Sunday, June 27, 2010

June 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge- Chocolate Pavlova

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. The recipe is comprised of three parts, four if you include the crème anglaise. We were required to make the chocolate pavlovas, the mascarpone mousse and the mascarpone cream (which includes the crème anglaise).

 What a treat the Daring Baker’s Challenge was this month!! Pavlova is a  meringue based dessert named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova. I cannot imagine what a compliment it must have been to have something so indulgent named after you. Albeit cruel, since a professional ballerina would probably never touch something so indulgent since it would alter the size of her  little dancer waist. But, a compliment nonetheless.

This spectacular indulgence is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it a dessert that can be compiled at a moments notice. I made the components of this dessert over 2 days. Lots of steps in this one! The pavlova is constructed of chocolate meringue wafers, layered with chocolate orange marscapone mousse and crème anglaise filled marscapone cream. The top layer is a white chocolate butterscotch mousse drizzled with a bit more crème anglaise.  At first, I had decided I wanted to construct these pavlova in swirled meringue cups. I had seen on another blog of a very talented lady that had made these beautiful swirled strawberry pavlova. Oh, they were beautiful. But it did not take long to realize that the pink swirled meringue and the chocolate swirled meringue did not create the same effect. Well, see for yourself…..

Ok, enough said. So you see why I opted for meringue sheets rather than swirls. Great concept for any other colored meringue except for brown.

I also made a vanilla/white chocolate version.


These pavlova are vanilla meringue squares with the white chocolate butterscotch mousse and marscapone cream drizzled over the top. Both are very nice variations. I do believe for a dinner party I would recommend to make the smaller squares like on the vanilla version. They are an individual serving size. The chocolate version would require slicing, which is somewhat of a challenge to create beautiful slices from delicate crisp meringue. But it can be done!  Oh, and it should be noted that once constructed, this should be eaten the same day (within several hours). This is a dessert that does not keep well. So make it, and it eat it all!! Enjoy!

Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Orange Marscapone Mousse and Marscapone Cream Drizzle

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
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.
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.) 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.) Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into whatever shapes you desire. Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

For the vanilla pavlova, use 1/3 c extra powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

Recipe 2: Chocolate Orange 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)
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.
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.)
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.

For white chocolate butterscotch mousse: substitute 9 oz white chocolate for the dark chocolate. Substitute butterscotch liquor for the orange liquor.

Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):
1 recipe crème anglaise-recipe follows
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.
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.I opted to continue the stacks for a multi-level pavlova.


anjelikuh said...

Your pavlovas look amaaaaazing. I love seeing all the piped ridges on your meringue and it stacked up beautifully. The white one also look wonderful, great job!

Julia said...

Oh my goodness.. those are making me drool! They look absolutely delicious!

Linda V said...

Oh your chocolate version looks completely sinful. Amazing presentation.

tease-spoon of sugar said...

I agree, your presentation is outstanding. And the vanilla white chocolate version looks amazing.

Anonymous said...

I can testify that the vanilla/white chocolate version is sinful! I just finished it and now I am preparing to slip into a sugar induced coma. didn't care for the cow patty shape? The meringue sheets do look so look much nicer and made a beautiful presentation. I am so proud of you!

Natalie... said...

Oooh wow i love the layered look of your pavlova it looks delicious :D yummy!

GourmAndrea said...

I love your take on the bitter/sweet part of a dessert being named after a ballerina, great post I really enjoyed it. Your stacked pavlova is beautiful great piping edges

Chantel said...

Thanks for the welcome! I love your site, your pavs look delicious!

anchan said...

Whate beautiful presentation! Your chocolate swirled meringue made me LOL! And I must say, your blog is simply gorgeous :-)

Lucy's Soup Can said...

My reaction was just like Pavlov's dogs - I salivated immediately. It's a beautiful looking dessert.

Aparna said...

Like your unusual presentation. Looks like mille feuille. Pretty.

faithy, the baker said...

I love your interpretation of the recipe!! Awesome work and looks mouthwatering!

the southern hostess said...

This looks beyond delicious!

Audax said...

I like how you did a layered pav well done so cute and pretty. Lovely looking mousse also. Great work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Wow, what splendid pavlovas! So perfect and delicious looking!



♥peachkins♥ said...

such a mouthwatering pavlova!

The Blonde Duck said...

Popped in to say hi! That's so elegant!

sadaf said...

looks gorgeous

Diana's Cocina said...

I adore this special treat. Great job.

Stephanie Savors the Moment said...

Bravo - that is a beautiful Pavlova! I just adore white chocolate too...yum:)

grace said...

yes...little plops of brown meringue are perhaps not the most attractive of edibles... :)

Katina said...

Yummmmmmmmmm! Following you! From Tuesday Tag Along!

Shanna said...

YUMMY!! I absolutely love your blog!! =] I am your newest follower! Can't wait to read more of your blog!
Have a Terrific Tuesday! =]

Tracy F. said...

Love your blog. All the desserts look so YUMMY! I am your newest follower from Tuesday Tag-along.


Erin Wallace said...

Everything on this site looks fantastic!

Following from TTA - hope to see you at Dropped Stitches!

xo Erin

Amy said...

That looks delicious! Yummy! I'm a new follower following you from Tuesday Tag Along. Stop by and say hi ~

Pam said...

Great presentation! Good job!

Tickled Red said...

Utterly stunning :) I wish that I could have a taste. You never cease to amaze me.

Mandy said...

Incredible...I have an award for you here:

Krista said...

What a completely gorgeous, heavenly, decadent dessert! Well done. I am SO impressed!

shannon @ said...

I kind of just go with the choc meringue swirls. I think they're kind of cute dispite the obvious lol factor.

Elle said...

Love the cute small vanilla/white chocolate square idea. I made a tower and cutting it was the biggest challenge of this challenge :) Both of your versions look beautiful and sound delicious!

Evie said...

I LOVE your blog's setup and style! These look so delicious!

Nachiketa said...

Awesome... love the layered pavs....

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

Barbara said...

I love how you did this challenge! I've looked at quite a few and this is so original!
Fun of you to do the vanilla version too!

Lisa Michelle said...

I love how you stacked one of your pavlovas into
a 'pavlovanapoleon' beautiful and your piping is top notch. Great job!

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Suzler said...

Oh wow, these are fabulous! I desperately want to eat the white chocolate butterscotch one.

(I haven't seen your blog before - it's all so beautiful!)

Vivienne Nonis said...

I literally stumbled onto your blog while researching Chocolate Pavlovas. I like that you broke from tradition and made it into a sort of Mille-Feuille. Also thank you for including metric measurements by weight as opposed to just using volume. Would save me a whole lot of math on my part.