It is that time of the month again, here is the next Daring Bakers challenge.
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 had never heard of Pavlovas before but after looking it up in Wikipedia it stated, “Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pávlova. It is a cake similar to meringue with a crispy crust and soft, light inner. The dessert is believed to have been created to honour the dancer during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. Where it was created and the nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two nations for many years, but research indicates New Zealand as the source. The dessert is a popular dish and an important part of the national cuisine of both countries, and is frequently served during celebratory or holiday meals such as Christmas lunch.”
Also in Sweden we have something similar to this it is called Marängtårta and sometimes Pinocchiotårta. Which translates to meringue tort Pinocchi torte. But in Sweden we basically have a meringue cake base and either have ice cream or whipped cream in between and then different kinds of fruit.
The Pavlovas dessert is delicious and I had a fun time creating it, there are so many variations you can do with this. You can make it to a cake, you can make small bite sized meringue or you can even make it to little parfait glasses. Either way it was fun making this and it is a dessert you can make the night before for your guest and not have to worry about it since it keeps nicely in the refrigerator.
I did destroy the Crème Anglaise first time I made it, I overcooked it and it turned into scrambled eggs. So watch your pot, stir frequently, and do not over cook.
Chocolate Pavlovas “Chocolate Meringue” with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
The recipe can be made in one day although there are several steps involved.
1. While the pavlovas are baking, the crème anglaise should be made which will take about 15 minutes.
2. While it is cooling, the chocolate mascarpone mousse can be made which will take about 15 minutes.
3. There will be a bit of a wait time for the mascarpone cream because of the cooling time for the Crème Anglaise.
4. If you make the Crème Anglaise the day before, the dessert should take about 2 hours including cooking time for the pavlovas.
Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):
3 large egg whites
½ cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F. Line two baking sheets with 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 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):
1 ½ cups heavy cream
Grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
9 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 2/3 cups mascarpone
pinch of nutmeg
2 Tbsp Grand Marnier (or orange juice)
1. Put ½ 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 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 over beat 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.
Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream below):
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
6 Tbsp 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.
Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):
1 recipe crème anglaise
½ cup mascarpone
2 tbsp Sambucca
½ cup 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.
This is your time to be artistic but the proper way is to 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.