June 27, 2010

Pavlova With Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse, Mango And Vanilla Crème Anglaise: Daring Bakers Challenge, June 2010


Its Daring Bakers reveal time, again, and our challenge for this month was to make a dessert that’s a treat for chocolate lovers. This challenge was a bit unusual in that it didn’t call for any butter at all, but made up for that with some cream!

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-based dessert served as a cake, whose basic ingredients are egg whites, castor/ superfine sugar, cornstarch, white vinegar, whipped cream and soft fruit. Here, the characteristic texture of the meringue base should be crisp on the outside and soft and marshmallowy on the inside.





Both Australia and New Zealand claim the pavlova as their own, and there is also confusion regarding its actual origin/ creator. However, this dessert is generally credited to Bert Sasch, an Australian chef. He is supposed to have created it to honour the famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova when she toured Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.

We were required to make the meringue base (chocolate or plain), chocolate mascarpone mousse, mascarpone cream and crème anglaise. We had the choice of using our own recipes for the crème anglaise and of course, our presentation.
You can find the complete and detailed challenge on Dawn’s blog.



My Pavlova:


The Meringue Base:

Meringues are something my egg disliking daughter loves, so I do keep making them on and off. I’ve made Meringue Cookies and Nut Meringue Cookies before and this time I made some mini-meringue cookies also.
I needed to serve dessert for five, so I made five 2 1/2" meringue nests and used the rest of the egg white batter to make the cookies.




Meringues are quite easy to make, but you just need to have very, very clean bowls and beaters to start with. It also helps tremendously if you don’t have any sort of humidity to contend with as the meringues tend to draw moisture and become soft and sticky.

Right now it’s the monsoon season, here in India, and this is definitely not the best time to successfully bake meringues. So, for a change, I actually did this challenge early in the month before the rains set in.

I made small single serve sized meringue nests, and chose to keep them plain. I do love chocolate but it seemed to me that chocolate in the meringue and the mousse would be over kill.

We do prefer our meringues (in anything including pavlova) to be completely dry and crisp as opposed to marshmallowy inside, so that’s the way I cooked mine.
My meringues were done in an hour and quarter.

The Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse:

I used home-made mascarpone for my mousse. My changes were using 25% cream (what we get here), semi-sweet chocolate (the only kind I get here and I don’t know what % chocolate it has!), and not using Grand Marnier/ orange juice. This was because we don’t use alcohol and I didn’t think orange juice would pair up well with mangoes which I was going to add to my pavlova.

This mascarpone mousse is not very sweet which is a good thing in this dessert, and it sets very well and is very easy to pipe into designs.
The leftover chocolate mascarpone mousse made the perfect topping to these German Chocolate Cupcakes of mine.


The Mascarpone Cream And Vanilla Crème Anglaise:


I deviated slightly from the challenge requirement here and didn’t make the mascarpone cream. The dessert was already rich enough for me and since there already was mascarpone in the mousse, I decided to leave it out. I added some chopped fresh mango instead over the mousse, before adding the crème anglaise.

Summer in India means that we get a wonderful variety of some the sweetest and best mangoes in the world, and as far as we are concerned there can never be “too much” of it. So it was a foregone conclusion that there was going to be mango in my pavlova.

For the crème anglaise (a dessert custard sauce of pouring consistency), I made an eggless vanilla custard sauce using vanilla custard powder, sugar and milk.




Verdict:


On the whole, I didn’t really find this pavlova challenging because I have made all the elements, including a different chocolate mascarpone mousse, before.
Like many of our earlier challenges, this is one dessert where the elements can be made slightly ahead of time and then put together before serving.

Meringues are naturally on the sweeter side, though you can reduce that a bit by adding cocoa powder to make a chocolate meringue. In this recipe the chocolate mascarpone mousse balances that out and you can always adjust the sugar in your crème anglaise, if sweetness is an issue.

There is something satisfying about the slight crunch of the meringue, the creamy smooth richness of the mousse, fresh moist sweetness of the fruit and the crème anglaise completes this dessert.
I am someone who is not very fond of meringue, yet this is one dessert where I think I don't mind it.

I think a pavlova (made with whatever your flavour preferences might be), is something to keep in one’s stock of desserts to serve whether there is company or not. It is easy enough to make, light in texture, and a great way to showcase seasonal fruit.

You can find all the other beautiful Pavlovian creations (I’ve had a preview so you can trust me on this) on the Daring Baker blogs. Don’t miss them.


52 comments:

sasasunakku said...

Beautiful Aparna! Like you, I didn't find it that challenging but I've never liked meringue and this might have changed my mind...

lata raja said...

Amazing pictures...you have created magic there!

Audax said...

Aparna those pictures are wondrous so professional. I just love the fresh fruit on top and yes you are right pavlovas are a great way to show off seasonal fruit. Superb effort on this challenge, kudos to you. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Marcellina said...

Beautiful pavlovas, Aparna! Your mousse is so smooth! I love it! I put a link on my post back to yours because I loved this so much! I hope you don't mind.

shaz said...

Just beautiful Aparna! The piped chocolate mousse looks perfectly done, you've made me wish it was mango season again.

Deeba PAB said...

Your pavs are utterly gorgeous Aparna. Well done with the challenge!

Cakelaw said...

Your pavlovas turned out great Aparna - your presenation is fabulous.

Happy Cook said...

Love the fruits on top and looks yumm. I still have to write my post, had a very busy weekend.

bakingrush said...

Your pavlova looks so light and delicious.(your blog looks amizing too)

Big hugs

ana

chef_d said...

Very pretty! I love the meringue cookies, they look so good! I love the mangoes on your gorgeous pavlovas!

Priya said...

lovely ...looks awesome :)

ap269 said...

Beautiful! I love the mango pieces on top - looks so refreshing!

outoftheoven said...

Your pavlovas look gorgeous! I love the contrast of the mangoes and chocolate.

BangaloreBaker said...

Beautiful presentation. I just joined the daring bakers, but still it is not approved or whatever they call them. I would've loved to make these.

anjelikuh said...

Mangoes sound like a lovely topping for pavlovas! And yours look amazing. Even the little piped meringues look perfect, great job!

tease-spoon of sugar said...

Your presentation is outstanding! So beautiful. I love the addition of mangos, I would have loved to use them too but ours are usually dry and quite woody. : ( I agree with you about how the different components balance each other out. I am so impressed with yours!

Linda V said...

I also enjoyed the contrasting textures of the dessert. I am sure the mango added a wonderful extra element, I adore them when it is summer here in Australia. Along with passionfruit they are the perfect pavlova topping. Beautiful work.

Priya (Yallapantula) Mitharwal said...

Wow, looks wonderful, they look sooooooooooo cute :)

Natalie... said...

Wow once again your finished product is so elegant and pretty, your addition of mango sounds delicious! Yumm!

Renata said...

Lovely pavs! Your mousse is so silky! Love the mangoes, must've matched deliciously with the chocolate. Thanks for your lovely comment on my post!

sadaf said...

wow so cute looking pavs

simply.food said...

Beautiful clicks and I am drooling over your dessert.

Laura said...

Really beautiful. Love the idea of mango with this.

Mary said...

Your pavlovas look fantastic, and I bet the mango was the perfect accompaniment. I'm a bit jealous thinking of all the perfect mangos! Beautiful photos.
:)

Katie said...

How wonderful to top it with chopped mango. We are in the depths of winter here and I am now desperately craving juicy sweet mangos when I can't get my hands on them!! Great work and beautiful styling :)

Maranda said...

Your pavlova is gorgeous! I love that you used a seasonal fruit and didn't go heavy on the chocolate. Great job on this challenge!

Chef Dennis said...

your pavlovas look incredibly delicious!! picture perfect!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

wonderful job Aparna! :D Yes it was quite easy but then again I love any chance to eat pavlova :D

Pavithra said...

Aparna u have done it beautifully.. wonderful work...

crumbsoflove said...

Beautiful work. The fruit looks so ripe and luscious!

anchan said...

Wow, Aparna, they look amazing - beautifully presented! I was worried about the humidity here in Japan, too, but happily it wasn't a problem! xxx

Jamie said...

Ha ha I laughed because my husband won't eat the meringues! And I also changed the flavor of the meringues to something lighter. Yours are just beautiful!

Memória said...

Wow. Your pavlovas look amazing. I love the color on them and how you adorned them so creatively. Great job!

Namratha said...

Mango vanilla creme anglaise definitely sounds very inviting.. gorgeous pavlovas!

Namratha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nachiketa said...

totally amazing looking stuff... :)

i used mango too :)

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

Shaheen {The Purple Foodie} said...

I miss being a Daring Baker! Your pavlovas look lovely.

Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Wow A, your pavlovas look beautiful!! So summery :)

pigpigscorner said...

Very impressive! Love the mangoes!

Tasty Eats At Home said...

I love your use of mangoes! It's so gorgeous.

Cynthia said...

Sorry for only now getting back to you with the rum-soaked fruit thingy. Yes, you can use apple or orange juice to make your blended fruits.

Umm Mymoonah said...

Your pavlova looks too good, very nice pictures.

Maggie said...

Great job! My son loves little meringue cookies too.

Satya said...

Hi Aparna,

Your pavlova looks simply fabulous... first time to your blog and you have a lovely collection of recipes....

i am vegetarian too and sometimes i do have egg ... i feel suprised when people how vegetarians can survive in this world... in fact why not : )

if you get time do visit my blog
http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

Faery said...

Wow your pavlovas are gorgeous and they look so, so yummy. I though about guava shells or mago but they are not in season here so I bought a can of peach

Asha @ FSK said...

hehe.. I was thinking of using mangoes too...great minds ;-)) but changed to bananas :)

btw, perhaps your daughter doesn't like the flavor of the yolks in eggs. She'll probably like stuff made with just the whites..

bake in paris said...

It is the mango season everywhere, seems to be that way :-) Just enjoyed the part where all the color just gel so well and beautifully in your pavlova. So amazed by the glossiness of your mousse, so pleasant to the eyes!

And yes, thank you so much for participating in June DMBLGIT!

Sawadee from Bangkok,
Kris

sra said...

can't help but be blown away by your pics each time, Aparna!

oggi said...

I love the way you arranged your mango pieces and mousse. Very pretty!

Lisa said...

Aparna - those pavlovas are gorgeous and I love that you made meringue cookies too. I found some amazing mangos at the market that are really small and called champagne mangos - they are the sweetest mangos I have ever tasted..like candy! Hopefully you can find them near you :) Using mango in the mascarpone cream was delicious genius!

Aparna said...

Thanks for reading my post and all your lovely comments.

Junglefrog said...

Wow, those look seriously good! I've only made a pavlova once up till now so I would have liked to make this challenge but well, holiday was fabulous too! I am still catching up after coming back and missed quite a lot of great DB posts!