Part 1 - Dark Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
Part 2- Creme Anglaise
Part 3 - Mascarpone Creme
Part 4 - Chocolate Meringue bases
If you are making the Mascarpone cheese, then do so at least three days in advance. You will need at least 2 1/2 recipes worth as each recipe makes only 12 oz (you might have a little left over). I made mascarpone for a previous challenge and for this one, and I can assure you it is very easy and is very cost effective. Please click here for more info. If you're getting store bought mascarpone, you're all set!
You can make all parts of the challenge up to two days in advance. Just make sure you don't assemble the pavlovas more than a couple of hours before presentation.
Part 1: Dark Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse:
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream (cream with a milk fat content of between 36 and 40 percent)
- grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
- 9 ounces 72% chocolate, chopped
- 1 2/3 cups mascarpone
- pinch of nutmeg
- 2 tbsp Grand Marnier (or orange juice)
- Put ½ cup 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.
- 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, mascarpone will separate).
- 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 OR you could just free form mousse on top of the pavlova.
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 vanilla bean, split or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 6 large egg yolks
- 6 tbsp sugar
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow.
- Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.
- 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.
- 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.
- 1 recipe crème anglaise
- ½ cup mascarpone
- 2 tbsp Grand Marnier
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Grand Marnier and let the mixture cool.
- Add cream in a separate bowl and beat until very soft peaks are formed.
- Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture.
Part 4: Chocolate Meringue bases (for the chocolate Pavlova):
- 3 large egg whites
- ½ cup plus 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
- ¼ cup confectioner’s (icing) sugar
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 200º F (95º C) degrees. Line one jellypan a regular 9”x13” sheet with parchment paper.
- 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.)
- 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.)
- Just spoon in the meringue into the jelly pan. Moisten your fingers with cold water and smoothen the top. Its much harder to smoothen with your spoon.
- Bake for 45 minutes, Initially I baked for an hour and it crumbled and cracked too much and thus did
not roll. Then I baked another one (a vanilla one) at 35 minutes, but that turned out to be too soft and completely collapsed. Unfortunately I couldn’t finish my experiment as I ran out of eggs and you can't have meringue without eggs! So for those who are brave enough to try the meringue/pavlova roll, I would highly suggest baking at 45-50 minutes. At such low temperatures, oven variations and peculiarities really matter and can make or literally break your meringue. Based on your oven’s peculiarities, the baking might vary you will be the ultimate judge of that. Obviously if you don’t want to do the pavlova roll at all, and are fine with making free form meringue bases, then just bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Since I had made two versions, I decided to go with the 'safer' cooked version of the chocolate meringue base (baked for 1 hour). See in the below pic how the vanilla version is ridiculously soft?