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 hadn’t planned to do this month’s Daring Bakers. It’s been a really busy month and I wasn’t sure I would have the time (and energy) to pull this off by today’s deadline. But when I mentioned to the daughter that I wasn’t baking this, she was very disappointed. Seems she had been really looking forward to it and since I find it hard to see her disappointed (mother guilt :), here it is!
I did take a few liberties with the recipe. I made plain pavlova, instead of chocolate. I halved the mousse and sauce recipe and left out the citrus and liqueur. I did small desserts – two or three bites worth. The pavlova batter made about 15 small pieces and since I had a bit of batter left, I piped small buttons in between the larger pieces, that I ended up using for meringue “hats” on top of the mousse.
I had planned to put a cherry with stem on top but when I sent DH out to the store for cherries he came back with raspberries. Seems the store was out of cherries but raspberries worked for a little colour. And since it was a really humid day here today, we didn’t wait for dinner to try them. Both DH and the daughter rated this dessert excellent – a 9 out of 10, so that’s a pretty good result for a last-minute dessert. The mousse is really dark and rich, so the small size was perfect. The creme anglais really brought the dessert all together.
Thanks Dawn for a great challenge and I’m so glad I had time to make it! I will definitely make this again. If you’d like to see the original recipe and some of the other baker’s creations, visit the Daring Kitchen website.
Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse and Mascarpone Creme Anglaise
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) white granulated sugar
1/4 cup (30 grams) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
Place a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat to 200° F. 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 the granulated sugar about 1 tbsp. at a time until stiff peaks form. (The whites should be firm but moist.)
Sift the confectioner’s sugar 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
3/4 cup heavy cream (35%)
4 1/2 ounces (128 grams) 72% chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup + 1/3 cup mascarpone (sorry, odd measurements due to halving recipe)
2 Tbsp. confectioners (icing) sugar
Put 1/4 cup of the heavy cream 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 1/2 cup of cream and 2 Tbsp. icing sugar in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. (DO NOT OVERBEAT AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)
Mix about 1/4 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 Anglaise
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons white sugar
Prepare the crème anglaise: In a small, heavy saucepan, heat cream and vanilla until bubbles form at edges. While cream is heating, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until smooth. Slowly pour 1/2 cup of hot milk mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Gradually add egg yolk mixture back to remaining milk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon.
2 Tbsp. mascarpone
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
Slowly whisk the mascarpone into the creme anglaise 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.
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.