Sunday, June 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse, Honey Roasted Peaches and Fresh Raspberries

Chocolate Pavlova (0009) by MeetaK  

Chocolate – decadent, rich, smooth and most definitely addictive. There are not many I know who do not succumb to the magical powers of chocolate. Over the last few years I’ve seen such an exciting boom in flavor pairings with chocolate that it really seems there are no limits to the delicious creations one can make using chocolate.  

The Daring Bakers’ challenge this month put a smile on my face for two reasons. One being I really enjoy a good pavlova as the variations are numerous and one can use seasonal fruit to create a lovely, eye-catching dessert. Two – it was a chocolate pavlova!

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.

Chocolate Pavlova Diptych (0007) by MeetaK

Although the recipe was different to the usual way I make pavlovas, I decided to stick to this recipe. I wanted to make a layered pavalova cake using some of the succulent summer fruit available at the markets.

Juicy, ripe and sweet peaches with a scattering of fresh ruby red raspberries to balance the chocolate richness was the way I decided to go with the challenge.

My CSA man had just made a lovely delivery of fruit and veggies and among other things the crate contained some incredible aromatic peaches. I was excited to get the work and experiment with them.

Peaches (0008) by MeetaK

I love roasted fruit and peaches and nectarines are so perfect for this method of cooking. One can create a stunning yet simple dessert within minutes.

For the pavlova I decided to roast the peaches, drizzled with some aromatic honey and infused with fresh thyme from the garden. Once cooled it would provide for a wonderful highlight to the final dessert.

Experience with the Daring Bakers has always shown that there are always enough leftovers for a few other dessert variations. I usually enjoy this as it often provides a second challenge to create other desserts using the same components of the main challenge. This time was no different.

Chocolate Pavlova (PREP) by MeetaK

I adjusted the recipe for the mascarpone cream, which uses a crème anglaise as a base. I just added the mascarpone to the crème anglaise and decided to leave the whipped cream away. My waistline would thank me late for this, I hoped.

This creamy sauce turned out to be absolutely delicious poured over the honey roasted peaches and made a perfect summer time dessert on its own. The chocolate mascarpone mousse, while rather dense, was great with a few fresh raspberries.

Peaches and Cream (003) Diptych by MeetaK

The challenge was fairly simple and straightforward. I did not have any trouble with the components and divided the entire challenge over three days due to the fact I did not have enough time this week to do the challenge in one go. It was less hectic and with a good plan I started with the crème anglaise. On the same day I also completed the chocolate mascarpone mousse. I used Bailey’s Cream instead of Grand Marnier and cinnamon instead of nutmeg for a slightly different flavor combination. Both creams were stored overnight in the refrigerator.

The next day I had just enough time to make and bake the meringues. As I was planning to make a layer cake, I decided to make 3 concentric circles. I like the slightly rustic look of pavlovas and shaped these free-handedly.

On the final day I completed the mascarpone cream, roasted the honey peaches and while they cooled, I assembled the pavlova cake. 

Chocolate Pavlova (0010) by MeetaK

Layers of crispy chocolaty meringue, slathered with thick, rich chocolate mascarpone mousse and a tangy scattering of raspberries make the bulk of this cake. It is then topped with soft, juicy, honey roasted peaches with a subtle aroma of thyme. Decadent!

The recipe below is with my adaptations of the recipe from Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.

Chocolate Pavlova with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse, Honey Roasted Peaches and Fresh Raspberries

Recipe Adapted from Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

Printable version of recipe here

Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova)

Ingredients

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) Dutch processed cocoa powder

Method

  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 might look like it will not happen, but if you fold gently 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. For the layer pavalova cake you’ll need 3 concentric circles.

  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.

Ingredients

Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base)

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 cinnamon
2 tbsp (30 mls) Bailey’s Irish Cream (Orange juice)

Method

  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 cinnamon in a bowl. Whip on low for a minute until the mascarpone is loose. Add the Bailye’s cream and whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks. Make sure not to 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.

Ingredients

Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling)

1 recipe crème anglaise (see recipe below)
½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone

Method

  1. Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and let the mixture cool.

Ingredients

Crème Anglaise

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

Method

  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.Care must be taken not to overcook the mixture.

  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.

Honey Roasted Peaches

Ingredients

4 ripe peaches, sliced in thicker wedges
3-4 tablespoons honey, use a good quality one with a flowery aroma
a few sprigs of fresh thyme

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

  2. In a bowl mix together all ingredients and transfer to an ovenproof baking dish.

  3. Roast fruit and honey for 15 minutes until fruit is softened and syrup is thick.

  4. Remove and allow to cool.

Additional:

2 punnets fresh raspberries 

Assembling the Pavlova

Either pipe the mousse onto the meringues or use a spatula to spread it over the meringue. Decorate with the fruit. If you are making the layered version then spread some of the mousse on the base meringue, scatter with raspberries then place the second meringue. Spread another mousse layer and then place the final meringue layer on top of this. To conclude spread with mousse, arrange the honey roasted peaches on top, then decorate with a few raspberries.

Just before serving drizzle some of the honey syrup and the mascarpone cream over the top.

Notes: You’ll definitely have leftovers with this. A great dessert idea is using the honey roasted peaches with syrup and drizzling some of the mascarpone cream over the top. It makes a lovely refreshing dessert. If you have some extra meringue leftover too, coarsely crunch it up and scatter over the top. 

 

 


Verdict

Chocolate Pavlova Empty Plate by MeetaK 

I was worried that the recipe would yield something more like a meringue rather than a traditional pavlova. Pavlovas are usually made with the addition of cornstarch, white vinegar to the egg whites and allows for a crispy shell, while the interior remains moist and gooey. As the cornstarch was missing in this recipe I suspected it would be more meringue-y. I decided to bake the meringue for just under 2 hours instead of going the full 3 hours. This resulted in a lovely moist interior – not 100% pavlova-like but close.

On the whole however, we totally succumbed to this dessert. I served it last week when Germany played Ghana (World Cup 2010 fever) to friends at a spontaneous BBQ. This my spontaneous dessert ;o). The crunchy meringues against the smooth and rich mousse paired so well with the sweet honey peaches, while the tanginess of the raspberries provided a lovely contrast to the entire sweetness on the dessert. The hint of thyme was perfectly subtle and added a great note to the fruity peaches.

Thank you to Dawn for selecting great and very addictive way to challenge us this month.     

More chocolaty Daring Bakers’ challenges from WFLH:

Chocolate Caramel Tart Danish Braid - Chocolate & Raspberries Dobos Torte with Quark Chocolate Mousse


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2010 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

60 comments :

  1. Oh Meeta! So decadent...a "pav" never looked so good! I love how you added the fruits and turned it into a masterpiece!

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  2. You pavlova cake looks splendid! I really like your summery take on the recipe. Gorgeous clicks too!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Absolutely delicious pairings - chocolate and raspberies are one of my favourite couples in the world. And of course, breathtaking photos as usual.

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  4. Decadent beyond belief, and entirely 'succumable'! Love how much you get from the DB challenges Meeta! Another winner here!

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  5. Wow Meeta! Your pavlova is awesome!

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  6. Such a beautiful looking pav! and your pictures are gorgeous as usual :)

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  7. Deeeeeeelicious Meeta and gorgeous to booth (but I don't expect anything less from you!). I tried to make a traditional Aussie pav too but mine weren't quite as gooey on the inside as they are supposed to be. I will def try again and might use the DB recipe and cook for a little less time like you did.

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  8. Stunningly beautiful and seductive. I can almost taste it myself. Love the analysis of texture between pavlova and meringue.

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  9. Beautiful. I will start baking after the game. Hopefully we will win against England.Your pictures are gorgeous.

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  10. Gorgeous picture of an equally gorgeous dessert. The raspberries look like beautiful jewels on it. Yum!

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  11. OMG!! One sensational look thing. I am feasting on your pictures Meeta.

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  12. So this was the "not much different" pavlova that you told me about. You've still managed to put your spin on it and I like it (like always!). :D
    That empty plate tells its own story.

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  13. Beautiful looking pavlova. I just bought some fresh NJ peaches at the farmers market, and now I know what to do with them!

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  14. Fantastic! A beautifully decorated and pictured dessert.

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  15. I think I just fell in love with this dessert. Honey roasted peaches? Fantastic. You did it again!

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  16. What a gorgeous dessert and stunning pics!

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  17. Wow i love how you have made them.Looks so beautiful. Double celebration i suppose there with the DB and with germany winning todays game. We never watch but was in in laws place and everyone was whooting there for germany so just sat there and watched with teh bunch .

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  18. Wow, I would like to jump through the screen!

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  19. Your pavs are beautiful, I am going to try another with some of your tips for a traditional pav.

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  20. Meeta, wonderful combination of tastes and images are gorgeous :) Well done on the challenge.

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  21. What a lovely, decadent creation, Meeta! I wish I'd seen this before my birthday or I might've made this for myself.

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  22. This looks so fantastic! I love the raspberries here too - this dessert has everything, crispy, airy, rich, and tart!

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  23. Pretty, pretty, pretty! I always love the verdict! Although I can't believe you left that one lonely little raspberry there!

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  24. They looks soooooo pretty. Amazing work and clicks. Well done on the challenge Meeta. Do drop in mine when you find time.

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  25. Oh my Meeta that is just so decadent !! Pavlova never look so rich and good n with all those fruits this ones a winner !

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  26. Thank you all so much for all your comments! Glad you are liking this version. Although not the perfect pavlova texture it was still very delicious! Hugs to all!

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  27. Simply gorgeous, Meeta! Love it with the honey roasted peaches which I want to try anyway. And they will obviously go so well with my leftover vanilla sauce. You always create something spectacular! I'm loving the layered pavlova!

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  28. Absolutely stunning!! I am a sucker for pavlova and I think maaaybe I still like the traditional one better but having said that yours looks amazing Meeta!!

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  29. What a gorgeous pavlova Meeta! Am absolutely loving it!

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  30. Meeta - your version, with all it's layered goodness is the best I've seen so far!

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  31. Wow Meeta that looks AMAZING! No wonder there was an empty plate at the end. Love the combination of textures and flavours. As always your pics are lovely.

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  32. That is a beautiful interpretation of the Challenge! The honey roasted peaches sound delicious!

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  33. WOW!!!!! that's amazing..... You're Nigella with a healthy twist... :) Bow Down to you....

    Cheers,
    The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
    Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

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  34. Not sure how I managed to miss your one, I always love your DB efforts - another stunner ^_^

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  35. Beautiful! Love the addition of roated peaches. Thanks for the welcome to DB!

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  36. This was my first attempt with pavlova... I thought it was more or less the same thing as meringue, but fortunately my pavlova remained gooey in the inside! Delicious!!!!
    I love the match with peaches, I love how they exalt chocolate flavour!
    Love your pics, as well, as always!!

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  37. Absolutely sensational,peaches and raspberries make such a gorgeous topping :D

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  38. I love the layered cake look! Yum! And the thyme with the peaches - what a lovely combo.

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  39. Love the simple styling, Meeta. haha.. yes I know DB always has extras.. I used my cream over fruits as well :)

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  40. Mine! Mine! Or rather my family; all of them! (Count me in for the roasted peaches ;))

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  41. GORGEOUS!! You did an AMAZING job on this challenge (no surprise :D). I also love the other variations you did.

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  42. Very beautiful and delicious! Chocolate pavlova is one of my favourite desserts.

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  43. I would love to make such a dessert. It looks scrumptious and decadent but also difficult to make :) Love the honey roasted peaches!
    Magda

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  44. What a clever, beautiful post. This post sets an example for every food blogger or aspirant food blogger: your recipe, your photographs and your writing are such a treat. Top marks to you, and I'll be back often to feast my eyes.

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  45. Beautiful clicks and good read. Love the freshness of this space. Best wishes.

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  46. Never tried roasting peaches...but you have inspired me to try. Love the addition of the thyme...I have some lemon thyme that would go well. Beautiful dessert, although hardly spontaneous :)

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  47. I would not have normally associated peaches and chocolate, but after reading your recipe and admiring the pics, I am totally convinced it is perfect; your meringue, thank god, is not too sweet! the cream has the zing of Bailey, yeah! and the peaches the extra honey and thyme; masterfully done Meeta (as usual)

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  48. Meeta..as if it was not enough to look at your beautiful pavlova via stunning photography, your descriptive write up made my mouth water even more. The honey roasted peaches with thyme is off the charts! Love how you recycyle leftover components of these challenges into new desserts. I usually end up throwing a lot out. However, this time I turned the leftover mascarpone cream into ice cream. Definitely a happy camper lol

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  49. Very nice! And your pictures are amazing. I ended up doing parfait cups instead on my baking experience. Very nice blog!

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  50. This is a masterpiece!!! Wonderful!!

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  51. Looks just great!! Another challenge masterfully completed. I didnt have time to do the challenge this time either - too busy with the World Cup!! Deutschland is doing well!!!

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  52. Your pavlova cake looks utterly splendid!!

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  53. That looks SPECTACULAR! Almost too beautiful to eat. Almost...

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  54. pavlova looks awesome!! wish we cld have a bite of this....

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  55. Beautiful pictures!! I agree....SPECTACULAR!!
    Chris Ann

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  56. OMG! I love your pics, recipes and your blog! Added you in my links! I discovered not so long ago the pavlova. Just an amazing dessert! crunchy outside, mellow inside, and an amazing topping/filling! I'll try your recipe next time! Have a nice day!

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  57. This may be the most beautiful cake I have ever seen. LOVE!

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Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.

Hugs
Meeta