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.
A pavlova is a meringue dessert, named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavolva. In Europe and America, it's usually a crispy piped or flat meringue, topped with cream and fruit. In Australia and New Zealand, it's a meringue cake, tall and crispy on the outside and marshmallowey on the inside.
This one sounds like a chocolate mouthful, and it was! I decided to make this challenge extra challenging by removing all dairy from the recipe. I wanted to serve it on Father's Day, and we were having chicken for dinner. Also, my father-in-law tries not to eat too much dairy nowadays, so I scoured the internew for vegan mascarpone recipes. I ended up using a combination of the recipes I found and mixed it with the Daring Bakers mousse recipe. The result? AH.MAZ.ING.
The mousse was rich, thick and deeply chocolatey...you couldn't even tell it was non-dairy. The chocolate pavlova was light and crispy, yet still rich and delicious. Topped with strawberries, well, this was a winner. My father-in-law said it was one of the best desserts I've made, and he loves a lot of my baked goods!
Chocolate Pavolva with Chocolate "Mascarpone" Mousse
Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):
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.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.
2.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.)
3.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.)
4.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.
5.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 (original DB recipe, dairy)
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)
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.
My Recipe - Vegan Mascarpone
this recipe was very much "to taste." I used the base of the recipe I found online, and tweaked it with the DB recipe, using chocolate, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract until I liked the taste.
8 oz Soy Cream Cheese (I used toffuti's vegan cream cheese)
1/4 cup soy sour cream (I used toffuti's vegan sour cream)
1/3-1/2 cup powdered sugar (do this to taste)
9-10 oz. non-dairy (pareve) chocolate chips/chunks
1/2 cup Silk non-dairy creamer
1. Heat the creamer on the stove, and once it's warm, stir in chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Set aside in a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Beat soy cream cheese, sour cream and powdered sugar together.
3. Fold in cooled chocolate. It may seem slightly runny at this point. Chill in the fridge for 2-3 hours until it's firm. Stealing spoonfuls to "taste test" is highly encouraged.
Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):
1 recipe crème anglaise
½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)
½ cup (120 mls) heavy cream
1.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.
Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream above):
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
1.In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
2.Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.
3.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.
4.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 or spoon the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.