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A rich and delicious chocolate dessert
The perfectly simple and elegant dessert for chocolate lovers
Chocolate marquise desserts have been around for centuries and may have originated in Venezuela. While recipes vary greatly from chef to chef, I think you’ll find this marquise recipe has it all!
Our ultimate chocolate marquise is easy to make and impressive to serve. It’s creamy, rich and chocolaty with just the right amount of fluff, superb flavor and a slight hint of espresso.
Chocolate Marquise is best served slightly soft or half-frozen. The sliceable consistency is a cross between a lightly aerated frozen mousse and a dense semifreddo. Think New York style cheesecake made without cream cheese!
It’s not hard to imagine that you’re biting into a rich chocolate truffle that literally melts in your mouth. While not overly sweet, it’s a dream-come-true for the serious chocolate lover.
We all know chocolate and cherries are perfect together so we top our marquise with a fresh cherry sauce spiked with cherry brandy.
Ingredients to make Chocolate Marquise:
- bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate coarsely chopped
I always use good quality chocolate bars like Scharffen Berger or Guittard when making rich chocolate desserts.
You can use chocolate chips in a pinch but remember, chips were created in a way to prevent melting in the oven. They have a lower amount of cocoa butter and include stabilizers and emulsifiers not found in quality baking chocolate.
- egg yolks
- espresso powder – optional but recommended. Espresso powder enhances chocolate flavor without tasting like a cup of coffee.
- water – or use strong coffee in place of the water and espresso powder.
- Dutch-process cocoa powder – used for it’s mild, but rich chocolate flavor
- unsalted butter
- granulated sugar
- vanilla extract
- cold heavy whipping cream
Ingredients for the easy cherry sauce:
- granulated sugar
- kirsch – a clear cherry brandy
- lemon juice
- fresh sweet cherries or thawed frozen
How to make Chocolate Marquise
Prep ahead: Start by prepping all the ingredients and gathering the tools. Line a loaf pan with a double layer of plastic wrap. Place the pan in the freezer while making the marquise.
Combine the ingredients: Next melt the chopped chocolate over a bain marie. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl. Dissolve the espresso powder in the water and add to the egg yolks. Sift the cocoa powder over the egg yolks and add the butter, vanilla and sugar.
Cook the mixture: Set the egg mixture over the bain marie. Cook and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees F. Add the melted chocolate.
Whip the cream: Beat the whipping cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold one-third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the remaining cream into the chocolate mixture until no white streaks remain.
Freeze until served: Spoon the marquise into the prepared pan and cover with plastic wrap. Freeze until firm.
To make the Cherry Sauce:
Combine all ingredients except the cherries. Bring to a boil and add the cherries. Cook until thickened then cool slightly. Serve over the Chocolate Marquise.
This may sound like a lot of steps but it comes together quickly. Just have everything ready and you’ll be surprised how easy it is to make.
How to serve Chocolate Marquise
Remove the marquise from the freezer and either refrigerate for several hours or rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Uncover and invert the pan onto a serving platter. Peel off the plastic wrap and discard. If you have trouble getting the marquise to release, wrap the pan in a damp, warm dish towel.
Run a large, thin knife under hot water and carefully wipe dry. Slice the marquise into 1-inch thick pieces and transfer to individual plates.
Spoon warm cherry sauce on top and serve immediately.
If you don’t have cherries on hand, sprinkle crushed cookies over the top of the marquise or add candied sliced almonds or nuts. Garnish with a dollop of whipped cream and serve.
What is kirsch?
If you enjoy a little sip from time to time, this clear French cherry brandy is a wonderful treat. It has intense cherry flavor and is best served in small amounts or drizzled over a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
While kirsch can be expensive, it lasts forever. I’ve had the same bottle of kirsch in my refrigerator for years. As each bottle includes 20 to 30 pounds of fruit, it’s easy to see why this is a prized addition to your pantry.
Don’t bother to buy the cheap stuff, it just won’t be the same!
Do you have to use kirsch in the sauce?
Feel free to leave the kirsch out of the cherry sauce if desired. If you’re wondering about a substitute, any clear fruit juice will work.
You can also mix a few muddled cherries with vodka and set aside for a day or two. Drain and proceed as directed.
And finally, a fruity dry white wine might also work so feel free to experiment!
Tips for making Chocolate Marquise with fresh Cherry Sauce:
- While this recipe is easy to make, it’s tremendously helpful to have everything prepped ahead.
- Set up the bain-marie, assemble the bowls and tools needed and lay out all ingredients before beginning. Anything that can be done ahead will make this process a breeze!
- The marquise can be made days, weeks or even a month ahead and frozen until needed. The cherry sauce can be made up to a week in advance and refrigerated well sealed in a jar.
- Use non-porous utensils when making the cherry sauce. Anything used to stir the sauce may be stained with red cherry juice. No wooden spoons unless you don’t mind the color change!
- As mentioned above, I use good quality chocolate for this recipe. Don’t risk the texture coming out weird by used melted chocolate chips.
Chocolate Marquise holds up well at room temperature
Once sliced and plated, this Chocolate Marquise will hold its shape for a few hours. When the warm cherry sauce is added I recommend serving as soon as possible.
The marquise can be sliced frozen or semi-frozen. It’s much more difficult to slice once completely thawed.
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Chocolate Marquise with Fresh Cherry Sauce
- instant read thermometer, loaf pan, plastic wrap, saucepan and whisk
For the Marquise:
- 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 large egg yolks, room temperature
- ⅛ teaspoon espresso powder
- ¼ cup water (2oz)
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder, sifted
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces (4oz or 113g)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100g)
- 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream (12oz)
For the fresh cherry sauce:
- ¼ cup water (2oz)
- ¼ cup granulated sugar (50g)
- 2 tablespoons kirsch (clear cherry brandy)
- juice from ½ lemon
- 2 ½ teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved (about 16oz before pitting)
To prepare the Marquise:
- Lightly spray an 8½ or 9-inch loaf pan with vegetable cooking spray. Line the pan with a double layer of plastic wrap allowing it to hang over the sides. Smooth out the plastic wrap as best you can. Place the pan in the freezer until needed.
- Melt the chocolate over a saucepan of gently simmering water (bain-marie). Don’t let the bowl touch the water. Set the fully melted chocolate aside to cool. Leave the water on the stove-top; you’ll need it again in the next step.
- In a large metal bowl lightly whisk the egg yolks. Dissolve the espresso powder in the water and add to the egg yolks. Add the sifted cocoa powder, butter, vanilla and sugar.
- Set the bowl over the bain-marie. Whisk constantly and cook the egg mixture until it reaches 160°F on an instant read thermometer, about 5-6 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and beat with an electric mixer until slightly thickened and cooled slightly, about 5 minutes. Add the melted chocolate and stir until blended.
- In a separate clean bowl beat the whipping cream until creamy, soft peaks form.
- Gently fold one-third of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture to lighten. Using a rubber spatula gently fold the remaining whipped cream into the chocolate mixture until no white streaks remain. Do not over-mix or deflate.
- Spoon the marquise mixture into the prepared pan. Smooth the top and push the mixture into the corners. Fold the extra plastic wrap over the surface to cover. Freeze until firm, about 6 hours or overnight.
To prepare the cherry sauce:
- Pour the water, sugar, kirsch, lemon juice and cornstarch into a medium saucepan. Whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until the sauce begins to boil. Add the cherries and cook until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Cool slightly before serving. The sauce may be made ahead, refrigerated and rewarmed gently before serving.
- Remove the marquise from the freezer and allow it to rest at room temperature for 5 minutes. Uncover the top and invert the pan onto a serving platter. Peel off the plastic wrap and discard. If having trouble getting the marquise to release, wrap a warm damp towel around the pan for a minute or two. Repeat as needed until the marquise releases.
- Run a large, thin knife under hot water and carefully wipe dry. Slice the marquise into 1-inch thick pieces and transfer to individual plates. Spoon room temperature or warm cherry sauce on top. Serve immediately.
- Marquise can be frozen for up to 1 month before serving.
- For a more dense, truffle like consistency, reduce the cream to 1 cup.
Originally published August 2012, updated July 2021