27.6.10

Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Cream

This is not nearly as complicated as it looks with all the recipes below.  Here is how I did it...

I put the egg whites into my stand mixer bowl and the yolks in the top of my double boiler.  I made the chocolate pavlova and baked it as directed.  I completely forgot about the yolks sitting on my counter until the next morning!  But, since they would be fully cooked I was not concerned about salmonella.

I made the Crème Anglaise by adding the sugar to the yolks in the top of my double boiler.  Then I heated the cream and milk and tempered (Egg yolks must be tempered when hot liquids, like milk or cream, are added so that the eggs do not scramble. Tempering gradually introduces the hot liquid, so that the yolks are slowly brought up to the warmer temperature.)  the yolks.

I put them on the double boiler and cooked until done.  I find this is the safest and easiest way to get a nice egg based sauce.  Because I had those slightly crusty yolks, I did pass the mixture through a fine sieve and it turned out perfectly.

Then I made the chocolate mousse as directed.  However, there is always a 'however', I think I over beat the cream with the mascarpone because the mascarpone did break a little.  But it tasted and looked fine in the final product.

I made the mini pavlovas free hand with a large spoon.  But I did pipe the mousse into the shells.  This is an extemely rich dessert and I would suggest making small portions.  I fanned a strawberry as a garnish and drizzled with the Crème Anglaise.

I used the best chocolate I could get my hands on.  I had purchased a good quality cocoa powder in Calgary, Bensdorp Dutch Process Cocoa.  I ordered my chocolate from Chocolat Chocolat Inc in Montreal and it arrived very quickly.  While I was ordering, I thought I may as well make it worth my while so ordered a kilogram of three different chocolates.  I have a Venezuelan (72%), St. Domonique (70%) and Alto el Sol (65%).  I used the Venezuelan for this recipe.  It has a very rich, bitter and fruity flavour and worked well.

Since I live alone and this makes more than I (and my neighbours behind me) can eat at once, I have frozen the extra pavlova shells.  I also made rosettes of mousse on a silpat lined tray and froze them.  Once frozen, I have put them between layers of parchment paper in a firm, airtight container in the freezer.  These will be ready for the next time I have guests.  The Crème Anglaise does not freeze as well, but it isn't essential in the finished product.  I will just garnish with fresh berries.

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.

Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):
3 large egg whites
½ cup plus 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
¼ cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder

Directions:
  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.)
  3. 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.)
  4. 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.
  5. 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):
3/4 cup heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)
grated zest of 1/2 average sized lemon
4.5 ounces 72% chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup mascarpone
pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp Grand Marnier (or orange juice)

Directions:
  1. Put 1/4 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. Again, you could just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.
Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):
1 recipe crème anglaise
1/4 cup mascarpone
1 tbsp Sambucca (optional)
1/4 cup heavy cream

Directions:

  1. 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):
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
3 tbsp sugar

Directions:
  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.
Assembly:
Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.

20 comments:

  1. OMG that looks so rich and delicious and I know it is so so decadent all that unctuous mascarpone and cream. Well done on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

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  2. I am glad I discovered your blog, this dessert looks finger licking good, you are welcome to pay me a visit.
    Alina

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  3. Looks amazing Sarah! I wish I could be a visitor at your house, you make the best things :)

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  4. Very lovely your pavlova, Sarah. My mousse was grainy as well, but it was grainy from the beginning, so I assumed it was supposed to be that way. The berries contrast beautifully in flavor as well as in color! Love your idea of freezing the piped mousse and baked meringue to be assembled only a little ahead of serving time. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment on my pavlova!

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  5. great job on this months challenge!! your pavlova looks gorgeous yum!

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  6. It seems complicated, but each step is easy. Now, to make myself plan ahead and make the creme anglaise the night before? That's going to be hard.

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  7. Wow Sarah, look fabulous. I often freeze leftover mousse too, but it rarely makes it from the freezer to the table defrosted because I LOVE it frozen, especially on fresh berries. Mmmm...yum! You do make the best things!

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  8. Your pavlova looks fantastic. Good job on the challenge! You bought a lot of chocolate; I'm headed over to your house hahaha. Good idea to freeze the pavlova shells.

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  9. Chocolate mascarpone sounds really delicious! So creamy, I bet!

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  10. That looks truly yummy. Bless the egg white. Did you see a recent lovely history of the pavolva? Helen Leach I think, In Gastronomica, though I think I saw it somewhere else too.

    VERY Neat blog. Ken

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  11. Audax> thanks :)

    Alina> love your blog!

    Wolf> thx!

    Andrea> you are welcome any time!

    Renata> the mousse was actually creamy but didn't pipe well. Not sure why. Too cold perhaps.

    Natalie> thanks for visiting

    Marjie> you can do it...or not! The creme anglaise was not an essential part. The mousse was the essential part!

    June> I did take one out of the freezer to try it and I had the same problem - ate it before it was completely thawed.

    Memoria> I can't believe how much cooking you do! 5 yellow cakes and this challenge.

    Sook> it was luscious!

    Ken> no, can't say that I did.

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  12. Looks very delicious! Good job!

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  13. Well, that is way more work than I ever do! So, I will just have to admire your pretty picture and wish that I was you neighbor!

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  14. Stumbled onto your blog from More Than Burnt Toast. Great site you have here and I'm a new follower :) I love finding fellow Canadian Foodie bloggers!

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  15. chef> thx

    Pam> I doubt I'll do this one again. Perhaps the mousse!

    Sarah> another Sarah! I'll check out your blog.

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  16. That sure looks good to me...more apt to eat it than make it!

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  17. Fantastic course. Great post with gorgeous photos and clear instruction.

    Cheers!

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  18. Perfectly executed and gorgeous pavlova! I had the same trouble with the mousse after refrigerating it a day or two and then trying to beat it soft again. Forgot that mascarpone breaks..but mine RELLY curdled up,..had to cover it with loads of fruit lol

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  19. what an amazing pav... strawberry n chocolate...:) love the combo...
    sadly strawberry season is over in this part of the world... :(

    lovely idea for freezing the prepared stuff....

    cheers,
    The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
    Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

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