The Daring Bakers #14 Chocolate pavlovas...

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.

I've only made it today... With a Baby I don't have much time for cooking now (not even for sleeping...) The Baby has horrible colic and sleeps only in my or my Hubby's arms... quite exhausting but it helps her so I don't mind - the only minus is that you can do 3 things while holding her: watching TV, reading or sleeping with her and that's about it... So it's only today I got the chance to make it. I really didn't want to skip this month's challenge as meringue is one of my favourites things in the whole world :) I had to change mascarpone filling for something else - as I didn't have ingredients to make it exactly as per recipe (all my changes are below the recipe). All in all great challenge - the chocolate meringue comes out dry, crisp and very light - it's definitely a keeper :) it will be great in Eaton Mess dessert!

How to make it...

Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):
- 3 large egg whites
- 100 g white granulated sugar
- 30 g confectioner’s (icing) sugar
- 30 g 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 (for the top of the Pavlova base):
- 355 ml heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)
grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
- 255 g 72% chocolate, chopped
- 390 ml mascarpone
- pinch of nutmeg
- 30 ml Grand Marnier (or orange juice)
Put ½ cup (120 ml) 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. 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.

Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):
- 1 recipe crème anglaise
- 120 ml mascarpone
- 30 ml Sambucca (optional)
- 120 ml 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.

Anula's changes:
- instead of mascarpone filling I made: fresh whipped cream with peaches (used canned ones)
- changed mascarpone cream for raspberry juice (to give it a little sharpness, as whole dessert was rather on the sweet side...)