The June 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged the Daring Bakers’ to make Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The challenge recipe is based on a recipe from the book Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.
I’ve never made a pavlova before – although I have heard of them. And when I read through the recipe – I knew it was something that my husband and I would love – chocolate meringue, chocolate mascarpone mousse and crème anglaise. Well – that proved to be absolutely true. The first one that we ate – we shared with a bottle of white wine, in the backyard with the sun setting – the perfect summer evening. And it felt like we were out to eat at a fancy restaurant and not in our own backyard. My husband declared it was the best dessert that I’ve ever made! I topped mine with fresh, local strawberries. It was seriously out-of-this-world good. But I know that it wasn’t just the wine talking – because when we ate this again the next night and it was just as delicious.
I made the full batch of the pavlova recipe and half batch of the mousse and crème anglaise – and that actually turned out to be the perfect amount, I am so glad I didn’t make the entire batch – so I will adjust the recipe below with the amounts I used. I think that one of these could easily be eaten by one person – but we shared it each time we ate them. :)
Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):
- 3 large egg whites
- ½ cup plus 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
- ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F degrees. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
2. Put the egg whites in the bowl of a mixer and whip until soft peaks form. Increase speed to high and gradually add granulated sugar about 1 tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form. (The whites should be firm but moist.)
3. Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white. (This looks like it will not happen. Fold gently and it will eventually come together.)
4. Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into whatever shapes you desire. Alternatively, you could just free form your shapes and level them a bit with the back of a spoon.
5. Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- grated zest of half a lemon
- 4.5 ounces 72% chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 plus 1/3 cups mascarpone cheese
- pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tbsp Grand Marnier (or orange juice) (I actually used Baileys)
1. Put 1/4 cup of the heavy cream and the lemon zest in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once warm, add the chocolate and whisk until melted and smooth. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let sit at room temperature until cool.
2. Place the mascarpone, the remaining half cup of cream and nutmeg in a bowl of a mixer. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add the Grand Marnier (or Baileys) and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks.
3. Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in the remaining mascarpone until well incorporated.
4. When ready to use fill a pastry bag with the mousse. You could also just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.
Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling)
- 1 recipe crème anglaise:
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 large egg yolks
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 1/4 cup mascarpone
- 1 tbsp Sambucca (optional) (I did not use this)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
1. Prepare the crème anglaise: In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow. Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep from making scrambled eggs. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and put the heat back on medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.
2. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Sambucca into the crème anglaise.
3. Put the cream in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until very soft peaks are formed.
4. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.
Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.
Check out what the other Daring Bakers made on the blogroll.
Thanks to Dawn from Doable and Delicious for a great challenge this month!