Daring Bakers Challenge June: Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mouse
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.
A very challenging challenge for me since Merengue and Me are not really good friends after several (endless ;-) ) try-outs with my (living his own very hot life ) oven :-) But I do love chocolate, actually that is an understatement. I have as a signature on my cake decorating forum: "There is no life without chocolate". I think lots of you will understand me perfectly ;-)
I always have troubles with my oven, I do know now, with my favourite recipes, which temp is the best but with merengue I haven't found it yet and I was very anxious to see if this recipe would do the trick!!
Beating the merengue went really well, I added a teaspoon of cornstarch and half a teaspoon of white vinegar, this helps the merengue to stay soft on the inside while you have a nice crispy crust. For the further part I used the recipes Dawn gave us, they were all tested seriously (and repeatly) by her students of the cooking school (absolutely great job you have Dawn and lots of good luck with it!!) and they seemed very good to me. And so it was ;-)
The pavlovas came out so-so, they were very nice on the inside and crispy on the outside but flat as a pancake :S Not that kind of pavlova you want to serve at a dinnerparty in your very hot looking dress ;-) But well, we ate it just in the family so it could still be served :-)
The chocolate mascarpone mousse was very delicious, although I was afraid I have beaten the cream and mascarpone (very short by the way) still too long, it seemed that the chocolate mousse was curdling in a smalll way :-( But when it got cold in the fridge it looked quite okay again and it tasted really nice. But also not to be served with that new dress ;-)
The mascarpone cream was absolutely delicious!! Very easy to make, just make a cream anglaise and add mascarpone and whipped cream to it, I certainly will make this again!!!
I wanted to add some fresh red fruits like raspberries (my favourites) but we live here in the middle of nowhere and the nearest raspberry bush (or to be honest "store" ;-) ) is about 45 minutes away, too far in this hectic period here with renovating the house and doing exams... So no raspberries (and I did miss them a bit) but instead I used dried cranberries soaked in Gran Marnier, also very nice with it :-)
Everyone liked it but no raving reviews over here... sorry Dawn. It could also but because of the high temps over here in Spain and that the dessert is quite heavy and more for winter of autumn times.. I will certainly try it again in that season!!
And the recipes:
Chocolate Merengue (Pavlova)
3 large egg whites
110 grams of granulated fine sugar
30 grams of icing sugar
30 grams of Dutch processed cocoa powder (you can also use normal cocoa powder)
( I added 1 teaspoon of cornstarch and 1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar)
Preheat the oven at 95ºC and line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Put the egg whites in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Increase the speed to high and gradually add the granulated sugar to the mixture until still peaks form. Sift the icing sugar and the cocoa powder over the egg whites and fold the dry ingredients into the white. It looks like this will not happen, but fold gently and it will eventually come together.
Fill a pastry bag with the merengue (or just use two tablespoons). Pipe the merengue (or place a nice little hill on the plate ;-) ) into whatever shapes you desire. Bake for 2-3 hours until the merengue become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
355 ml heavy cream
255 grams of 72% chocolate, chopped
390 ml mascarpone
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp (30 ml) Grand Marnier
I used half of the recipe since it is a big bowl :-)
Put 120 ml of the heavy cream 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 nutmet in a bowl. Whip on low speed for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add the Grand Marnier and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks (make sure you don't overwhip as the mascarpone will break!!). Mix about 1/4 of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate one 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 (for drizzling)
235 ml of whole milk
235 ml of heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split
6 large egg yolks
75 grams of sugar
120 ml of mascarpone
30 ml of Sambucca (optional, I left it out)
120 ml heavy cream
Also this time I used half of the recipe, it was really enough.
First you make the crème anglaise. 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 heat, bringing the mixture to boil. Take of the heat and leave it for about 10 minutes for the vanilla to really soak in (well, that's what I always do ;-) ). Take out the vanilla bean, make sure the seeds are in the milk cream of course. Pour some of the warm liquid with the yolk mixture, whisk constantly and pour the yolk mixture back into the saucepan with the rest of the milk. Bring back to heat, medium again, and KEEP stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture thickens enough to lightly coat the back of your spoon. Leave to cool at room temp for about 2 hours (or overnight).
Add the mascarpone cream and the Sambucca (or not ;-) ). Beat the heavy cream until very soft peaks are formed, fold the cream into the mascarpone/crème anglaise mixture.
You drizzle the mascarpone cream over the top of the pavlova, and make sure you have a nice bowl with it because you are for sure going to want more of it than a few drizzles ;-)
I am not sure if I make it to the next challenge with the summer holidays over here (and no internet and reforming our house) so in case not, I wish you all a very happy summer and lots of luck with the next challenge!! But you never know if I am there, maybe the next challenge is too tempting to go on holiday ;-)
Lots of sunshine!!!