Sunday, June 27, 2010
Daring Bakers - Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Marscapone Mousse
I love pavlova and meringues. There is something about that crisp, crunchy shell with the soft, mallowy centre that really appeals to me, regardless of whether it is dressed up with anything else. The Kiwis and the Australians hotly debate who invented the pavlova, named after the prima ballerina, Anna Pavlova, because someone thought it resembled her tutu. I don't really mind who actually invented it - it is is a fine dessert, regardless, and one which has always been a favourite with my brother and I (though not with my Mum, who finds it too sweet.
This leads me to this month's Daring Bakers challenge, which involved a very upmarket version of the pavlova, which will rarely be seen at an Aussie barbecue, no matter how delicious it is.
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 had never made chocolate pavlovas (or meringues really) before, so this was new for me. I am still living away from my cooking gear, so I didn't have a piping bag or the patience to persevere with paper piping bags, and I made my pavlovas free-form:
These turned out well, but I like their vanilla cousins better.
We also had to make a marscapone cream to drizzle over the dessert:
This cream was delicious, and my favourite part of the dessert; I actually liked it best as a plain creme anglaise before the marscapone was added, but in the end, it was still delicious. It was a shame that so little of it was used on the dessert - in the end, I ate half of it and tossed the rest. (Someone made icecream out of their leftover marscapone cream, but icecream is the last thing that I want right now - you just have to feel the brisk temperatures outside to know why.)
The final element was a chocolate mousse, flavoured with orange:
This was my least favourite part of this dessert - it was immensely rich, and I have to confess to throwing out what I didn't use on assembling the dessert. I assembled my dessert with free-form quinelles of mousse, as I refrigerated my mousse after making it in advance, and it set to a point where piping it wasn't going to work.
In short, the dessert is assembled by piping (or in my case, spooning) chocolate mousse on top of the pavlovas, and drizzling them with marscapone cream. The richness of the mousse was balanced out somewhat in the assembled dessert, but I found the whole effect rather overwhelming.
I served these pavlovas as dessert when I had a guest to dinner, and they did make a great dinner party dessert - my guest enjoyed them.
Thanks for being our host this month, Dawn. To get the recipe for this dessert, visit Dawn's site. To check out how the other Daring Bakers fared with making this dessert, visit the Daring Bakers blogroll.