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Chocolate Marquise Slice

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Serves: 8

150g / 5 oz no-soak pitted prunes, roughly sliced
3 tbsp brandy
1 tbsp powdered gelatine
200g / 7 oz plain chocolate, broken into pieces
150g / 5 oz white chocolate, broken into pieces
4 tbsp milk
225ml / 8 fl oz double cream
2 tbsp cocoa powder
whites of 6 eggs
100g / 4 oz caster sugar

For the ribbons:
100g / 3 1/2 oz plain chocolate


Line a 900g / 2 lb loaf pan with plastic film so that it fits into the corners and hangs over the edges. Place the prunes in the brandy to soak. Sprinkle half the gelatine over 2 tablespoons of cold water in a bowl; repeat the process in another bowl with the remaining gelatine.

Melt the two chocolates in separate bowls each with half the milk, either in the microwave or set over hot water. Stir half the cream into each bowl until smooth, then add the cocoa to the plain chocolate.

Place each bowl of gelatine over a pan of simmering water until the gelatine dissolves. Whisk one into the plain chocolate, the other into the white.

Put egg whites and sugar in a large bowl and place over simmering water. Beat with an electric whisk for 5 minutes until it forms a stiff glossy meringue.

Spoon half the meringue into another bowl and gently fold the plain chocolate into it. Repeat with the white chocolate and prunes with their soaking liquid. Leave until they are beginning to set.

Spoon half the plain chocolate into the base of the prepared loaf pan, then half the white, then repeat the layers. Freeze for several hours until firm.

Make the chocolate ribbons: melt the chocolate. Cut ten 15 x 5cm / 6 x 2 in rectangles of Perspex. Spread a little melted chocolate on one rectangle, swirling it decoratively near the edges with the tip of a spoon. Bring two short ends together, with the chocolate inside, to form a ring; secure with sticky tape. Repeat and leave to set. Hold the ends of the Perspex together so the chocolate doesn't crack, cut the tape and remove gently.

Turn out the Marquise, cut it into thick slices and decorate with the chocolate ribbons.

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