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.
Once again I am late - too late. As you may see at the date of the picture, I actually made the pavlova some days before posting date but due to a congress visit I wasn't able to post it until now.
Once again the challenge was something I dealt with and failed before. Usually I buy meringue because I never get it solid enough, mostly it just deflates and becomes a mess. This time it was the best meringue I have ever made and even tasted better than the bought ones, but I never have eaten a chocolate one before. I guess the secret was that I separated the eggs a day before and let the egg whites get room temperature before starting - something someone mentioned to be important in the macaron challenge. At least, the cream and the base where delicious for themselves, but combined it was way to much chocolate for me, so I ate both separately.
Note before starting: The Crème Anglaise should be made a day before the pavlova.
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) Dutch processed 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. Alternatively, you could just free form your shapes and level them a bit with the back of a spoon. 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 (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, I used Contreau)
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 alcohol or juice and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks (do not overbeat as the mascapone 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.
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
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.
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
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.