Sunday, June 27, 2010

June Daring Bakers Challenge: Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascaprone Mousse (by Kat)

Mandatory Blog-Check lines: 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.

This dessert, my friends, is top notch! You can make most of it ahead of time, you can alter it to fit any season or any mood, and it looks super fancy. This is the dessert to make for the in-laws when you first meet 'em. This is the dessert to make for that fancy potluck where you just don't know what to bring. This is the dessert for two, five, or a crowd. This dessert is a show-stopper.

Okay, maybe mine wasn't a show-stopper, per se, but it pleased the crowd none-the-less and some of the other Daring Bakers out there made jaw-dropping creations this month. See the "Mandatory Blog-Check lines" above? Copy those, paste into your search engine of choice, and be prepared to be totally and utterly amazed by Daring Bakers worldwide. Wait. Read mine first, and then go see theirs. If you would. Please.

If you're still here you are my very favorite reader of all time. So this is for you:

The pavlovas were something of a dessert in three parts. First, the meringues are assembled and baked. Then, a yummy mousse is created. Finally, this dessert called for a delicious variant of the traditional creme anglaise--creme anglaise with mascarpone. Yes, the lily was gilded. And while I'm not the sort of person who likes her lilies gilded on a daily basis, a gilded lily is a wonder to behold when you're talking dessert.

Day One:

Make meringues, mascarpone, and creme anglaise.

Beat egg whites and sugar until stiff

Fold in dry ingredients

Lick the spoon as needed for testing purposes

Pipe into silly or fancy or circular shapes.
Size doesn't matter in this instance.

See? Each is unique...and special.

Pulling the mascarpone out of the cloth after draining.

Day Two:

Make mousse, realize you need more mascarpone for the creme anglaise, make more mascarpone.
Dag-nabbit! My mousse base broke.
What happens if I throw it in the food processor?

Perfection, and project saved.

Another batch of mascarpone

Day three:

Realize mascarpone was supposed to go into the warm anglaise, so just beat it in and call it good. Assemble.

Great oogly-googly pavlova, Batman!

Here's the recipe from our challenge. I marked my changes in bold red. Essentially, I replaced the fruity flavors with the sweet sweet wonderful flavor of Kahlua. Yummmm. If you have any specific questions about how to make the pavlovas, let me know.

Now, go try them for yourself!

Mandatory items: The recipe is comprised of three parts, four if you include the crème anglaise. You must make the chocolate pavlovas, the mascarpone mousse and the mascarpone cream using the recipes provided.

Variations allowed:

  • You can use orange juice for the Grand Marnier in the mousse if you don’t use alcohol
  • You can omit the sambuca from the mascarpone cream.
  • You may substitute any crème anglaise recipe you might already have in your arsenal.

Preparation time: The recipe can be made in one day although there are several steps involved.

  • While the pavlovas are baking, the crème anglaise should be made which will take about 15 minutes.
  • While it is cooling, the chocolate mascarpone mousse can be made which will take about 15 minutes.
  • There will be a bit of a wait time for the mascarpone cream because of the cooling time for the Crème Anglaise.
  • If you make the Crème Anglaise the day before, the dessert should take about 2 hours including cooking time for the pavlovas.

Equipment required:
• Baking sheet(s) with parchment or silpat
• Several bowls
• Piping bag with pastry tip
• Hand or stand mixer

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 [I left this out]
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) [I used Kahlua instead]


  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.

Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):

1 recipe crème anglaise
½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)
[I left this out]
½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream


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 (235 mls) whole milk
1 cup (235 mls) heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract [I used the bean]
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.
  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.

Additional Information:

Wikipedia’s definition of Pavlova

The history of Pavlova


Great video on YoutubeHow to Make Pavlova

Another great video that uses whipped cream instead of the Mascarpone cream - Pavlova

One more from EpicuriousAustralia Pavlova

Some great photos on Flickr:

La Tartine Gourmand – Red and Orange Pavlova

VROG in Bristol – Birthday Pavlova

Marco VeringaPavlova 6 (the fruit on this one is stunning)

KatiequinndaviesDouble Chocolate & Raspberry Pavlova

My Food Obsession – Chocolate Banana Rolled Pavlova (something different!)


  1. That looks so amazing - superb effort and I like the shapes you do for the meringues nice touch of creativity.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. stunning images...what an incredible job you did with this challenge..your pavlovas are a work of art!

  3. Thanks Audax and Chef Dennis! You guys are very nice:~)

  4. Hi Kat! I love your multiple shapes! I got your idea of using kahlua (this was the only liquor I found in Korea in my area, and would have never guessed if it wasn't for your suggestion at the forum!) Thanks a lot!

  5. Hey Renata, thanks for the compliment! I'm not much into liqueurs in general, but I do love me some Kahlua and Chambourd. I substitute one of these two (or both!) into most any recipe that calls for another flavor.

  6. Divine! Although the first and only time I tried to make creme anglais failed miserably, so I'm not going to try it myself - but the chocolate meringues have been added to my to-do list!