I generally don’t like to make desserts. I tend not to eat them in restaurants, either. The question I always ask myself is, is this dessert going to be better than a bar of chocolate? Usually, the answer is no. But for marquise au chocolat, the answer is a definite yes.
I first ate this twenty-something years ago at a small dinner party held by one of my wife’s friends. I took down the recipe that night, and … have hardly made it since. I think that’s mostly a self-preservation thing: if I make it, I will eat it, and then I will get fat. But sometimes you just have to eat marquise au chocolat. For those times, here is the recipe.
Line a 1lb loaf tin (small) with cling film.
Break 8oz plain chololate into small pieces.
Place chocolate and 2 tablespoons of strong black coffee (liquid) in bowl over a pan of gently simmering water.
Leave to melt, stirring occasionally.
Remove bowl from heat.
Add 6oz butter in pieces, three egg yolks, 4oz icing sugar, a pinch of salt, and the grated rind of an orange.
Return to heat until butter is melted.
Leave to cool (take bowl off saucepan).
Beat three egg whites until they hold soft peaks.
Delicately fold half of them into the chocolate mixture.
Then fold in remainder until mixture is smooth.
Pour mixture into prepared tin (will come up to brim).
Cover with kitchen foil, refrigerate for at least 24 hours.
Turn it out, upside-down, on a plate, and remove the cling film.
That’s it. The recipe as I took it down says it serves 4-6 people, but it will go much further than that — comfortably to eight people, maybe even twelve. It’s extremely rich.