June Daring Bakers: Chocolate Pavlovas

Date giugno 28, 2010

Here I am! No, I haven’t been kidnapped by green aliens and no, I haven’t won the lottery and escaped  to the Hawaii… simply there was no Internet connection for a long and relaxing weekend at home. At the beginning I was quite annoyed by this inconvenience, but later on I decided to enjoy my old style weekend cooking, taking pictures and playing with my chubby and lovely niece. The result is a belated Daring Bakers post, I admit, and a very short one indeed, but a larger smile on my face! So, enjoy this chocolate pavlova as I did and take a portion of my relaxed mood, quite unusual on a Monday morning, I’m happy to share it with you!

Last thing, before leaving you with the pavlova recipe, let me proudly introduce my guest post at Ilva from Lucullian Delights about food props, I really enjoyed doing it, and therefore I must thank Ilva again! As she has anticipated in her post, we’re trying to organize something for late September, so stay tuned!

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.

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

Directions:

  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
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier (or orange juice)

Directions:

  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)
½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream

Directions:

  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 (235 mls) whole milk
1 cup (235 mls) heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 large egg yolks
6 tbsp (75 grams) sugar

Directions:

  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.

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.

I decided not to use Mascarpone Cream for drizzling (I used it in another white pavlova, yummy as well!). This was the only change I did, and my chocolate pavlova was stunning, I really enjoyed it and I’m proud to say that I went through my fear for meringues! So let’s celebrate a new era!

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25 Responses to “June Daring Bakers: Chocolate Pavlovas”

  1. Meeta said:

    Delicious and decadent! loving it. glad it cured the meringue fears! well done!

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  2. bunkycooks said:

    Congrats on a beautiful version of the pavlova. I am glad that you also had a quiet and relaxing weekend!

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  3. The Blue-Eyed Bakers said:

    Gorgeous! And what’s a better summer dessert than pavlova…?! Especially chocolate…yum yum. And brilliant guest post!

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  4. sadaf said:

    looks yummy i like this classic look

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  5. Nachiketa said:

    stunner u’ve got in here….. :)

    cheers,
    The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts – Nachiketa
    Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

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  6. deeba said:

    This, my dear, is utterly charming! I love your pavs, and I love your blog. I’m so glad the aliens didn’t kidnap you! Off to check the guest post at Ilva’s. I’m a sucker for food props, and have often drooled over Ilva’s amazing collection. Bracing myself for more envy as I head her way!!
    Glad I stopped by! Have a great day!

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  7. Sarah, Maison Cupcake said:

    Oh wow…. you put me to shame, I’m posting mine in the next day or so but yours are way better.

    I saw the guest post at Ilva’s – beautiful!!!

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  8. nina said:

    Like Meeta said, you have certainly conquered your meringue fears!! Pavlova and photos are both fantastic!!!

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  9. Giulia said:

    @ Meeta: absolutely! Now I can’t wait for my mum to leave the kitchen and have the total mastery of the oven… 3 hours of oven is way too much for her! :P
    @ Bunkycooks: thanks a lot! the weekend was really pleasant and relaxing!
    @ The Blue-Eyed Bakers: glad you enjoyed my guest post as well! – By the way, just visited your blog, adorable!!
    @ sadaf: thanks a lot!
    @ Nachiketa: ah ah! great and thanks!
    @ Deeba: you made me laugh!! The aliens wouldn’t stand me in the very same spaceship for more than a day! :P I’m really glad you stopped by, your blog is one of my favourites!
    @ Sarah: my napkin friend! you don’t know, but your napkins are a lovely complement in most of my next posts!!
    @ Nina: thank you a lot, and thanks for stopping by!

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  10. Asha@FSK said:

    beautiful styling.. simple and just perfect!

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  11. The Housewife said:

    I love the pictures…very pretty! The pavlovas with the mousse and creme anglaise sounds divine. I really wish you lived next door to me! :)

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  12. Magic of Spice said:

    Stunning, and oh so luxurious!

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  13. The Cilantropist said:

    Ah, beautiful as usual, and I have no doubt it would taste delicious. Plus you really can’t go wrong with strawberries and chocolate. :)

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  14. Memoria said:

    WOW. Lovely pavlova! You did a fantastic job on this challenge.

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  15. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said:

    Glad you’re “back”! And with a beautiful and decedent dessert to boot!

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  16. Mowie @ Mowielicious said:

    Giulia, this is stunning. I love it.

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  17. Patricia Scarpin said:

    That is breathtaking, sweetie! I love pavlovas but have never tried a chocolate version. Yum!

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  18. s. stockwell said:

    I can tell this was so delicious! Love it!

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  19. Kara said:

    Great photos! Your pavlova looks beautiful :)

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  20. giz said:

    What a gorgeous outcome and a total WOW at any dinner party.

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  21. Linn @ Swedish Home Cooking said:

    ohh, what an adorable treat you have put together! I love pavlova but I’ve never tried to make it myself. I think I will after this though!

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  22. sensiblecooking said:

    I just saw the picture in foodbuzz and I knew I had to have the recipe. The picture looks so perfect and being chocoholic how could I ignore it. I will have to wait till weekend to get it done but i am gonna make it.

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  23. Giulia said:

    @ Asha: thank you!
    @ The Housewife: it would be fun cooking at every hour!!
    @ Magic of Spice: luxurious, it is indeed!
    @ The Cilantropist: delicious together, and a sweet and soft sensation, I loved it!
    @ Memoria: thank you very much!
    @ Mardi: yes, back and ready to rock!
    @ Mowie: I’ve already said everything! x
    @ Patricia: godd as the white version… and fruit gives the fresh taste!
    @ s. stockwell: yo’re very kind!
    @ Kara: thank you! I really enjoyed taking these pics, it was really easy to shot!
    @ Giz: I’m thinking about using pavlova as a WOW effect often!
    @ Linn: you really have to!
    @ Sensiblecooking: Great Foodbuzz! if you’re chocoholic, this is your recipe, definitely! Let me know the result!
    @

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  24. Magic of Spice said:

    Extraordinary…looks just perfect!

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  25. Cherine said:

    Your pavlova cake looks fabulous!

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