Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Marscapone Mousse - June 2010 Daring Bakers

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'll start this by saying yum, it was a very delicious challenge. I'm not always one for creamy sauces or mousses but these ingredients all worked together so well that I was happy to eat the various versions I put together.

I started with a layered parfait topped with raspberries, then used some of the leftovers for a mini version in shot glasses,

and finally tried out a deconstructed plated version, decorated with some gorgeous chocolate modeling paste butterflies.

One of the amazing things about the Daring Bakers is how you can give a recipe to a group and everyone comes up with a different presentation. From the sneak peeks posted on the site, this particular combination seemed to allow everyone to showcase their creativity.

Thank you Dawn, this was a lovely challenge, I really adored the mousse and mascarpone cream.

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.)
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.)
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!)
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)

  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.
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.

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
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

  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.


    1. Beautiful creamy mousse! Mine was terribly grainy. Maybe I overbeat the mascarpone? Your presentation is superb! I really love the butterfly. Brilliant!

    2. Your mousse worked out so smooth kudos to you. And your version of the challenge is so elegant brilliant interpretation love the berries also. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    3. Your presentations are amazingly beautiful. Each of the elements looks tempting, then put together it looks irresistable! Great work on this challenge, and I look forward to seeing more or your artistry!

    4. Love the presentation - looks delicious.

    5. Beautiful beautiful beautiful... the presentation is awesome and looks damn tempting.. Great job Linda...

    6. I love your interpretation of this dessert. It looks delicious! And your butterfly is awesome. I want to take a bite out of the wing! Great job on the challenge!

    7. Well done on the challenge Linda. Love all the different versions ... wow on the butterfly!

    8. Wow great looking pavlovas! I really have to try that chocolate modelling paste, it looks gorgeous!

    9. I'm definitely going to have to try layer desserts like that at some point they look fabulous !

    10. Wonderful looking pavlova! great work!

    11. I liked all your versions, and the ones in the glass the best. The chocolate butterfly is so cute.

    12. Parfait is such a wonderful idea,love the juicy berries :D

    13. I also loved the presentation as well :)

    14. Linda, I love the way you played with the various presentations. The butterfly is soooo beautiful! I would say your pavlova is "LINDA", which in Portuguese means "very beautiful"! Thanks for your comment on mine!

    15. Love the different ways you chose to preset your pavlova. And the addition of the butterfly makes it perfect. Wonderful job on the challenge!

    16. Oooh wow I love the look of your parfait pavlovas, they look delicious hehe! Yumm!

    17. Hi Linda, your mini-pavlovas in glasses look so pretty!Great job!

    18. They all look wonderful, but I would especially like to dig into that parfait! Nicely done!

    19. Looks beautiful! I love the layers and the chocolate butterfly looks amazing! Nice job on the challenge.

    20. beautiful presentation!! your parfaits look delicious!

    21. what a pretty desert, and i just love those little chocolate butterflies, a marvellous finishing touch :)

    22. Beautiful, you made the pavlovas look even lighter. The butterfly is so sweet, all the pictures are perfect.



    23. All fantastic pictures, but your first one especially will stay in my mind for a while... Now, THIS is a dessert. Great job!

    24. Nice presentation. They look great!

    25. Gorgeous pavlova parfaits..the mousse is perfection and your presentations are stunning...especially with the chocolate butterfly! Beautifully done all around!