As I type this there are chaffing dishes to fill, beverages to ice, and appetizers to be plated. I’m so happy that my family is coming over for a big Sunday dinner. There’s no better feeling than feeding the ones I love, so forgive me if this post seems rushed. Lots to do!
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.
Inspiration came from the profusion of blackberries growing wild over our local landscape. At this time of year you can usually find them growing wild by the roadside, and it’s perfectly acceptable to pull over and pick a few for yourself. But take caution, as blackberry brambles are usually in sunny places where snakes like to warm themselves.
I veered slightly from the DB recipe by making a blackberry coulis and mixing a portion of it with the creme anglaise. It was so delicious, I could have eaten the creamy berry mixture like soup! (Or maybe I did…)
As for the Pavlovas, I made rounds, diamonds, and star clusters. They were very tasty, but the main attraction is the mascarpone mousse. It’s pretty easy to make and sooo good with coffee.
Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
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.
Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
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
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.
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.
Oh wow, that is so delicious looking – great job
That all looks so amazing. Also, the cup you have the mousse in is so great.
So pretty! I love the piping on the meringues and also the berries!
Stunning! Absolutely beautiful!
This looks magnificent! Amazing photos!
This looks amazing!
Sounds awesome with the blackberries and looks beautiful against the lavender! Love it as always:)
Wow that looks great! The blackberry coulis looks so pretty. Excellent job!
WHOA!! It looks FANTASTIC! Wow. I'm so impressed. You even made the pavlovas look moist and yummy, and I don't even like egg whites. Great job on this challenge! Really. I also love the design you made with the coulis.
Wowo i think yours is the best DB I have seen till now. Bautiful and so so good looking that i want to grab them right now.
What a gorgeous looking pav so pretty and elegant and some fabulous photographs. And using local berries is so good. KUDOS to you. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.
WOW! Landed here thanks to Foodgawker, stunning job!
Having my coffee now and wishing that I had some mascarpone mousse to go along with it!
Gorgeous, as always!
Beautiful plating and inspired flavor combination. Love the feathered pattern with the sauce.
WOW!!!! the berries r giving such a lovely twist…. 🙂
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This looks delicious and sooo chocolate-y!! Good idea with the blackberries too!!
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Just lovely.. looks so good. I love blackberries.. and with chocolate this must be hevenly.
Thanks for sharing.
Beautiful! I love the idea of blackberries! Amazing!
You nailed Heather! 🙂
Hope your family's visit was a wonderfully delicious one!
oooh i love how youve decorated your pavlovas with blackberries they look so good yum!
Beautiful photos and looks very tasty too!
what an incredible pavlova!! I love marscapone, and using it in the mousse must have been a wonderful addition!!
love the berries, that colour goes so well with the dark chocolate….just amazing!!
Thanks for sharing
Extraordinary! Looks just perfect!
I adore fresh blackberries and pavlovas and chocolate – beautiful combination! Wish I could have been at that dinner – I'm sure it was absolutely lovely. 🙂
You may not need one more complement, but you're getting one anyway. It's just beautiful. Everything about it is just lovely. I'm sure it tastes incredible too.
I've been in an ice cream kick lately. I've come up with some wonderful flavors. Do you ever make ice cream?
Aw, thanks Heidi! I love ice cream too! I've not made any this year – yet. I've been experimenting with some frozen custards which don't require an ice cream maker. I've got a machine but it's waaay back in the pantry and I dread digging it out!! 🙂
how did i not see this earlier? this looks amazing.
I had the ingredients for the mousse, as well as a pie crust- I just wanted to say this makes a fantastic pie!