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 have to admit right here and now that I did not follow the recipes exactly...and it's not like I purposely went out of my way to screw them up! First, I forgot to flavour the pavlova with chocolate! I wanted to make the pavlova more like a traditional pav (i.e. soft and marshmallowy vs crispy) so I used directions from another recipe but left out the cocoa by mistake! Ugh!
I did manage to make the marscapone mousse as directed (YUM) but then I didn't have time, thanks to screaming, hungry, tired kids, to make the cream that was supposed to go on top so I just used some canned caramel sauce (gasp!! I know). I made it in a round spring form pan, but it looked rather unappetizing by the time the mousse went on top so I froze it and used cookie cutters to make a stackable version seen above.
To be honest, it tasted absolutely delicious and my kids and husband loved the results. In fact, my 5 year old daughter said it tasted just like marshmallow and declared it her fave dessert so far.
Below you will find my version of this lovely dessert that turned out nothing like the original challenge version!
Classic Australian Pavlova Adapted from this great site - check out his pavlovas and meringues - they are gorgeous!
Cooking time about 1¾ hours
4 teaspoons cornstarch
6 egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar (or ½ teaspoon of salt)
1 1/3 cups caster (superfine) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white vinegar
What to do:
1. Preheat oven to 200°C (~400°F). Sprinkle 1 teaspoon cornstarch on a sheet of parchment paper or silpat on a baking tray. Place a 8” springform cake tin without a bottom as a container to hold the whipped egg whites on the floured baking paper.
2. Beat, at highest setting, egg whites and cream of tartar (or salt) in a narrow deep bowl until soft peaks form. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until thick and glossy. Add remaining 3 teaspoons of cornstarch with the last tablespoon of sugar. Dissolving the caster sugar should take about 10-12 mins. Fold in vanilla and vinegar.
3. Spoon meringue into the springform cake tin. Shape the uncooked meringue using the springform cake tin as a guide into one giant meringue. Remove the springform cake tin and place the uncooked meringue cake into the oven. Reduce oven to 200°F). Bake for 1½ to 2 hours or until dry and crisp, test by tasting a teaspoon of the meringue from the top if it doesn't taste of egg it is done don't worry about the small hole made by this testing it will be covered by the topping. Test at 1½ hours and then every 15 mins until ready. Turn off oven and cool completely in oven.
1 ½ cups heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)
grated zest of 1 lemon
9 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1 2/3 cups mascarpone
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier (or orange juice)
What to do:
1. Put ½ cup 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. Pipe mousse on top of the pavlova.
Yes, I did freeze my pavlova and cream. I then cut them with round cookie cutters and layered as in the picture.