The challenge is primarily based on a recipe from Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard and is called Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse.
Recipe Source: Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard
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 Coffee Hazelnut Pavlova Roll
This challenge is close to the heart's of bakers from Down Under (Australia and New Zealand), pavlova is the national dessert for both countries. I had all the ingredients in the refrigerator and I had made crème anglaise for another dessert I was making so this challenge was a breeze. I have made literally 100s of pav's and they are always a great hit at the end of a dinner party. Usually pavlovas Down Under are decorated with whipped cream and fruit (passion fruit, kiwi and strawberries) so it is nice to have a challenge using another decoration. I have several children's parties to do this month so I thought I would do a pavlova roll (as a change) for the adults attending – I followed the recipe but used a Swiss (jelly) roll pan to make the pavlova, to make a roll just bake for about an hour that way the meringue is set but no crust is formed so you can roll it easily with the mascarpone cream and mousse filling.
The essence of a pavlova (at least Down Under) is that the inside must be light as possible like marshmallow the crust is thin and crisp and it is decorated with fruit and whipped cream.
I flavoured the mousse and the outside of the roll with cocoa powder, good quality instant coffee, brown sugar and hazelnut meal.
The meringue in the roll is very soft and paired with the flavoured mousse and mascarpone cream really makes for a rich, wonderful and tasty dessert. For children leave out the coffee you really don't want to have caffeine in a dessert for children at a party where there is already enough sugar and stimulation to have very energetic kids running about madly.
I'm very pleased with this pavlova roll the first I have made it was so soft and the texture was so light and the flavour was intense.
Chocolate Coffee Hazelnut Pavlova Roll – it looks so pretty and elegant. Maybe some mousse curls with hazelnut meal on top would make it look smashing.
The cut pavlova roll – the pavlova is the dark chocolate coloured layer, the mousse/mascarpone cream filling is the light brown layer. Notice how soft the roll is perfect for children.
Strawberry and passion fruit pavlova shells with homemade white chocolate mascarpone
I decided to do fruit flavoured pavlova shells I did strawberry and passion fruit – I used powdered fruit powder to colour and flavour the meringue (I used 1/3 cup of powder for each batch). Then I made homemade white chocolate mascaropne this was so delicious it had the perfect balance between of sweet, tart and mouth-feel so so yummy.
To make the fruit meringue shells I used all glucose syrup instead of caster sugar and icing sugar - this makes of an absolutely smooth shell when baked and makes the meringue more stable also I used finely strained 'fruit' tea powder found in the health food section of the supermarket. Use a coffee grinder to make a very fine powder first then strain again to get a fine powder like corn starch.
To form the shells I made a 'gig' using cardboard and thumb-tacks to form the circular shape. And to pipe them I used two piping tips a big flat shaped one to do the bases and then I used a large flat serrated tip to make the rim, if you use the 'gig' on a Lazy Susan you can get the same looking result (almost identical) every time. I used coloured thumb tacks to start and end at the same place when piping which gives a very professional look. Also I have a professional grade oven which goes down to a very low temperature that is steady and constant which helps to make the meringues crisp without browning.
Strawberry and passion fruit pavlova shell – these smelt wonderful while baking and really had a very very strong flavour
Homemade white chocolate mascarpone
Kiwi, fig and white chocolate mascarpone swirls with passion fruit palvola shell
Passion fruit topping with passion fruit pavlova shell
Fig topping with strawberry pavlova shell
Classic Down Under Pavlova
I had to do a classic Australian pavlova for this challenge. It is astounding that using the same base recipe with slightly different techniques can you achieve totally different results. Viz-a-viz the challenge recipe as stated gives what is called meringues in Australia they are dry and crunchy all the way through while the Aussie pavlova has a very thin crust that is dry and crisp while the inside is soft and chewy like the lightest marshmallow you have tasted – this amazing difference is achieved by making just a few simple changes in the method for making the challenge recipe.
Basically you make one giant meringue cake, preheat the oven to 200C (395F) and immediately once the meringue is in the oven lower the temperature to 95C (205F) and bake for about 1¾ hours.
Use a 8” (20cm) x 2.5" (60mm) springform cake tin without a bottom as a container to hold the whipped egg whites. I used 6 egg whites and 1 1/3 cups of castor sugar, add and beat one tablespoon of sugar into the egg whites until all the sugar is dissolved this takes about 12 mins.
Remove the springform cake tin and you will have one giant uncooked meringue.
Preheat the oven to 200C (395F) then immediately lower the oven to 95C (205F) and bake for 1¾ to 2 hrs, you can test readiness by tasting a teaspoon of the cooked meringue from the top (don't worry you will not notice the small hole caused by the testing) if it doesn't taste of egg then the pavlova is ready. Turn oven off and let the pavlova cool in the oven until room temperature. It is normal to have a few cracks on top these will be covered with the topping so will not be seen and it is normal for the crust to be lightly browned. The initial high temperature makes for a thin crisp crust while the low temperature ensures the interior is soft and fully cooked.
Cover the top of the pavlova with whipped cream or similar I used homemade white chocolate mascarpone cheese with cream.
Then decorate with fresh fruit make sure the pattern is arranged so that slicing the pav will be easy.
What is the texture of a classic Australian pavlova – thin crisp crust and a soft chewy marshmallow inside. You should be able to hear a crack from the crust when you slice the pav.
You should be able to poke the soft marshmallow interior with your finger and it should leave a hole.
And you should be able to cut it cleanly however thin the slice is!
Some tweaks that can be used to make the perfect pavlova
Most recipes for the classic pav include the following (I didn't use these in the above since I was showing how slightly different techniques can give vastly different end results)
1. Addition of 1 tsp of cream of tartar - helps stabilize the egg whites
2. Addition of 1 tsp of white vinegar - help makes for a chewy soft interior and crisp crust
3. Addition of 1 tablespoon of cornflour - stops the egg whites from weeping when cooking and stops excessive cracking of the crust and helps stabilize the final pavlova
Here is the recipe for Classic Australian Pavlova
Classic Australian Pavlova
Cooking time about 1¾ hours
Ingredients (serves 8)
* 4 teaspoons cornflour (sometimes called cornstarch in the U.S.)
* 6 egg whites
* 1 teaspoon cream of tartar (or ½ teaspoon of salt)
* 1 1/3 cups caster (superfine) sugar or normal granulated sugar (if using U.S. cups add extra one tablespoon of sugar)
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 teaspoon white vinegar
* 200ml (about ¾ cup) pure cream
* 250g (1 cup) fresh fruit and berries
1. Preheat oven to 200°C (395°F). Dust lightly with 1 teaspoon cornflour a sheet of baking paper place on a baking tray. Place a 8” (20cm) x 2.5" (60mm) springform cake tin without a bottom as a container to hold the whipped egg whites on the floured baking paper.
2. Using an electric mixer on the highest setting, beat egg whites and cream of tartar (or salt) in a narrow deep bowl until soft peaks form (using a narrow deep bowl ensures the beaters are well into the whites and will build up the greatest volume). Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating constantly until thick and glossy. Add remaining 3 teaspoons of cornflour with the last tablespoon of sugar. Dissolving the caster sugar should take about 10-12 mins if using normal granulated sugar about 15 mins. (Test mixture by feeling a small amount of the meringue between two fingers if it is grainy beat longer.) Fold through 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 100°C (212°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 (pavlova may sink and crack during cooling).
If you wish you can add some sugar to the whipped cream I recommend this for U.S. bakers I notice most U.S. recipes are sweeter than Australian ones.
You can add up to 1½ cups of caster sugar or normal granulated sugar in the meringue if you wish. Just test a small amount of the uncooked meringue if not sweet enough add more sugar.
You can use normal granulated sugar but it will take longer to dissolve the sugar into the egg whites about 15 mins again test mixture by feeling a small amount of the meringue between two fingers if it is grainy beat longer.
Icing sugar (powdered or confectioners' sugar) doesn't seem to work well with this recipe the interior becomes too dry.
You can make the pavlova when it is raining, high humidity doesn't affect the pavlova shell.
Storage and handling
Unfilled pavlovas store well for 2-3 days in an airtight container on the counter.
Decorate the pavlova about an hour before using and they will be ok for 8 hours so long as it is not too hot (as the cream might go off), I have stored (in the fridge) decorated pavlovas for a day with no problems.
Hints and tips to make the perfect pavlova (from the Australian Women's Weekly magazine)
*When separating the whites from the yolks, be careful not to include even the smallest amount of yolk – the fat content in the yolk will prevent the whites from foaming. Always break the eggs separately into a cup before adding to the bowl for beating.
*Use a small deep bowl to beat egg whites – this ensures the beaters are well into the whites and will build up the greatest volume.
*Make sure the bowl is dry and clean – any greasy residue in the bowl will prevent egg whites from beating up.
*Beat egg whites at highest speed until thick and white, but not dry. When they look glossy and have firm, soft peaks add sugar. If whites are beaten until they are dry, it is more difficult to dissolve the sugar.
*Use castor sugar in pavlovas as it will dissolve faster than granulated sugar.
*Sugar grains can be felt by rubbing a small amount of meringue mixture between fingers.
*Make sure that there are no sugar grains around the top of the beaters or around the sides of the bowl, scrape the mixture down the bowl with a spatula. Keep beating on high speed while adding the sugar.
*Total beating time should be about 10 minutes, to ensure every grain of sugar is completely dissolved.
*Cool the meringue in the oven with the door ajar, if meringue is cooled too quickly it can crack.
Recipe Source: Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard
Mandatory items: The recipe is comprised of three parts, four if you include the crème anglaise. You must make the chocolate pavlovas, the mascarpone mousse and the mascarpone cream using the recipes provided.
- You can use orange juice for the Grand Marnier in the mousse if you don’t use alcohol
- You can omit the sambuca from the mascarpone cream.
- You may substitute any crème anglaise recipe you might already have in your arsenal.
Preparation time: The recipe can be made in one day although there are several steps involved.
- While the pavlovas are baking, the crème anglaise should be made which will take about 15 minutes.
- While it is cooling, the chocolate mascarpone mousse can be made which will take about 15 minutes.
- There will be a bit of a wait time for the mascarpone cream because of the cooling time for the Crème Anglaise.
- If you make the Crème Anglaise the day before, the dessert should take about 2 hours including cooking time for the pavlovas.
• Baking sheet(s) with parchment or silpat
• Several bowls
• Piping bag with pastry tip
• Hand or stand mixer
Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):
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
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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!)
- 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 (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)
grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
9 ounces (255 grams) 72% chocolate, chopped
1 2/3 cups (390 mls) mascarpone (don't forget we made this a few months ago - get the printable .pdf HERE)
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier (or orange juice)
- Put ½ cup (120 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.
- 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.)
- 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
½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)
½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream
- 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
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
- Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Wikipedia’s definition of Pavlova
The history of Pavlova
Great video on Youtube – How to Make Pavlova
Another great video that uses whipped cream instead of the Mascarpone cream - Pavlova
One more from Epicurious – Australia Pavlova
Some great photos on Flickr:
La Tartine Gourmand – Red and Orange Pavlova
VROG in Bristol – Birthday Pavlova
Marco Veringa – Pavlova 6 (the fruit on this one is stunning)
Katiequinndavies – Double Chocolate & Raspberry Pavlova
My Food Obsession – Chocolate Banana Rolled Pavlova (something different!)