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 the worst luck making Chocolate Pavlovas this month. I really don't know what happened, i followed Dawn's recipe exactly and i ended up with a Chocolate Pavlova with colors that were opposite from everybody else's masterpiece... I'm talking about having a DARK brown pavlova base and a LIGHT brown chocolate mousse! I'm guessing the mistake happened when i was folding in the coco powder into the egg whites... cuz after sifting in the 1/3 cup of cocoa powder, everything felt heavy as i was trying to fold it together. The folding took forever to blend and by the time i was done, the egg whites were already half-deflated. I didn't want to waste the ingredients so i baked it anyways... and luckily for me, what came out was a lovely flourless chocolate cake topped with yummy mousse and strawberries! LOL, it was the best mistake i've ever made ;)
(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 [picture 1, 2]. (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 [picture 3]. (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 [picture 4].
- 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 top of the Pavlova base):
- 1 ½ cups (355 mls) heavy cream
- 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 [picture 1]. 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 [picture 2]. 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.
- 1 recipe crème anglaise (recipe below)
- 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.
(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
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow [picture 1, 2].
- Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil [picture 3]. Take off the heat.
- Pour about ½ cup of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep from making scrambled eggs [picture 4].
- Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and put the heat back on medium [picture 5]. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon [picture 6]. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
- 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.