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.
Do you know what a pavlova is? I had heard of them, but couldn’t have told you exactly what they are. Meringue. Sort of like Divinity, if you’ve had that.
And I tried to make them in shapes that weren’t round…because otherwise they start to look like, well, like, you know. So, even though I’m not a fan of hearts usually, these are kind of cute.
So you start with meringue, sort of:
Egg whites and sugar whipped to soft peaks. Powdered sugar and cocoa folded in…and then you pipe it out onto baking sheets. They bake in a 200° oven for 3 hours. You wind up with these crunchy chocolate meringue cookie-like things, which my 4-year-old was happy to eat all by themselves.
Next is chocolate mascarpone mousse. It is pretty straightforward, except that I didn’t have any mascarpone and couldn’t find any. I went to two stores. That’s my limit. Two. After that, I decide to improvise. The whole in and out of the car seats and grocery stores with two kids…two stores…that’s it. I’m kind of a wimp.
(If you have cream cheese and whipping cream and sour cream, you can make a suitable substitute. Of course, I would rather have had the real thing, but this did in a pinch.) After I made my fake mascarpone, I moved on to the mousse.
You add chocolate to the hot cream and whisk until smooth and then set aside. Cream and nutmeg are mixed with the fake mascarpone and whipped…then a splash of Grand Marnier and whip until peaks form.
When the whipped fake mascarpone gets folded into the chocolate and chilled, you have chocolate mascarpone mousse. The recipe didn’t say to chill it, but I wasn’t ready to build the little pavlova creations right away, so it sat in the ‘fridge for awhile. The texture improved considerably. You want it to be nice and firm so it can sit on top of the pavlova and hold some fruit or some other yummy thing.
That little dollop on top is mascarpone cream made with crème anglaise. And there are lots of steps to this little dollop…more steps than I remember doing to be honest. Here are some photos:
That’s how you get the dollop. Seems like a lot of steps! It’s a yummy dollop. Really.
I made two little pavlovas…one in the heart shape and one deconstructed.
And this is what we had for dinner tonight. Really.
There’s fruit in there, so it’s not that bad. Right?
For full recipes and more pavlovas, check out The Daring Kitchen.