Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chocolate Pavlovas and Mascarpone Mousse > Daring Bakers June 2010

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 did it! It is up :). 

I know it's late, but it is here. My first Daring Bakers challenge. Chocolate pavlova with mascarpone mousse. It was supposed to have mascarpone cream on top as well, but I thought that it kinda looked like something naughty... I also didn't want to have to buy a whole extra tub of macarpone just for that, especially seeing as I don't actually like pavlova. I know. I live in Australia and I don't like pavlova. The travesty. While we're on the subject, you should know that I also dislike Vegemite...

I blanched when I read "pavlova" in the Daring Bakers forums, and seriously thought about not doing this one. I mean, why make a dessert that no one's going to eat? BUT! I did it anyway. Aren't you proud? I reasoned that the chocolate may cover up the inherent sweetness of a pavlova a little. And I also planned to make the mousse the star of the show, which is how I ended up with these mini pavlova nests with a massive pile of mousse of top.

However, despite the mousse being lovely and dark-chocolatey, the stupid thing was still too sweet. Damn you, pavlova! 

So here is the recipe, taken straight from the Daring Kitchen website. Unadulterated and unchanged. I made 2/3rds of the recipe, so if you also dislike pavlova (in which case you probably wouldn't be making this) feel free to do the same. It works fine.

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
  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. (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. (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. (Class made rounds, hearts, diamonds and an attempt at a clover was made!)
  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.
Recipe 2: 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 
(don't forget we made this a few months ago - get the printable .pdf HERE)
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. 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. 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.

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