Sunday, June 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

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.
The Daring Kitchen recipe for June was chocolate pavlovas with chocolate mascarpone mousse. Pavlovas are a meringue dessert. I have not done much meringue in my life so I was excited about this recipe. Meringue is challenging. These meringues were pretty dry. I watched them as they cooked and they never looked like they changed to me. How do you know when they're done? How do you get that dry yet soft meringue instead of the dry and brittle meringue?
I'm still amazed at how much heavy cream I used for this dessert. This is a dessert I would eat up in a restaurant and yet after I whipped the cream in all three forms- mascarpone, mousse, and the cream sauce I just couldn't bring myself to eat that much which is probably a good thing. All I kept thinking about was the empty carton of heavy cream in my kitchen.

I cut a few corners and made a few mistakes, but overall it was a fun recipe to try. The best chocolate I could find was 63% instead of the 72% and I messed up on the mousse which resulted in a thick sauce consistency instead of a mousse consistency. However, after I put the mousse in the fridge it setup more like mousse. I was surprised the directions did not include this step. I probably won't do this recipe again, although I would like to keep working on the meringues. I'd love to be a great meringue baker in my life.

Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
Printable Recipe
Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):
3 large egg whites
½ cup plus 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
¼ cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/3 cup 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 heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)
grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
9 ounces 72% chocolate, chopped
1 2/3 cups mascarpone (Recipe here)
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp orange juice
  1. Put ½ cup 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.
Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):
1 recipe crème anglaise
½ cup mascarpone
2 tbsp Sambucca (optional)
½ cup 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.
Recipe 4: Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream above):
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
6 tbsp sugar
  1. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
  2. Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. 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. Pour the yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and put the heat back on medium. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of a wooden spoon. DO NOT OVERCOOK.
  4. 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.
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.


  1. You manage to make even chocolate look good...all those berries and that drippy sauce...lovely...very pretty.

  2. I think you figure out if it is done by whether or not it is shiny. Shiny still good; not shiny is dry?


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