Being the height of summer here in Perth, I wanted to take advantage of the fruit in season as much as possible. I had already used peaches, boysenberries and red currants in a previous dessert so this time, I bought some blueberries and strawberries. But what to do with these? I hadn’t used chocolate for a while so I thought of combining it with the berries. There is something about this pairing which works so well. My mind goes back to the Bar Pompi in an unassuming area close to the Piazza Re di Roma and San Giovanni in Laterano Church in Rome, a shop which is considered to produce one of the best (if not the best) tiramisu around. They not only had the usual tiramisu but one with strawberries and white chocolate which was to die for!
Wanting to try a new recipe, I came across this recipe for a chocolate marquise which is similar to a mousse except it can be cut. It seemed a simple recipe with a low difficulty level, always good when you’re trying something for the first time. I used a 24x35cm rectangular tin lined with plastic wrap which produced a flat mix I could then cut into squares. To accompany the blueberries, which I decided to use fresh, I made a strawberry coulis and sorbet.
200g white or caster sugar
400g strawberries, hulls removed
Make a sugar syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stirring until the sugar is completed dissolved. Remove from the heat. Process the strawberries in a food processor, then mix the puree and sugar syrup together and place in the refridgerator until completely chilled. Put the mixture in an ice-cream maker and churn according to instructions.
50g white or caster sugar
250g strawberries, hulls removed
Make a sugar syrup by combining the sugar and water in a small saucepan and stirring until the sugar is completed dissolved. Place strawberries and syrup in a food processor and process until smooth. Chill in refridgerator.
To assemble, remove the marquise from the mould by pulling up the plastic wrap and inverting onto a chopping board. Cut the marquise into squares and place on serving plates along with a scoop of strawberry sorbet, some of the coulis and scattered blueberries. To finish this off, I tore up some mint leaves which not only added colour but another flavour dimension which goes very well with fruit and chocolate.
The mix, in turns out, was enough for 6 to 8 people, depending on how large the portions were. The marquise was a little difficult to cut up and on further research found this could be frozen to firm the mixture up more. I also thought the marquise was a bit dense. I was expecting something a bit lighter and airier. Maybe I overworked the chocolate and cream mixture a bit too much. In any case, I was really happy with the combination of ingredients.