Sunday, November 2, 2008

BIRTHDAY DINNER

It was my friend Tania's birthday Saturday so here was an excuse, if I ever needed an excuse, to have a celebratory dinner. Decision time, "Who to invite and what to eat?" Friends, no problem. I then flick through magazines and pour over cook books for several days trying to decide what to serve. I change my direction a few times before settling on PAELLA as a main dish. That decided makes my appetiser decision easier, I decide to go with antipasti, I know we are clashing Spanish and Italian cultures here, and I should have gone with tapas, but I find they takes a lot of last minute preparation and as I would be doing the PAELLA last minute, then cold the antipasti was the way to go. Dessert had to be something special and almost certainly chocolate based. Souffle? no again to much last minute prep, mousse? not quite special enough. At last in a copy of OLIVE magazine I find a recipe for a CHOCOLATE MARQUISE WITH CREME ANGLAISE. Perfect. It is all done in advance and with the addition of some candles, or maybe even sparklers I think this will be the one.
Couldn't believe just how easy this was to do. Will now be on my dessert dish list for a long time to come.




CHOCOLATE MARQUISE:

400gm Dark chocolate, 70%.
200gr unsalted butter, at room temp.
60gm superfine/ caster sugar
1tsp vanilla ( I changed this to 1 tablespoon orange liqueur)!
6 eggs, separated.

Line a 1kg loaf tin with cling film/plastic wrap.
Gently melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave.
Stir in sugar and vanilla (or flavour of choice)
Whisk in egg yolks one at a tome.
Whisk egg whites until stiff. Fold in 1 heaped tablespoon of egg white into chocolate to loosen mixture.
Then gently fold in remaining egg white.
Pour into loaf tin and cover tightly with cling film.

At this point you freeze for at least 8 hours. I decided not to freeze but to chill the mixture. This worked well and it sliced easily for serving.

I served with Creme Anglaise and fresh raspberries.
It is always a problem as to what wine to serve with something sweet. I know a sweet sherry works well with the chocolate. I chose a PEDRO XIMENEZ extra rich. They worked perfectly together.

An enjoyable evening was had by all. A perfect way to spend a Saturday night, good friends, good food and being so close to our election, some very lively conversation!

3 comments:

Coby said...

What a perfect choice! I've never had the pleasure of a 'Marquise', but I already know I'd love it:):) Jacqui, I bet Tania had a lovely birthday:D Everything sounds so delicious!

Val said...

I am not a sweet lover but this sounds delish !!!!!Glad you had a great night.

Patty said...

Wish I was closer!! Miss those lovely and enjoyable dinners.