Sunday, June 27, 2010

JUNE 2010 - Daring Baker's Challenge: Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

Oh yay, it's time for the Daring Baker's Challenge again! I really love being with such creative people who take the challenge month after month and come up with the most drool-worthy, beautiful concoctions!
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.
Pavlovas are not new to me, I had a friend who used to make this amazing fruit pavlova with the cruchiest exterior and the chewiest, marshmallow-iest interior that most people can't resist another slice! Sadly, she doesn't make them anymore but here's my tribute to my friend Wendy and I hope that mine turns out as great as hers...
I must say, this recipe is perfect! The pavlovas turned out very well...after baking them for 2 hours, I put off the oven and left the door ajar overnight to dry out.
These are my chocolate pavlovas with the super yummy chocolate mascarpone mousse drizzled with bittersweet dark chocolate

Here is my chocolate fruit pavlova, fresh and simply delicious!

And my favorite--deconstructed chocolate pavlova in a glass, gone in 60 seconds :)
Mandatory items: The recipe is comprised of three parts, four if you include the crème anglaise. You must make the chocolate pavlovas, the mascarpone mousse and the mascarpone cream using the recipes provided.
Variations allowed:
You can use orange juice for the Grand Marnier in the mousse if you don’t use alcohol
You can omit the sambuca from the mascarpone cream.
You may substitute any crème anglaise recipe you might already have in your arsenal.
Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):
3 large egg whites
½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) white granulated sugar
¼ cup (30 grams) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/3 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F (95º C) degrees. Line two baking sheets with silpat or parchment and set aside.
2. Put the egg whites in a bowl 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.
Recipe 2: Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base):
1 ½ cups (355 mls) heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
9 ounces (255 grams) 72% chocolate, chopped
1 2/3 cups (390 mls) mascarpone
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier (or orange juice)
1. Put ½ cup (120 mls) 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 cup of cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add the Grand Marnier and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks. (DO NOT OVERBEAT AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)
3. Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in the remaining mascarpone until well incorporated. Fill a pastry bag with the mousse. Again, you could just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.
* I didn't use Grand Marnier, I didn't have orange at home at that time, but my chocolate mascarpone mousse still tasted great!
Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):
1 recipe crème anglaise
½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)
½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream
1. Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Sambucca and let the mixture cool. Put the cream in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until very soft peaks are formed. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.
Recipe 4: Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream above):
1 cup (235 mls) whole milk
1 cup (235 mls) heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
6 tbsp (75 grams) sugar
1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
2. Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.
3. Pour about ½ 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.
4. 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.
Assembly: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.
And there you have it, the full recipe for this wonderful dessert, it only looks complicated but if you break it down into steps, it's fairly easy.
Thank you Dawn for this great recipe! I really had so much fun with this and would have made more variations if I had the time :)


Linda V said...

Great challenge I like your fruit version. I ate my in a glass versions very quickly as well, it seems the perfect way to enjoy all the delicious contrasting textures and tastes.

Marcellina said...

Your mousse is so creamy! What did you do second time around. I too ended up with a grainy mousse. I'd love to now the secret! Great work!

Audax said...

It is so nice that you could make this challenge with your friend in mind - and your final versions look so delicious and I bet the pav was crisp and had a soft interior. Excellent photos also. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Ruth H. said...

That deconstructed pavlova in a glass is calling to me to just gobble it up! Your presentation looks beautiful, and I am really impressed. Nicely done!

Liz. said...

Love the de-constructed version, your photos are fantastic.

Maranda said...

Yum! I love all the variations you came up with! Great job on the challenge!

Deeba PAB said...

I think you've done your freind proud! These are gorgeous, each one of them! WOW!!

Anula said...

Beautiful pavlovas - love the one in the glass :)

Cheers! Anula.

Aparna said...

Can see this challenge was indeed perfect for you. All your versions looks sooooo good!

TaGa_Luto said...

Okay, sold!!! lol! I've only visited yours and Audax and i'm already convinced...pavlova will be in my very toplist on my to bake list=;) Your version are delish...i like the deconstructed one too=;)

Anonymous said...

Each one of your pavlovas looks beautiful, I can't decide which one I like best.

Yasmeen said...

Super!Love the rich dark chocolate and the fresh fruits :D

anudivya said...

THis looks awesome. Love to see what's cooking at DB challenges!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Great job! Your pavlovas look delicious. I really the one with the fruits!



anjelikuh said...

Amazing pavlovas! The different types of fruits you put on top makes it even more irresistable. Great work!

tease-spoon of sugar said...

I love your deconstructed version! It looks to die for. Great job.

Mary said...

Your pavlova looks great with the fruit on top. And I bet I could eat that deconstructed one in a hurry too!

Chef Dennis said...

great presentation on all of your pavlovas!! I like the fruit one the best!

Anonymous said...

I love the deconstructed chocolate pavlova in a glass! Great idea, no wonder they were gone so fast, everythng looks delicious.



The Betz Family said...

Love the pavlova with the fresh fruit! Nice job on the challenge!

Anonymous said...

I'm not surprised you made the ones in a glass - I did too, there was a lot of mousse left over wasn't there (and I only did half the recipe for the mousse and mascarpone cream). Yours look so fresh and lovely, well done!

bake in paris said...

Reading your post just made me realize how wrong I was expecting the meringue to be totally dry and crispy even when the baking is over 4.5 hours. There was obviously some soft spots still. I forgot to leave it inside the oven with the door ajar... Gosh, that made me waste my time for 1.5 hours.. cause I should have baked it for 3 hours instead...

I like your version of pavlova in a glass. It is a beauty and as you have proved it, gone within minutes ha ha..

Sawadee from Bangkok,

oggi said...

Everything looks beautiful and yummy. Love the one in the glass.

Sirius73 said...

Your pavlovas look delicious! How did you get your mousse so creamy and light in colour? Mine turned out dark and grainy...

EMS said...

Your fresh fruit and chocolate combination just looks lovely. And the deconstructed version is so cute and very tempting!

anchan said...

Wow, I have so much to learn about presentation! Your creations are beautiful! xxx

Renata said...

They look perfect! Love your different versions! No wonder they vanished so fast! Well done on this challenge!

Jeanne said...

I love all the extra chocolate drizzled on top! The fruit version looks fabulous as well - excellent job on this challenge!

nikki said...

The dark chocolate drizzled pavlova is exquisite, actually all of your variations are, but I can't help but want to swipe a taste of triple chocolate pav.

Anonymous said...

Looks delicious! I'm getting hungry looking at all of these.

Big Boys Oven said...

wow this is terrific well accomplish recipe with a real refine work being crfted into, lovely to see and defintely lovely indulge, what a great pavlova! :)

Mr. Jackhonky said...

I love that you made variations! I had grandiose plans for my challenge, but had to do it at the last minute. Ah well...

your's look fantastic though, and I love the idea of the deconstructed version.

I find that food invokes such memories for me. Like Audax, I love that you made them as a tribute to her! I wonder why she doesn't make them anymore?

chef_d said...

Thank you everyone for your kind words, I really appreciate your comments :)
@Mr. Jackhonky-She got burned out I think

Nachiketa said...

The deconstructed chocolate pavlova looked so tempting... :)
The pavs are so well plated that i want to eat them all...

The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

Anonymous said...

Yummm! These look great! I love the deconstructed pavlova.

Lisa Michelle said...

Your pavlovas are beautifully executed and so lovely. Love how you arranged the beautiful fruit on top and as you know...fellow 'grainy' mousse victim here ..but yours looks perfect!

Barbara Bakes said...

So many delicious versions. It would be impossible to pick just one!

Eat4Fun said...

Delicious look pavlovas! The fruit pavlova seems absolutely yummy and the fruit makes for a healthy dessert. :-)

Suzler said...

Your versions look so elegant and delicious, especially the deconstructed pav in a glass. Nice idea! It looks so tempting too. You just want to grab a spoon & dive in.

julie said...

Yum! I love your quick in the glass version. What a great idea! Congrats on a successful challenge!