Sunday, June 27, 2010

June Daring Bakers Challenge - Pavlova

I know I've been slacking off severely in my postings. All this hectic business with trying to find a job :P AAHHH! Can't believe my last post was for May's DB Challenge. Well, at least being part of the Daring Bakers has forced me to keep up the blogging.

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


Chocolate Pavlovas

Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):

- 3 large egg whites
- ½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) granulated sugar
- ¼ cup (30 grams) confectioner’s sugar
- 1/3 cup (30 grams) cocoa powder

Method:

  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. (Class made rounds, hearts, diamonds and an attempt at a clover was made!)
  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):

- 1 ½ cups (355 mls) heavy cream grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
- 9 ounces (255 grams) 72% chocolate (I used milk chocolate), chopped
- 1 2/3 cups (390 mls) mascarpone
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier

Method:

  1. Put ½ cup of heavy cream and lemon zest in a saucepan over medium high heat. Once warm, add chocolate and whisk until melted & smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl and let sit at room temperature until cool.
  2. Place the mascarpone, remaining cup of cream and nutmeg in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add Grand Marnier and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks (DO NOT OVERBEAT OR MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)
  3. Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in remaining mascarpone until well incorporated. Fill pastry bag with mousse. Again, you could just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.


Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):

- 1 recipe crème anglaise
- ½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
- 2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)
- ½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream

Method:

  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 cup (235 mls) whole milk
- 1 cup (235 mls) heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolks
- 6 tbsp (75 grams) sugar

Method:

  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.


Yes, I know... I didn't put the mascarpone drizzle on top of the pavlovas. But to tell you the truth, my drizzle-sauce stuff was a bit on the liquid side and I didn't want to drown my cute little creations. So, instead I served the cream on the side so that whoever wanted some additional creamy-sweetness could just spoon some on top as liberally as they wanted. The puffy little pavlovas were a hit with my sisters and my parents. And they were almost too cute to eat!

3 comments:

Happy Cook said...

Looks so so good, i want to have some as mine is all over :-)

Nachiketa said...

looks yummy... :)


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

Suzler said...

Aye, I served my too liquidy creme anglaise separately as well. :)

Your pav looks adorable! And delicious!