If you need a dish to impress, this is it. No stops, no holds barred.

A cube of ice cream, coated in dark cocoa powder sitting on a bed of fluffy meringue, blow torched to marshmallow-y goodness, covered in crispy nuts and drizzled in caramel. Can you even believe such an absurdity exists?  It does. Blame the French of course.

The daring bakers were given a template for each of the components based around a tequila-chocolate-chili theme with the option to create our own theme if desired.  While those flavors all sound fine and grand, I have simple tastes so I infused everything with chocolate, peanut butter and caramel in a tribute to the fanciest of all candy bars: the snickers.

Peanut butter chocolate icecream in a box (the marquis):

Peanut butter chocolate caramel – this alone tastes like liquid snickers:

Crispy salty roasted peanuts – the more you eat the more you want:

The May 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Emma of CookCraftGrowand 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.

Prepare your Marquise mold

1 8×8″ square cake pan
2 sheets parchment paper

Lay them in alternating directions with enough hanging over so you will easily be able to pull out the marquise when it is frozen.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Marquise

6 large egg yolks at room temperature
2 large whole eggs
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp water
Chocolate Base, barely warm (recipe follows)
2 cups whipped “cream” (or make dream whip prepared with almond milk)
1 cups Dutch process cocoa powder (for rolling) Hershey’s Special Dark works great
Torched meringue (recipe follows)
crunchy peanuts (recipe follows)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg yolks and whole eggs. Whip on high speed until very thick and pale, about 10 – 15 minutes.

When the eggs are getting close to finishing, make a sugar syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring the syrup to a boil and then cook to softball stage (235F/115C).

With the mixer running on low speed, drizzle the sugar syrup into the fluffy eggs, trying to hit that magic spot between the mixing bowl and the whisk.

When all of the syrup has been added (do it fairly quickly), turn the mixer back on high and whip until the bowl is cool to the touch. This will take at least 10 minutes.

In a separate mixing bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. OR make dream whip! Set aside.

When the egg mixture has cooled, add the chocolate base to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Try to get it as consistent as possible without losing all of the air you’ve whipped into the eggs. We used the stand mixer for this, and it took about 1 minute.

Fold 1/3 of the reserved whipped cream (dream whip) into the chocolate mixture to loosen it, and then fold in the remaining whipped cream (dream whip).

Pour into the prepared pans and cover with plastic wrap (directly touching the mixture so it doesn’t allow in any air).

Freeze until very firm, at least 2 – 4 hours (preferably 6 – 8 hours).

When you’re ready to plate, remove the marquise from the freezer at least 15 minutes before serving. While it’s still hard, remove it from the pan by pulling on the parchment ‘handles’ or by flipping it over onto another piece of parchment.

Cut it into cubes and roll the cubes in cocoa powder. These will start to melt almost immediately, so don’t do this step until all of your other plating components (meringue, caramel, spiced nuts, cocoa nibs) are ready. The cubes need to sit in the fridge to slowly thaw so plating components can be done during that time. They don’t need to be ready before the cubes are rolled in the cocoa powder.

Plate with the torched meringue and drizzled caramel sauce, and toss spiced almonds and cocoa nibs around for garnish. You want to handle the cubes as little as possible because they get messy quickly and are difficult to move. However, you want to wait to serve them until they’ve softened completely. The soft pillows of chocolate are what make this dessert so unusual and when combined with the other elements, you’ll get creamy and crunchy textures on your palate.

Chocolate Peanut butter base

6 oz milk chocolate chips (1 cup)
6 oz (3/4 cup) coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 tbsp light corn syrup (alternately use 2 tbsp sugar melted briefly with 1 tsp water)
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tbsp Hershey’s extra dark cocoa powder


  1. Place the chocolate in a small microwavable bowl.
  2. In a double-boiler, warm the coconut milk until it is hot to the touch (but is not boiling). Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate.
  3. Allow it to sit for a minute or two before stirring. Stir until the chocolate is melted completely and is smooth throughout.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  5. If the peanut butter does not melt, microwave it for 3o sec at at time until it is completely smooth
  6. Set aside until cooled to room temperature. Do not refrigerate, as the base needs to be soft when added to the marquise mixture. If you make it the day before, you may need to warm it slightly. Whisk it until it is smooth again before using it in the marquise recipe.

Torched Meringue

Servings: Makes about 4 – 5 cups of meringue. If you aren’t planning on serving *all* of the marquise at once, you might want to scale this recipe back a bit. (I used only 2 eggs for enough meringue for 4 plates)

11 large egg whites
1 ¾ cups (14 oz or 395 gms) sugar
Splash of apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Combine the egg whites, sugar and vinegar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using your (clean, washed) hand, reach in the bowl and stir the three together, making sure the sugar is moistened evenly by the egg whites and they make a homogeneous liquid.

Over a saucepan of simmering water, warm the egg white mixture. Use one hand to stir the mixture continuously, feeling for grains of sugar in the egg whites. As the liquid heats up, the sugar will slowly dissolve and the egg whites will thicken. This step is complete when you don’t feel any more sugar crystals in the liquid and it is uniformly warm, nearly hot. Using your hands is important to ensure that the egg whites do not overcook, Be Careful if your hand starts to burn it’s too hot! 

Remove the mixing bowl from the saucepan and return it to the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk until you reach soft peaks. In the last 10 seconds of mixing, add the vanilla to the meringue and mix thoroughly.

When you’re ready to plate the dessert, spoon the meringue onto a plate (or use a piping bag) and use a blowtorch to broil.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel

Servings: Makes about 1 cup of caramel

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup heavy cream (1 cup coffeemate for a lactose free substitute)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup milk chocolate chips


In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the sugar and water on medium-high heat. Boil until the water completely evaporates and the sugar caramelizes to a dark mahogany color.

Working quickly, add the cream (or creamer) to the darkened caramel. It will bubble and pop vigorously, so add only as much cream as you can without overflowing the pot.

Return the pot to the stove on low heat and whisk gently to break up any hardened sugar. Add any remaining cream and continue stirring. Gradually, the hard sugar will dissolve and the caramel sauce will continue to darken. When the caramel has darkened to the point you want it, remove it from the heat. Add the salt, peanut butter, chocolate, and stir to combine. Set aside until ready to serve.

Crunchy Peanuts

Servings: Makes about 1 cup crunchy nuts (Make 2 servings because guaranteed you will chow through one while making the rest of the components!)

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg white
1 cup pre-roasted salted, peanuts

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil.
  2. In a larger mixing bowl whisk the egg white until it’s frothy and thick.
  3. Add the salt to the egg white and whisk to combine completely.
  4. Add the nuts to the egg white mixture and toss with a spoon.
  5. Spoon the coated nuts onto the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake the nuts for 30 minutes, or until they turn light brown.
Turn oven off when nuts are light brown and leave in oven for another hour or 2 for maximum crunchiness. Break into small pieces prior to plating. Will remain crunchy in fridge for at least a week.