I’m not much of a dessert maker. Frankly, if folks are still hungry by the time we get to dessert at my house, I sort of get my feelings hurt. But I’ve been going through notes from our trip to France last fall. And there was one thing that I enjoyed that I’d never had before: a chocolate marquise with speculoos chunks.
I went looking for marquise recipes but most had raw eggs, with the whites whipped to lighten the mixture. I was pretty sure the one we had didn’t have the eggs. Finally I went to the website of the culinary magazine “Cuisine et Vins de France” and found a recipe that was perfect.
Speculoos are Belgian cookies, a sort of molded spice shortbread. I couldn’t find them here but the popular Biscoff wafers are available in most local supermarkets. They’re also a spice cookie, the ones you used to get on Delta Airlines back when they gave you more than one little bag of pretzels. That’s what I used and they were perfect.
There are several advantages to this dessert. First, it is quick and easy to make. And although good chocolate isn’t cheap, it’s still a fairly inexpensive recipe per serving. It can be made days ahead with no loss of quality, in fact it was better the second day than the first. And most important: it is REALLY yummy.
The original recipe suggests that you serve it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or with crème anglaise, a rich vanilla custard sauce. Both seem like overkill to me, especially the crème anglaise. I scattered a few raspberries on the plate and added a dollop of whipped cream and nobody complained.
Chocolate Marquise with Biscoff Wafers
1 8.8-ounce package Biscoff wafers
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
A large pinch ground cinnamon
Whipped cream and raspberries for garnish
Spray an 8x5 loaf pan with cooking spray and line with plastic wrap.With your fingers, crumble the wafers into chunks. With a knife, chop the chocolate coarsely.
In a saucepan over medium-low heat, bring the cream and butter to a bare simmer. Add the chocolate and continue to stir with a heat-proof plastic scraper until smooth. Add the cookie chunks and the cinnamon and mix together. Pour into the prepared loaf pan.
Let cool a bit, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours. To serve use the wrap to unmold the loaf. You may need to wrap a hot towel around the outside to loosen. Slice ¾-inch thick, put on individual serving plates and garnish with berries and whipped cream. Serves 12.