Our first Daring Bakers' challenge. To tell you the truth this was quite a challenge for me as I don't like meringues. Actually I hate them. But... Apparently when there is cocoa involved everything becomes better.
This month the Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. Dawn challenged us to make Chocolate Pavlova and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. The recipe is based on a recipe from the book "Chocolate Epiphany" by Francois Payard.
I found the meringue is better when there is cocoa powder added but after all it's not my type of treat. But I really enjoyed the rest of the recipe. And I could have eaten all the mousse and cream if it wasn't Ivan to foist in some meringues beneath them.
We made one hole batch of the meringue recipe (6 meringues approximately 10 cm in diameter) and a half recipe of the mousse and cream and even this way the mousse and the cream were in abundance (lucky me!).
Chocolate Meringue Recipe:
(for the chocolate Pavlova)
- 3 large egg whites;
- ½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 gr) white granulated sugar;
- ¼ cup (30 gr) confectioner’s (icing) sugar;
- 1/3 cup (30 gr) cocoa powder (The recipe calls for natural cocoa powder, but we used dutch processed cocoa powder and added a pinch of citric acid to the egg whites at the foam stage).
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. The whites should be firm but moist.
Sift the confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder over the egg whites and gently fold the dry ingredients into the white.
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 (It took us one and a half hours) . Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse Recipe:
(for the top of the Pavlova base)
- 1 ½ cups (355 gr) heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)
- grated zest of one lemon
- 9 ounces (255 gr) 72% chocolate, chopped
- 1 2/3 cups (390 gr) mascarpone
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 Tbsp (30 ml) Grand Marnier (we used rum)
Pour ½ cup (120 ml) of the heavy cream and the lemon zest in a saucepan and bring to simmer over medium high heat. Remove from the heat and pour over the chocolate. Let stay for a couple of minutes, then whisk until melted and smooth. Leave at room temperature until cool.
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.
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.
Mascarpone Cream Recipe:
- 1 recipe crème anglaise
- ½ cup (120 ml) mascarpone
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) Sambucca (rum, again)
- ½ cup (120 ml) heavy cream
Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Sambucca and let the mixture cool.
Put the heavy cream in a bowl and beat with electric mixer until very soft peaks are formed. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.
Crème Anglaise Recipe:
(a component of the Mascarpone Cream above)
- 1 cup (250 ml) whole milk
- 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolks
- 6 Tbsp (75 gr) sugar
In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.
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.
Remove the mixture from the heat and strain it through a fine sieve into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture is thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours or overnight.
Assembly: 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.