach the stiff peak stage.
- Use a large metal spoon to fold in the egg whites carefully.
- Pour the mixture into the loaf tin and cover the top with cling film.
- Freeze for at least 6 hours before serving.
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended'
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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