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Chocolate Pavlovas with Mascarpone Mousse

Chocolate Pavlovas 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.

This month's challenge combined three recipes to produce spectacular, chocolatey bliss. I'd made variations of the pavlova, chocolate mousse, and creme anglaise many times before, but the techniques in these were a little different for me. While I'm a big believer in tried and true, that's only good until something better comes along.

I started with the pavlovas, a variation on meringues that I know so well. This time, my meringue batter didn't hold - it practically melted as I folded the chocolate/powdered sugar combo in. Sadly, when they emerged from the oven they were flat and sticky, not fluffy and crunchy like I'd expected. In this case I might have taken too long to fold in the cocoa, but it wasn't very forgiving. I salvaged a few disks just to taste, but most stuck to the parchment paper.

I moved next to the chocolate mousse. I loved the addition of lemon zest in the cream because there's a particular zing in the nose when you taste the chocolate. What's nice is that it's not as predictable as orange zest, but it still different enough to catch peoples' attention. My chocolate mousse is usually heavier on eggs, so even though substituting mascarpone for eggs isn't much lighter, it's a welcome variation. The resulting mousse was dense with texture from the zest and the mascarpone, and it stood up well to the (chewy) pavlovas.

Finally came the creme anglaise - one of those dessert sauces that takes me right back to pastry school. I beat the eggs and sugar relentlessly and get a velvety thick curtain of custard - and I ate half of the bowl without even completing the Sambuca-whipped cream-mascarpone sauce.

If you came to my house looking for a dreamy chocolate dessert, more often than not you'd come away empty-handed. I enjoy working with chocolate more than I like eating it, and that's often why there aren't more chocolate morsels in our house. But I always look forward to those chocolate Daring Bakers challenges because they force me to work with it, to reacquaint myself with its temperment, and to find a good home for the results.


All recipes can be found at the Daring Bakers site, filed as the June 2010 challenge.

More Info

Other Daring Bakers with fabulous results:

Audax Artifex (Audax's work is something to behold)
Renata Lacerda's Testado, Provado e Aprovado
Blueberry Girl (her raspberry pavlova is gorgeous)

Comments

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Jen..your pavlovas are

Jen..your pavlovas are phenomenal and the way you scooped your mousse does look like chocolate ice cream! Beautiful job!

Your mousse looks like ice

Your mousse looks like ice cream! Really yummy! Even though the meringues didn't come out as you expected, I'm sure it still tasted good! Thanks for mentioning my blog on your post ;o)

Chocolate Nirvana

Looks delicious to me! Thanks for the great info on this recipe. I'll keep it in mind when I'm making it.

Amazing job! I love the

Amazing job! I love the picture. It looks so delicious! Great job on this challenge!

I love the way you spooned on

I love the way you spooned on the mousse - it looks like icecream! It's a shame the pavs didn't work. I think there was a lot of cocoa that needed mixing in - that could have been the reason. I made more today with my tried and true recipe and added only 1 1/2 tablespoons of cocoa. Not as chocolately but easier to make!

What wonderful work

WOW your mousse looks like ice cream exquisite!!! And sorry to hear about the meringue at least you could save some of them to use in the final version. Wonderful that you could found variations on your usual recipes and yes the challenges are a great excuse to do chocolate dessert. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.