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DB Challenge: Chocolate Mascarpone Pavlovas

June 27, 2010

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The 27th of the month is the posting date for the Daring Bakers. 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.

This challenge was fun to try in part I think because I never imagined making a chocolate meringue. I had made one pavlova before with one giant plain white meringue topped with lemon curd and pineapple, and I loved brilliantly white meringue’s marshmallow-like center. When making these chocolate meringues, I piped them instead of spooning them into a large round cloud on the baking sheet.

The difference in this recipe from any meringue recipe is that you fold in cocoa powder to turn them into chocolate meringues. These meringues were made with 3 egg whites whipped to soft peaks in the stand mixer. Then, add slowly with the machine still on medium speed 9 TB regular sugar and then 4 TB confectioner’s (powder) sugar. Finally, when the mixture comes to stiff peaks turn off the machine and sift in 1/3 cup (~5 TB + 1 ts) cocoa powder over the mixture. With a wide spatula, fold the cocoa in the mixture until its color is fairly uniform.

At this point, I did two things differently from my previous (and more successful) go at pavlova:

  1. I put the mixture into a pastry bag and piped them into flat shapes, using an empty/wide tip) onto the baking sheet. Before, I had spooned into a large cloud-like form. The meringues from this recipe were baked solid all the way through, and they lacked the gooey marshmallow quality I so enjoyed in my first batch. 
  2. I baked them at 200º F for 2.5 hours then cooled on the counter. The previous time I baked them at 300º F for 45 minutes and then allowing them to cool in the oven with the temperature turned off and the door open.

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The next component to this challenge was to make a chocolate mascarpone mousse. My recipe serves four. First melt 4 oz of chopped dark chocolate (70% or higher cocoa content) into 3 TB of cream with the zest of half a lemon, either in the microwave or on the hob. Set the sauce aside to cool completely while you whip up the other component. Either with the stand or hand mixer, whip together 1/2 cup heavy cream with 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, 2 TB orange juice and .  Finally, fold the chocolate into the mousse. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

The final component to this challenge was to make a creamy drizzle. The recipe was for a crème Anglaise with a mascarpone twist. To make the drizzle, first make a recipe for crème Anglaise.

To make the crème Anglaise , whisk together (using a hand whisk) 6 egg yolks with 6 TB regular sugar until creamy or turns pale yellow; set aside. Bring to a boil in a saucepan 1 Cup heavy cream, 1 Cup whole milk & 1 ts vanilla extract. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool momentarily. Then, while whisking the yolks with one hand, gently pour in 1/4 Cup of the milk-cream mixture into the yolk-sugar mixture; this mix is called a “slurry.” Continue to whisk vigorously the slurry and continue to add the rest of the milk/cream mixture to the slurry. Once the mix has been successfully combined without curdling, return the mix to the hot on medium-low heat. Stir the mix constantly with a wooden spoon until it achieves the desired thickness by checking the back of the wooden spoon. Refrigerate overnight.

To complete the drizzle, whisk together 1/4 Cup mascarpone mousse with half of the crème Anglaise recipe. Beat 1/4 Cup heavy cream until it forms peaks, and then fold in the cream mixture.

From that point, you can do what you like with your mascarpone mousse, drizzle and meringues. The drizzle is great on all sorts of sweets, from cupcakes to cookies. The mousse is delicious in its own and would be great as a pie. We enjoyed ours topped with raspberries. In any case, the next time you’re craving chocolate and feeling adventurous, try these luscious treats.  

 *All “Daring Kitchen” challenge posts will have this sort of language as required to verify participation. I try to incorporate the “blog checking lines” into my posts. 

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 27, 2010 3:11 pm

    Mmm wow your pavlova looks gorgeous, yummy!
    Its making me want to make this challenge all over again hehe.

  2. June 27, 2010 10:31 pm

    what a sweet pavlova!! beautiful presentation of such a wonderful dessert!

  3. June 28, 2010 7:05 am

    That photo is amazing and yes this is very different from the classic white plain pav. I really like the layering. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  4. June 29, 2010 11:48 pm

    mmm, i ❤ anything stacked. layers of raspberries, sign me up! great job 🙂

  5. June 30, 2010 10:47 am

    Love the way you mounted your pavlova! very creative! Great job!

  6. June 30, 2010 7:59 pm

    The stack looks amazing, and with raspberries too! Looking at all these great photos makes me want to make it again!

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