Saturday, 26 June 2010

Daring Bakers do Chocolate Pavlova

The June 2010 Daring Baker's 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.

This recipe is gluten free without any adaptions which is a really nice change from most Daring Bakers recipes. However Audax explained to us the difference between the recipe we were given and a traditional Australian Pavlova and his description of the meringue made me very much want to try his version. I have had pavlova a good few times, after all it can be the only dessert I can have at many places.. well that or icecream, however they are nearly always with fairly crispy meringue not the sort he described. The challenge recipe was much more like the ones I'm used to so I decided to use his way of doing it to see the difference. Audax said "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."  The difference is mainly in the cooking method.

I made my meringues as individual portions using the sort of rings you use to shape rosties and so forth, like a big biscuit cutter though the pudding is so rich we ended up sharing one ! I didn't make the pouring sauce to go with it, well I started and made the custard a few days ago but then hot weather and grumpy kids meant I didn't get round to the rest and it went off :(  We are having very hot sapping weather currently, well for us anyway I know from some places it would just be average but us Brits don't do heat !

I really liked the soft middle of the meringue and will certainly consider doing them again like this rather than the crisp meringue I'm more used to so thanks Audax for showing us the difference.. see his post for a look at what the inside of a big Aussie Pavlova looks like it's so different to a standard meringue !

The mousse is fabulously rich and I still have lots in the fridge so do be aware the recipe below makes quite a lot. I don't believe it is possible to have to much chocolate mousse but if you only want enough to top a 3 egg pavlova you might want to cut the recipe in half!

Recipe - Chocolate Pavlovas and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

Choc meringue
Instructions are mostly Audax's adapted to make it chocolate as per the challenge recipe.
To get crisp meringues as per the original recipe cook at 200º F (95º C) degrees for 2-3 hours and leave out the cornflour and cream of tartar.

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
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 teaspoons cornflour (corn starch)

Preheat oven to 200°C (395°F). Dust lightly with 1/2 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 (This size form is for 6 egg whites so you would need a smaller one for the 3 egg whites this recipe is for. I use three smaller rings to get individual ones.)

2. Using an electric mixer on the highest setting, beat egg whites and cream of tartar 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 1 1/2 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.)

2a) To make chocolate meringue - Sift the 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.)

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). 
I used smaller rings and they were done in 1 hour.

Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse  1 ½ cups (355 mls) double 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) (I didn't use this as I was feeding it to small people)

  1. 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.
  2. 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.)
  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.
For the pouring sauce follow the link to see more Daring Bakers !


  1. OMG you did a wonderful version of the classic Aussie pav - yes it is very different to a crisp-all-the-way meringue and you are right it is mainly technique tweaks that change it from a meringue to an Aussie pav.

    Your pav shells look perfect (they normally do crack and sink especially the small ones) well done and it is good that you liked them so much.

    And thank you for the link to my blog.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  2. Your meringue bases look perfect! I am sorry that your creme sauce never really happened, but it looks like things went over pretty well without it...! Great work!!

  3. Yum!! Your pavlova looks delicious! Great job on this challenge!

  4. Your pavlovas look great! Love the chocolate and strawberries together. Great job on the challenge!

  5. I agree I like the pavlovas cooked the way you did, nice job. Haha you can never have too much chocolate mousse, what a good call.

  6. Love the way you did yours. I'd prefer mine to be like those. Mine were a little extra crisp, and tasted better the next day! Well done indeed!

  7. Just stopped by GFGoodness and saw her version. Oh, these look so decadent and yet gluten-free.

  8. Gorgeous!love the crisp look of the pavlova :D

  9. how lovely! now I wish I'd done them aussie stoyle.

  10. I so want to try Audax's version as well.}:P

  11. mmm your pavlova looks gorgeous! it looks so crispy and yummy!
    great job on this months challenge!

  12. Yum--looks fabulous! The mousse was very rich, but I would definitely recommend trying the sauce when you get a chance. I used Amaretto and it was so so good.

  13. what a beautiful presentation!! your pavlova looks perfect!

  14. Pay somebody back in his own coin..................................................................                           

  15. Yummy! Love strawberries with chocolate! Missed you on the last DB's challenge!