Chocolate Pavlova with White Chocolate Strawberry Mascarpone Mousse and Mascarpone Cream
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.
Another month, another challenge. I was very pleased with this one. We were challenged to make chocolate pavlovas! It was my premiere. I've never made pavlovas before. Everything was quite o.k. except the pavlova "meringue". I followed the recipe step by step, but it kept falling - it wasn't fluffy at all. So I tried another batch with less cocoa powder. The meringue was "tougher", but still quite runny. I didn't have the strength to make yet another batch, because I was afraid of it would not be o.k. again. Plus what would I do with so huge lot of meringue?
So I tried to shape the second batch into hearts. Eventually it wasn't that bad, but they were pretty flat. But nevermind, I'd say mine were much more real meringues than pavlovas, because they were nothing but crunchy.
I made the Creme Anglaise the same day as pavlovas. I liked it pretty much, so I had tough times with making myself not eat it all. Fortunately I had overeaten sooner that day, otherwise there wouldn't be any creme anglaise left :)
Then I continued with the mascarpone cream. At first I wanted it to be strawberry flavoured, but I didn't want to "destroy" its creamy flavour so I let it be.
My mascarpone white chocolate mousse was supposed to be pink in color. To make it happen I used pureed strawberries instead of Grand Marnier. Well, it didn't affected the color at all. Now I'm a little sad I didn't add more of them, but still I'm afraid the mousse would be runny with more strawberries. However, when it's decorated with strawberries all these minus points are lost, because of the freshness and sweetness of them :)
And here is the know-how :)
You'll need for 8-10 chocolate pavlovas:
- 3 large egg whites
- ½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) white granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (30 grams) confectioner’s (icing) sugar
- 1/3 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder
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.
You'll need for White Chocolate Strawberry Mousse (500 g):
- 170 mls heavy cream (33-40% fat)
- 100 g white chocolate, chopped
- 30 g strawberry chocolate
- 195 g mascarpone
- big pinch of nutmeg
- 15 mls pureed strawberries
- grated zest of 1 small sized lemon
1. Put 60 mls 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 cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add pureed strawberries 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.
You'll need for Creme Anglaise (350 g):
- 120 mls whole fat milk
- 120 mls heavy cream
- 8g organic vanilla sugar
- 3 large egg yolks
- 38g sugar
1. In a bowl, whisk (by hand) together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
2. Combine the milk, cream and vanilla sugar 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.
You'll need for Mascarpone Cream (500 g):
- 1 recipe creme anglaise (above)
- 15 mls Whisky Cream
- 60 mls heavy cream
- 60 g mascarpone
1. Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and Whisky Cream 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.
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.
For the original recipes visit The Daring Kitchen.
The Final Word:
These pavlovas are best in a "pool" of mascarpone cream. It's up to you how much sugar you'll add to each component. I love sweet stuff, so I made extra sweet :) I really like these pavlova "meringues" but it's too crunchy for a real pavlova. I thought it'd be chewy and a little gooey inside. But nevermind, it's divine. I love the mousse :)