A classic French marjolaine is made of nut meringues layered with chocolate butter-cream. In this frozen version, I layer ice cream made with Ibarra chocolate and rectangles of almond meringue. This Mexican chocolate comes in disks and is made of sugar, cocoa nibs, cinnamon, and ground almonds. Normally used for making hot chocolate, it has a less chocolaty flavor than American or European hot chocolate and makes a delicious ice cream.
Preheat the oven to
In a food processor, finely grind the almonds with
Bake the meringues until dry, 5 to 7 hours. To test for doneness, remove the pan from the oven and let sit on the counter for 30 seconds. Slide a metal spatula under one of the meringues. If it comes off of the parchment paper easily, it is done. If it sticks, return it to the oven. It is okay to leave them in the oven overnight.
Cook the milk and cream in a heavy saucepan, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until almost simmering. Add the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Cool over an ice bath until room temperature. Refrigerate the custard for at least 4 hours or overnight. Churn in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Freeze the ice cream for at least 1 hour until firm but still spreadable.
The meringues can be made a couple of days in advance if the weather is not humid. The marjolaine can be assembled and frozen up to 2 days. Wrap well in plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
If the ice cream has gotten hard, temper it. Gently spread the ice cream over 2 of the meringue rectangles. (If you press too hard, the meringue will crack. If this happens, just piece it back together.) Stack the ice cream and meringue layers on top of each other. Place the third rectangle on top. If necessary, trim the edges of the marjolaine to make it neater. Using a large metal spatula, place the marjolaine on a large platter or baking sheet. Freeze until ready to serve.
Spread half of the Chantilly cream on top of the meringue. Cover with the nuts. Cut into 8 pieces and serve immediately, with extra cream on the side.
© 2006 Emily Luchetti. All rights reserved.