I waited until the last minute with this one, but luckily it was pretty easy to do and it turned out well without much stress! I went with a bite sized version and served it to some close friends we had over for dinner last night. They were a little unsure of them and asked for a small one, but after one they asked for another and asked that I make it again some time!!! So I would have to say it's a hit.
Preparation time: The recipe can be made in one day although there are several steps involved.
- While the pavlovas are baking, the crème anglaise should be made which will take about 15 minutes.
- While it is cooling, the chocolate mascarpone mousse can be made which will take about 15 minutes.
- There will be a bit of a wait time for the mascarpone cream because of the cooling time for the Crème Anglaise.
- If you make the Crème Anglaise the day before, the dessert should take about 2 hours including cooking time for the pavlovas.
• Baking sheet(s) with parchment or silpat
• Several bowls
• Piping bag with pastry tip
• Hand or stand mixer
Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (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 two baking sheets with silpat or parchment and set aside.
-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.)
-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. I made some circles, zig zags and a couple of heart shapes.
-Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
Recipe 2: Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base):
1 ½ cups heavy cream
grated zest of 1 average sized lemon
9 ounces 72% chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiardelli Chocolate Chips)
1 2/3 cups mascarpone
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp 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 AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK.)
-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.
And here's my mousse piped on the meringue cookies
1 recipe crème anglaise
½ cup mascarpone
½ cup heavy cream
Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone 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.
Recipe 4: Crème Anglaise (a component of the Mascarpone Cream above):
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
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.
I ran into a little bit of a problem with the Mascarpone cream. Somehow I miscalculated how much heavy cream to purchase, so I wasn't able to add the whipped cream to the cream. But we just had a thicker cream on top.
I topped the Pavlovas with raspberries and bluberries before adding the cream.
Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas and drizzle with the mascarpone cream over the top. Dust with confectioner’s sugar and fresh fruit if desired.