For an impressive dessert, try a slice of this chocolate heaven from the cookbook, Enjoy
Co-founder of Psychologies magazine, Perla Servan-Schreiber, drew from her Mediterranean roots, culinary influences gathered while travelling, and tips gleaned from great chefs such as Yotam Ottolenghi and Alain Ducasse to create recipes for Enjoy: Recipes for Memorable Gatherings.
Her seasonal recipes cover every occasion, from causal summer picnics to formal holiday parties and from tea-time treats to sprawling buffets.
She says: “You will be impressed by the respectful silence that falls when your guests taste a slice of this chocolate heaven. A drizzle of Crème Anglaise takes this marquise to another level.”
Make a day ahead
2oz (60g) store-bought meringues
15 speculaas or petit-beurre cookies
9oz (250g) dark chocolate, maximum 60% cacao
1 stick plus 1 tbsp (4½oz/130g) best-quality lightly salted butter
½ cup (125ml) cold black coffee
Scant ½ cup (2oz/60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
Line a 10×4 inch (26×10cm) silicone loaf pan (or metal pan or disposable aluminum pan) with plastic wrap, leaving enough overhanging to cover the marquise after filling the pan. Roughly crush the meringues between your fingers, chop the cookies into ½ inch (1cm) pieces, and place both in a bowl. Chop the dark chocolate, dice the butter and lightly beat the eggs.
Place the coffee, chocolate and butter in a large saucepan. Stir constantly over low heat with a wooden spatula until the butter has melted and the chocolate has nearly melted, without letting the mixture boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the cocoa powder until smooth. Let cool for 10 minutes. Using a spatula, beat the eggs into the chocolate mixture until well combined. Lightly fold in the crushed meringues and cookie pieces.
Pour into the prepared pan, spread the top level, and fold the overhanging plastic wrap over the top. Chill the marquise overnight in the refrigerator.
Turn out the marquise onto a serving plate 15 minutes before serving. Slice and serve with a drizzle of Crème Anglaise.
Chilling: at least two hours
4 cups (1 litre) whole milk
2 Madagascan or Tahitian vanilla beans (or a few coffee beans, for coffee Crème Anglaise)
14 egg yolks
1¼ cups (9oz/250g) sugar
Put the milk in a large saucepan, slit the vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape the seeds into the milk, adding the beans as well (or add the coffee beans, if using). Bring to a boil, remove from the heat, and cover. Let infuse for 15 minutes (15-30 minutes for the coffee beans) and then remove the beans.
Chill a large metal spoon in the refrigerator to test the custard. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until pale and thick. Slowly drizzle in the infused milk, whisking constantly. Pour it back into the saucepan and stir constantly with a wooden spatula (making figure of eight movements is less tedious), over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the custard thickens and coats the spatula. It is important not to let the custard boil or the egg yolks will scramble.
Remove it from the heat and stir for a few more minutes. Dip the chilled spoon into the custard to coat the back of it, draw a line down the centre with your fingertip, and if the line holds, the custard is ready. If not, cook for a few more minutes and test again but do this frequently as an undercooked custard will be too runny and an overcooked one will curdle.
Pour into an attractive serving bowl or jug and press plastic wrap over the surface to prevent a skin forming. Let cool and chill for at least two hours.
Extracted from Enjoy: Recipes for Memorable Gatherings by Perla Servan-Schreiber (Flammarion, 2020).
Photography © Nathalie Carnet.
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