Daring Bakers – Chocolate Marquise

After not taking part in the April Daring Bakers’ challenge I was keen to return with something wonderful. 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.

There were actually four components to this challenge (two being mandatory) and I decided only to make the two mandatory components which was the chocolate marquise and the torched meringue.

As many of you know, my dad doesn’t eat chocolate. I searched high and low for a non-chocolate version of this dessert (I thought strawberries might work well) but (a) I couldn’t find a recipe and (b) I’m not smart enough to adapt the recipe as much as it would need to be adapted. Chocolate it was. Dad just went hungry.

The recipe was set out to feed the five thousand and then some. Thank goodness that Audax halved and quartered the recipe otherwise I would have fed most of my road with this dessert! Audax is my knight in shining armour. I. Love. Audax.

I’m going to keep this short. This was a dessert was a bit of a pain – not many ingredients but it took an age to make and my washer-upper (my mum) wasn’t too pleased with the amount of bowls that I got through (maybe this was just me). And despite freezing the marquise for over four hours when I came to serve it, it just wasn’t hard enough. Frantically I cut out the marquise into circles using a cutter and plated them up and put them in the freezer for half an hour. It still didn’t work so I never got to roll them in cocoa.

~Chocolate Marquise, Torched Meringue and Raspberry Coulis~

The verdict? We enjoyed (and we really did enjoy it) a cold chocolate mousse with hints of cayenne, pepper and cinnamon. It was lovely. I could eat it straight out of the bowl or once it had been fridged/frozen. Delicious. Will I make it again? No. Too much hassle but the memory will stay with me for a long time. The meringue? Yuck. This was my first time using a blow torch and I practiced a couple of times first but this was just browned egg white which I ate a spoonful of and pushed to the side of my plate. A waste of egg whites in my opinion.

Check out the Daring Bakers website to see how other bakers did.

~ Pru

Daring Bakers Yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake

A drizzle of orange flavoured icing was all that was needed to tell friends that that was the apple brioche.


I was so excited by this month’s challenge – a brioche cake rolled with whipped meringue and a filling (pecans, cinnamon and sultanas and apples, sultanas and orange zest in my case).  Whenever I go to a bakery and they have brioche no one needs to ask what I want.  It’s a given that I will eat brioche.  I could eat it all day long!


The March 2011 Daring Baker’s Challenge was hoted by Ria of Ria’s Collection and Jamie of Life’s a Feast.  Ria and Jamie challeneged us Daring Bakers to bake a yeasted Meringue Coffee Cake.


Although there were three elements to be made (dough, meringue and filling) they were simple to make and didn’t take too long either – about three hours in total including baking.




Pecan, Sultana and Cinnamon Brioche

I mixed one cup of chopped pecans with a cup of sultanas, a teaspoon of cinnamon and two tablespoons of soft brown sugar.  I used this whole mixture on one of the brioche.  I was pleased that I used double the quantity suggested.


Apple, Sultana and Orange Zest Brioche

Two cooking apples were peeled and thinly sliced before adding a cup of sultanas and the zest of an orange with two tablespoons of soft brown sugar.  The sultanas, meringue filling and the small amount of sugar were all that were needed to stop the apples being too tart without being too sweet either.



The results?  Friends and family were torn over what they liked the best. I preferred the apple filling.  This was such a great challenge and I will be making this again soon. 

Daring Bakers – Raspberry & Strawberry Panna Cotta

The February 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mallory from A Sofa in the Kitchen. She chose to challenge everyone to make Panna Cotta from a Giada De Laurentiis recipe and Nestle Florentine Cookies.

When I mentioned to a friend that I would be making Panna Cotta she immediately said ‘Oooh Raspberry Panna Cotta?’.  I hadn’t decided what flavour to do but it seemed right that I went with this suggestion.  And it was good that I did because we all loved it! I chose to lightly adapt a Nigel Slater recipe (instead of the Giada De Laurentiis as I don’t like  honey) with the addition of strawberries and vanilla.

100ml full fat milk

400ml double (heavy) cream

4tbs icing sugar

2 sheets of gelatine

200g raspberries

100g strawberries, hulled and cut in quarters

1tsp vanilla extract


Blitz the raspberries and strawberries together until they are no lumps.  Pass through a sieve to remove the pips.  (Nigel says this is optional – but I would hate to have all those pips in a dessert!)

Simmer the milk and half of the cream in a saucepan for about 5 minutes. 

Place the two sheets of gelatine in a bowl of cold water and leave for 5 minutes.  Whisk the other half of the cream and the icing sugar until it has thickened but isn’t stiff. 

Take the milk and cream mixture off the heat and add the gelatine.  Whisk until it is disolved.  Add the vanilla extract.  Then fold in the heavy cream mixture.  Place the mixture through a sieve into a large jug.

Pour in the raspberry/strawberry mixture into the jug and combine. 

Pour into ramekins or small cups (I made three cups and one ramekin from the mixture).  Place cling film over them and refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

 Daring Bakers will notice though, that there are no Florentines here and the reason for that is that no one in our house likes them.  But we sure did love the panna cotta!


Daring Bakers – Lemon Cream Entremet

The January 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Astheroshe of the blog Accro. She chose to challenge everyone to make a Biscuit Joconde Imprime to wrap around an Entremets dessert.

I still can’t pronounce it right, and instead refer to it as ‘biscuitty-cakey thing wrapped around a dessert in a mould with a pretty pattern’.  Even when I served it my mum was still confused as to how the purple pattern had appeared!

Still who cares.  It’s what it tastes like that matters.  And it tasted pretty good. 

Imagination was called for as you could fill the mould with anything you liked.  At first I thought I would do a lemon mousse but I then decided to use one of the cookbooks I received for Christmas and settled on Tartine’s lemon cream. 

The cream is easy to make and my only change next time would be to add a little more lemon to it, maybe not so much butter and possibly a little food colouring to make it look more yellow – it was very, very pale and hard to distinguish that it would be lemon that you were eating. 

The recipe called for way too much paste in my opinion and I had a lot to chuck away.  I  made three small desserts with the moulds that I had bought to make Orange Tians for my first ever Daring Bakers challenge.

It seems that this is as artistic as I get!

The batter spread thinly on top.

Out of the oven.  If I made this again, I would be more precise with my measuring and use two trays so that there are no burnt/hard edges.

“And here’s one I made earlier!”

Only kidding!!! But I was too busy assembling them to photograph at the same time.  I topped each one differently – one with lemon cream and lemon jelly which I cut into stars, one with lemon cream and crushed biscuits and the other with lemon cream, crushed biscuits and candied lemon.

 Not the greatest photo.  But layers of lemon cream and crushed biscuits.

I don’t know if I would go to the bother of making this again, maybe for a special occasion, but it was fun trying a new recipe and trying the lemon cream recipe too.