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Daring Baker Challenge: Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

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 couldn’t have been happier to make a chocolate recipe this month. With all the lovely fresh berries we’ve been eating lately, it was a nice change of pace. I didn’t make my own mascarpone cheese, but my husband is quite pleased that I’ll have enough left over to make homemade tiramisu again. I thought this dessert was a chocolate lover’s dream, albeit somewhat bitter. But, as hubby pointed out, taking a bite with some sweet strawberries on top perfectly balanced the bitterness of the dark chocolate and made the dessert divine. I’d definitely make it again!

For the chocolate meringue (for the pavlovas):

For the chocolate mascarpone mousse (the top of the pavlova base):

For the crème anglaise (a component of the mascarpone cream):

For the mascarpone cream (for drizzling):

To make the chocolate meringues, preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Increase the speed to high and gradually add the granulated sugar 1 Tbsp at a time until stiff peaks form.

Sprinkle the powdered sugar and cocoa powder over the egg white and fold them into the egg whites. Fill a pastry bag with the meringue and pipe into whatever shapes you desire (I just made circles).

Bake about 2 hours or until the meringues become dry and crisp. You can store them in an airtight container for 2-3 days.

To make the chocolate mascarpone mousse, heat 1/2 cup of the cream and the lemon zest in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add in the chopped chocolate and whisk until melted. Remove from the heat and let sit until cool. In a small bowl, whip the mascarpone, nutmeg, and remaining cup of cream on low for one minute. Add the strawberry juice and whip on medium speed until the mixture holds soft peaks. Do not over-beat or the mascarpone will break up. Mix 1/4 of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten, then fold in the rest.

To make the crème anglaise, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar.

Heat the milk, cream, and vanilla in a sauce pan over medium-high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, then remove from the heat. Pour about 1/4 cup of the hot liquid into the egg yolk mixture to temper the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour in another 1/4 cup and continue whisking. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the pan with the remaining cream mixture and bring the heat back up to medium. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, about 2 hours.

To make the mascarpone cream, first prepare the crème anglaise (above). Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and let the mixture cool. In a small bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks are formed. Fold into the mascarpone mixture.

To assemble the pavlovas, pipe the chocolate mascarpone mousse on to the meringues.

Drizzle with the mascarpone cream. Top with fresh fruit or dust with powdered sugar if desired.

Posted by on June 27, 2010.

Tags: , ,

Categories: desserts & sweets

18 Responses

  1. I would love this! Meringues are a little scary to me, I tried them once when I lived in Houston and the humidity KILLED them 🙁 I bet the chocolate is delicious!

    by shelly (cookies and cups) on Jun 27, 2010 at 8:59 am

  2. Looks great, I agree about a little fresh berry with every bite being a great idea.

    by Jennifurla on Jun 27, 2010 at 9:24 am

  3. Wow! That looks amazing. You did an incredible job. This is definitely my kind of dessert..chocolate and more chocolate and strawberries too.

    I keep saying I am going to join Daring Baker’s Challenge but still haven’t. They sure are challenging but you make it look easy..thanks!

    by Raina @ The Garden of Yum on Jun 27, 2010 at 11:08 am

  4. Gorgeous! Love the look of this. 🙂

    by sara on Jun 27, 2010 at 4:16 pm

  5. Yummmmmmm..looks delish! Love your photos too!

    by faithy on Jun 27, 2010 at 10:57 pm

  6. Brilliant posting and your step by step photos are superb, Great work on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

    by Audax Artifex on Jun 28, 2010 at 7:37 am

  7. Sp pretty 🙂

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

    by Nachiketa on Jun 28, 2010 at 8:08 am

  8. Fabulous job on the challenge!

    by Maria on Jun 28, 2010 at 10:13 am

  9. This looks gorgeous! I still have yet to try pavlova or mousse, this makes me want to try both now!

    by Michelle {Brown Eyed Baker} on Jun 28, 2010 at 10:39 am

  10. Wow! This is absolutely beautiful. And it looks delicious! Well done 😉

    by Maggy@ThreeManyCooks on Jun 28, 2010 at 10:39 am

  11. You did such a fantastic job on the challenge this month!

    by Jen @ How To: Simplify on Jun 28, 2010 at 2:44 pm

  12. Beautiful presentation and pavlovas! Great job here….

    Cheers,

    Rosa

    by Rosa on Jun 28, 2010 at 3:36 pm

  13. This looks so delicate! I haven’t blogged mine just yet but I plonked them in dishes any old how as you will see why when I post. The drizzled mascarpone cream really sets them off, I wish I’d had time to do that!

    by Sarah, Maison Cupcake on Jun 28, 2010 at 3:39 pm

  14. Your rendition of this challenge looks wonderful 🙂

    by Eliana on Jun 28, 2010 at 3:51 pm

  15. I love your site nicely designed and great photography of delicious food

    by sadaf on Jun 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm

  16. This looks great! I’ll give it a try, but who knows what’ll happen.

    by Katrina on Jun 29, 2010 at 3:30 pm

  17. Beautiful!

    by Val on Jun 29, 2010 at 4:26 pm

  18. These are so pretty! What I love about meringues like this is that they freeze really well, which makes them a great option for a last-minute dessert.

    by Cookin' Canuck on Jun 29, 2010 at 5:58 pm

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About Sugarcrafter

Hi there! I’m Tracy, and I live in upstate NY. My husband and I met in college and have been married since 2005. A Canning, baking, writing, photography, and even cleaning (yes, cleaning – it can be oddly relaxing), are all things that I enjoy. This blog brings all of those passions together – but […]more →