Monday, June 28, 2010

Daring Baker's (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.

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 ;)

But i thought you should know that i redeemed myself the next day and made a traditional Pavlova (without chocolate). It turned out soooo much better and i finally understood what the fuss is all about-- that crispy crust and chewy marshmallow cloud is to die for! The layer of mascarpone cream topped with kiwis gave it the perfect balance of sweet and sour. Sigh, i wish i had an oven here in Taiwan... so want to make this again!

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
  1. 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.
  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 [picture 1, 2]. (The whites should be firm but moist.)
  3. 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.)
  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 [picture 4].
  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.
2: Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
(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)
  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  3. 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.
3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):
  • 1 recipe crème anglaise (recipe below)
  • 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.
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 [picture 1, 2].
  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.
  3. Pour about ½ cup of the hot liquid into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly to keep from making scrambled eggs [picture 4].
  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.
  5. 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.
Assembly of Chocolate Pavlova:
  1. Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top.
  2. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.
(failed) Chocolate Pavlova


  1. Yummy...even if the first one didn't come out as a pavlova it still looks delicious! The second one looks perfect!

  2. Honestly, I would love to have a piece of your "flourless chocolate cake' than the actual meringue/pavlova itself! How come you don't have an oven in Taiwan?

  3. The flourless choc cake was a nice mishap :) in the end, it all turned out beautifully!

  4. Wow - both your creations look amazing. I'm impressed that you had the patience to make a second attempt! Great job.

  5. Sorry to hear about your first chocolate pavlova attempt im glad you had another go though, both of your attempts look so yummy mm!!

  6. I think your chocolate 'pavlova' looks delicious and your more traditional version super yummy as well. I love the pics next to each other with the contrasting colour pavlova's and then the fruit, green and red so completely different as well.

  7. As long as a cooking failure is not an unedible failure it helps to learn, and yours doesn't look unedible at all :-D It acually looks quite yummy.

  8. They both look good and must have tasted delicious. I'm so pleased you enjoyed making Audax's pavlova - I'm going to try it pretty soon.

  9. Actually I love the colour of your choc mousse. Mine was so dark and thick instead yours looks light and creamy. Admitedly I much prefer the traditional pavlova. It is such a hit hear in Australia. We are traditional Italian Australians but the pav is at all our special occasions! So glad you enjoyed it!

  10. WOW thank you for visiting my blog and your kind words. That classic pav is so good sorry to hear about the chocolate pav yes cocoa makes it much harder to make the meringue. Your 1st one does look great the colour of the pav is almost black. Wonderful that the 2nd worked out so well. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  11. your pavlova looks delicious....thanks for all your hard work and perseverance!

  12. Your pavlova(s) look amazing. Always heartening to have a mistake turn out to be a success. :)

  13. Your pavlovas look wonderful! You did a great job!



  14. I see that was a real challenge for you ;) and the results look amazing! Well Done!

  15. I like both your versions. Your "failed" pavlova look delicious. It's cool you called it a flourless cake=;) remember the Chef who "invented" the lava cake? It was actually a mistake too, and look what happened to the got so popular everyone is making them=;)

  16. Sometimes, a kitchen mistake can lead to wonderful discoveries! Your pavlovas (traditional AND reinvented) look amazing! I really loved this challenge too. Enjoy Taiwan!

  17. I love both of them! If you live anywhere near any university, you can join their baking club and then use their professional ovens. So you are staying at Taiwan as a... doctor now? Cool! by the way, must watch Paraguay @ mundial ^-^

  18. Wow! Pavlovas looks so tempting, very nice pictures with clear step by step instructions.
    Fabulous looking blog, following you:-)

  19. Anjelikuh, your pavlovas are gocrgeous and the photos really showcase how much so. Love everything about them..and I think I'll take the kiwi one, for now :) Oh..fantastic step by step photos as always :)

  20. Awww.... so sorry to hear that the pav didn't come together for you...
    but the plating looks totally awesome....

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

  21. Kiwi and strawberry are those fruits best to accompany this pavlova. And create great pictures!!

    I don't regard your pavlova episode as a mistake... we are all learning and experimenting here, and of course having fun :-) And anyway, it turned out beautifully at the end right?

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  22. Wow!! This looks phenomenal! I'd love some of the cake or the kiwi pavlova. I was so sad to miss this challenge.

  23. Oh okay, I guess it's your chance to get all those really typical ingredients! I am soooo going to illegally flight in all that I can :P

  24. hi! i'm joyce's friend from the USA/NJ. your photos of the food/steps are wonderful and the site itself looks amazing. when i have more downtime, i'll definitely read through your blog more. keep on sharing your foodie posts.

  25. This comment has been removed by the author.

  26. I haven't noticed that before, about Daring Baker's (chocolate) Pavlova, thank you
    Clinical Negligence