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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Daring Bakers' Chocolate Pavlova 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.

Pavlova topped with fruits is something that is so pretty to look at. And that is just something that I have been laying my eyes to in baking books and blogs. Always have the reservation that this dessert might be too too sweet for my taste buds. So obviously to bake it in real takes a push. Something only this challenge could do!

The irregular, sometimes organic shape of pavlova - most of what I have seen - has triggered me to think of my own in the opposite way. I prefer to have the look that is neat - a plain and flat disc would do. And I would definitely want to have the mousse of a plain layer that I could just stack on top of the pavlova disc. Sounds simple ha? For that I have to use cake rings for piping the meringue and forming the mousse layer. Gosh, baking Pavlova at 95 degree Celsius took four and a half hours instead of 2-3 hours mentioned in the challenge. That was a long wait!

As I had imagined, these 2 simplified layers provided an abundant creativity space to play around with fruits for the topping. As if the colourful and various shapes of strawberries, papayas, mangoes, green apples, and grapes were being liberated to take the mousse stage and do the pray-for-rain kind of ritual dance, these fruits were so playful on my finger tips. I just loved working with the irregular shapes of fruit cuts and pair them up with chocolate decorations.

Before too long, besides the 7 inch pavlova, I had created a smaller version of 6 inch one. Creating two different sizes made it possible for me to display them side by side and take more interesting pictures. So I hope you enjoy all these pictures..

Meanwhile someone has emailed me regarding placing an ad in my blog and asked how much I would charge for it. I replied back and requested more details regarding the scope of his business, the url of the banner link, and his ad requirements such as number of ads, the length of the ad period, number of ad updates, etc. Well, it seems that the time has come to monetize this blog, what do you think?

Last but not least, there are 96 entries into June's DMBLGIT!!! Thanks to all of you for participating (especially those first timers who participated with the kind intention of saving the event, thanks!!). I should get down to my judging quickly and have my greatest time!

Makes one 7 inch and one 6 inch cakes

1. Chocolate Pavlova/Meringue
Prepare one 7 inch and one 6 inch cake rings

- Large egg whites > 3
- White granulated sugar > 110 grams
- Icing sugar > 30 grams
- Cocoa powder > 30 grams

- Line bottom and sides of cake rings with aluminium foil. Place them on a baking tray. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 95 Celsius degrees.
- 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 icing 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 the cake rings. Flatten the surface with a spoon.
- Bake for 4 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

2. Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
Prepare one 5.5 inch and 4 inch cake rings

- Whipping cream > 180 grams
- Grated zest of lime > 1/2 teaspoon
- Chopped chocolate > 128 grams
- Mascarpone cheese > 197 grams
- Ground nutmeg > 1/8 teaspoon
- Cointreau > 1 tablespoon
- Gelatine powder > 7 grams
- Boiling water > 1.5 tablespoons

- Line bottom and sides of cake rings with aluminium foil. Place them on a baking tray. Set aside.
- Put 60 grams of the whipping cream and the lime 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 Cointreau and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks. (DO NOT OVERBEAT AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)
- Mix gelatine powder with boiling water. Stir thoroughly and leave to just warm.
- Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in the remaining mascarpone until well incorporated.
- Mix in gelatine and stir well. Fold mousse into 5.5 inch and 4 inch cake rings.
- Flatten surface with spatula. Refrigerate overnight.

3. Crème Anglaise
Makes 237 grams of cream

- Whole milk > 120 ml
- Whipping cream > 120 ml
- Vanilla essence > 1/2 teaspoon
- Large egg yolks > 3
- Sugar > 39 grams

-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.

4 Mascarpone Cream

- Crème anglaise > 1 recipe
- Mascarpone cheese > 50 grams
- Whipping cream > 60 ml

- Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone 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.

5. Assembly

- Fruits - cut as desired
- Chocolate decoration - as desired
- Pavlova 7 inch for mousse 5.5 inch
- Pavlova 6 inch for mousse 4 inch
- Icing sugar - for dusting

- Remove mousse out from the cake ring by using torch. Stack mousse on top of the pavlova.
- Decorate with fruits and chocolate decoration.
- Dust with icing sugar and drizzle with Mascarpone cream.


  1. Came looking for your DB post but there doesn't seem to be a post here. Did Blogger screw up autopublishing?

  2. I'm not a fan of meringue so I like the ratio of this - thin meringue, thick chocolate mousse and an abundance of fruits. I want this beautiful cake with me right now!

  3. Wow Kris, this is soooooooo gorgeous!! I love the way you played around with the fruits and the chocolate decorations on top of the pavlova, it's beautiful! Excellent job! I'm drooling right now :))

  4. If the meringue was as thin as this, it might actually hold up to Florida's humidity long enough to serve it for a dinner! What a marvelous job you did and as usual, I loved your photographs!

  5. Absolutely stunning presentation, I like your idea to change the traditional pavlova shape to something so neat looking. Very creative!

  6. Absolutely gorgeous and I would so love a slice of this.

  7. lol! your presentation deceived me=;) I was looking for the meringue coz all i saw was the mousse and the fruits until it dawned on me duh!! it's the thin flat disc w/ the sugar dusting! Ofcourse it was confirmed as i read your blog! ha! This is a gorgeous pav!

    And congratulations to that ad offer! I'd say yes monetize your's well worth it!

  8. This is so beautiful! Your "semi-deconstructed" pavlova is really something to see! Terrific job on this challenge!

  9. Your posting wasn't working for a long while there no I can see it and your pavs look perfect so flat and elegant and that fruit on top is exquisite well done. Yes I think you should get some $ for the blog only if the ads are small and work in with what you believe in. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  10. Couldn't resist coming back again to see if you'd managed to get the post going, and am happy I did. :)

    Your neat pavlova looks pretty good, like a cake. And can see my fave chocolate decorations too. :)

  11. I'd like to have a piece right now - this looks absolutely gorgeous. Awesome job on the challenge!

  12. Kris,
    Another stunning showpiece! I'm sure it's not too sweet for me, but maybe too beautiful to cut into, though I'd love to try! :)

  13. It looks usual. I love the constraint of the meringue and the mousse,very clean edges.

    As for monitising your blog, I don't know what to say, apparently some bloggers do rake in a sizeable income from ads!

  14. Absolutely gorgeous!!! I also am not a fan of meringue but this looks too good to pass by.

  15. What a neat version of the pavlova. Great food, great pictures, great blog! :-)

  16. Gorgeous creation as usual.. I was searching for the meringue and then realised that it was thin base.. nicely done :)

  17. This is a masterpiece! I've been drooling all over :)

  18. ohhhh i love your interpretation of the pavlova! Love how you deconstructed it and made the meringue base larger... the contrast is quite eye-catching! All the different types of fruits you used and meticulous knife-work with the apples are wonderrrrful. Great job, Kris!

  19. Oh my goodness, I love your clean lines and although it might have taken longer this way the finished result is simply spectacular.

  20. Would you mind to share a slice with me? Look so yum..yumm!!

  21. Holy Moly, what a GORGEOUS presentation!! Well Done....

  22. Kris..when I see your creations, I just want to throw in the towel lol All kidding aside, you inspire me to no end. Your chocolate work is dazzling and the pavlova is stunning. That is how I was hoping to slice my fruit, but it didn't quite work out that way lol

  23. Lovely Pavlova I love it!! look heavenly! gloria

  24. Kris, you've opened me up to a whole new world of baking if pavlovas can be sophisticated! :) Wonderful job.

  25. Espectacular!!! tienes un blog precioso y unas recetas estupendas....un beso

  26. Another challenge completed amazingly as usual hehe your desserts always look so elegant!!

  27. This is the most... i mean MOST amazing pav i've seen..... WOW :)

    I'm speechless.....

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

  28. Gorgeous! Once again perfection! Definitely monetize. You should be making money on your hard work.

  29. OMG! your photos are so creative!
    they really look like magazines photos!

    Maybe, anybody can say that there's a defect there!impeccable!

  30. Kris - I left a comment 3 days ago and it's gone :( In any event..your pavlova is absolutely beautiful.

  31. I had been meaning to get around to your post when I saw your gorgeous pics! This is wonderful! I just love your photography and the perfect presentation of the fruit and your pav. Wonderful work!

  32. That pavlova looks incredible Kris! Absolutely beautiful and mouthwatering goodlooking..:)) And fantastic news that DMBLGIT is picking up!

  33. I always follow the best! you have an amazing blog! Compliments!

  34. Hi Kris!
    Your interpretation of this recipe is fantastic! A thin pavlova with a mountain of mousse and fruit...delicious!!!
    in practice...I love it!!! :-D

    Kisses from Italy


  35. toujours un régal chez toi je ne m'en lasse jamais
    bonne soirée

  36. What a wonderful interpretation! I love meringue but this looks very impressive.

  37. Kris, this is a beautiful unconventional pavlova! I'm getting back into blog reading and commenting since I got back from my travels and these are just the most perfect photos. I would definitely be curious to taste a pavlova with a larger mousse to meringue ratio than the usual!

  38. Wow Kris! I love how elegant yours looks! You're so creative in the ways you decorate. I'm envious ;) or should I rather say, I'm inspired!

  39. Ouah c'est magnifique! =) Bravo pour tes photos, elles me font penser à un magasine!
    Merci énormément pour ton passage sur mon blog! :')
    Bisous & Bonne journée

  40. GORGEOUS. What a breathtaking dessert. I wish I could join you for some!

  41. Hi Kris, how are you doing ? I think i missed many a story of you. How is everything going? Thank you for "keep your eyes" open for my pages, i really appreciate but (you know) i didn't have a good internet connection overthere, so it's hard to keep in touch and updating my pages.But now i'm here, come back home and will looking forward for your blog. :)

  42. beautiful..inspiring...when I see a creation like this I always want to give decoration another try....BRAVO!!!