{Daring Bakers/Baking} Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse & Preserved Stone Fruit

“To follow without halt, one aim; there is the secret of success. And success? What is it? I do not find it in the applause of the theater. It lies rather in the satisfaction of accomplishment.”
Anna 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.
It’s the Daring Bakers time of the month again, and I’ve just got it together in the nick of time. The challenge Dawn chose is primarily based on a recipe from Chocolate Epiphany by Francois PayardChocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse. Chocolate Epiphany a book on my wish-list, and the name of the recipe so delicious, I was thrilled to see the challenge. What’s not to love about a chocolate pavlova!!
   

Pavlova is a meringue-based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Ánna Pávlova. Colloquially referred to as “pav“, it is a cake similar to meringue with a crispy crust and soft, light inner. The dessert is believed to have been created to honour the dancer during or after one of her tours to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s.

It’s become some sort of a norm for me to usually get the DB challenge done early. I used to procrastinate for long before, but the last few challenges have had me up and going in the first week or so. Not this time though. It’s been a busy month, and I just didn’t get down to it. We were away into the Himalayas in the first week of June, then came the boys birthday, and then the hub came down with the nasty tummy virus. A potent combination of baking and blogging just not happening, but all the time I had chocolate pavlovas on my mind. Whether it was in Gangtok climbing the hills to get to the monastery, or baking a  Swiss Black Forest Cake for the son wondering if I could pass off a pavlova as a birthday cake, or the 3 days I spent in the hospital with Mr PAB who was not looking too good, strangely enough, all along I had Chocolate Pavlova fixation!
I’ve made Tropical Fruit Pavlova earlier from INDULGE – 100 Perfect Desserts by Claire Clark for a Blogger Aid fund raiser. That had been my first attempt and at the time I had wondered why it took me so long to get there. Many desserts later, I was thrilled to see this months choice for the challenge, chocolate pavlovas, something I’ve wanted to try forever! I didn’t get as far as the creme anglaise and mascarpone cream because of the lack of time. Also because it’s been far too hot in North India, and anything with a cream base just tends to run in seconds. I managed to stabilise my mousse with some gelatin, and that too barely. At 44C, nothing stays!!

In an attempt to keep it as light and refreshing as possible, I topped the stabilised mousse with a combination of preserved stone fruit. As time goes by, I seem to add more and more ‘passions to my list. I am completely taken in by food photography, and also mad about preserving stone fruit, thanks to some jars I found in the market. Jars of the sort are not part of normal kitchen stuff available in India, so you could hear me whooping down the aisle! The past month has seem me in a frenzy pitting cherries and stoning peaches and apricots! I made a jar of brandied burgundy cherries from notes in The Cake Bible, and then went on to preserve a jar of regular cherries and peaches to make the most of the summer bounty! I was thrilled to be able to use them here, as Mr PAB couldn’t stop having a go at them!
All in all, a delectable summer combination. Chocolate and cherries offered the classic combination, and mascarpone chocolate mousse just made it better. For the record, I need to add that mascarpone doesn’t freeze well, at least not my homemade mascarpone. I made some a while ago and decided to freeze it before we left for Gangtok as I thought I would use it for the pavlovas. Ack. .. was strange and granular on defrosting when I returned, so I made a fresh batch from my post here. Nothing as simple and good as home made fresh mascarpone! Also, just for the record, a power cut doesn’t affect the baking of a meringue base. I know because the minute I popped the meringues into the oven… POP… off went the electricity for an hour!

I did have a bit of a time with the weather very hot at 44C, and so couldn’t get my mousse to behave. Once I managed to stabilise the mousse, the rest was FUN FUN FUN!! Thank you Dawn for something so ‘doable‘, and something so utterly divine! We loved it to the last crumb!! Thank you as always Lisa of La Mia Cucina and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!!

Chocolate Pavlovas with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse, Brandied Cherries and Peaches
Recipe Source: Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard

Chocolate Meringue {for the chocolate Pavlova}
3 large egg whites
½ cup plus 1 tbsp white granulated sugar
¼ cup confectioner’s sugar {I powdered 1/4 cup sugar with 1 tsp cornflour}

1/3 cup cocoa powder
Method:
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 95º C. Line one baking sheet with 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.
Fill a pastry bag with the meringue. Pipe the meringue into 6 rounds or 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 6, but 8 would have been a good serving size too}

Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
300gms mascarpone cheese {homemade recipe here}
200gms dark chocolate
1/4 cup low fat cream
1 tsp gelatin powder
2tbsp milk
Method:
Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk in a small bowl, and  place the bowl in a larger bowl of warm water till translucent.
Run the dark chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 1-2 minutes until soft. Add the cream, and run for another 20 seconds. Mix till well blended and let sit at room temperature until cool.
Whisk the mascarpone until smooth.{DO NOT OVER-BEAT AS THE MASCARPONE WILL BREAK}. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture gently.
Mix about ¼ of the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate to lighten. Fold in the remaining mascarpone until well incorporated. Add the gelatin quickly, but gently, and mix uniformly. Chill till holds form.
Spoon or pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas. Top with brandied burgundy cherries, peaches and cherries in syrup, and chocolate flakes.
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥
Do stop by HERE and take a look at the marvelous pavlovas the rest of the talented daring Bakers have whipped up this month.
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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India

As I sign off, just a reminder for a giveaway I am hosting courtesy of CSN Stores. On offer is a one-time-use $80 gift certificate for one lucky winner to use as they wish on any of the CSN websites. Do leave a comment HERE if you wish to take part.
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Comments

  1. Sarah, Maison Cupcake says:

    They look gorgeous Deeba, I'm still in the midst of doing mine, likely to post on Monday. It's the first time I've made creme anglais successfully and I'm a big fan!

  2. Dragon says:

    Beautiful…I want mine to look as good as yours. Wish me luck!

  3. Linda V says:

    Marvelous photography it's a passion that is paying off and what a lovely addition you made to the challenge with the stone fruit.

  4. Cool Lassi(e) says:

    Gorgeous picture of an equally gorgeous dessert. The blazing heat and power cuts didn't seem to deter you from whipping this bit of deliciousness. Awesome job, as always!

  5. bunkycooks says:

    These are absolutely beautiful photos, Deeba! Congrats on great success with the chocolate pavlovas! I hope all is well again with you. I started my challenge today…it will be an interesting post!

  6. Gorgeous! Love the chocolate-cherry combo! Yum. :)

  7. Carolyn™ says:

    Such wonderful photos and I bet they taste great too. My family would love these.

  8. Foodessa says:

    Mother…Photographer…Baker extraordinaire…Is there anything you can't do?
    I can truly see that you did have fun with this elegant dessert…albeit the small frustration dealing with that pesky ongoing heat.
    Great challenge and all I can say is Brava…Brava!!!
    Ciao for now, Claudia

  9. Marcellina says:

    Chocolate and cherries! Mmmmm, that sounds and looks fantastic! Your mousse is so smooth! Your brandied cherries look devine no wonder Mr PAB couldn't stop! Beautiful as ever!

  10. Such fabulous and professional photographs they are so water mouthing and colourful. Making pav's in 44C is stunning well done.

    Your mini-pav's look perfect to me (they do crack and sink a little and that is totally normal).

    Cherries and chocolate – so inspired. Kudos to you.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  11. zurin says:

    gorgeous as always. I wld have crumbled if the electricity went off just as I was a bout to bake for a DB challenge. glad it didnt affect the pav or you ! youre a brave soul :)

  12. Pavithra says:

    Gorgeous it looks and looks awesome with fruits.. Wonderful pictures as well. Hope everything is fine at your place now.

  13. Looks fantastic, and the preserved fruits sound delicious!

  14. Maranda says:

    Ummmm…all I can say is: WOW! Your pictures are stunning. Your pavlovas look perfect. Your preserved fruit looks delicious! Great job on this challenge. I'm extremely impressed with you!

  15. Jamie says:

    Yum! Yours are perfect, as usual, and chocolate with cherries is a favorite combination. Always stunning, my lovely friend! And kudos to you for baking in that heat!

  16. The Betz Family says:

    Those look amazing! Love the stone fruit in the jars and your photography! Great job on the challenge, Deeba, and hopefully life has slowed down a bit for you now.

  17. Cherine says:

    Beautiful photos!! Great job!

  18. Hi.

    Just wanted to let you know I added a link to you in my Cooking frenzy blog post.
    http://happyhangaround.com/2010/06/27/the-cooking-frenzy/

    Enjoy!

  19. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite says:

    Gorgeous as usual Deeba! I love the twist with the fruit. Me? I changed mine up A LOT (umm, kinda as usual!) because I wanted to try to recreate the pavs from my childhood. I didn't quite make it but it was delicious. That last picture reminds me of some of my failed macs – maybe I should just be topping them all with mousse and calling them mini pavs!!

  20. Aparna says:

    Even as a last minute effort, they look gorgeous. And I'd say your husband got the cherries in the end, anyways. :)

  21. Oh Deeba, your photos are just so beautiful, I love feasting my eyes on them. The colours of the cherries against the chocolate pavlovas, all too gorgeous. Well done on such a stunning job even at the last minute.

  22. chef_d says:

    Wow, you take the most gorgeous pictures! I always look forward to your posts! Your pavlovas look gorgeous and the preserved fruits are beautiful. Excellent job as always!

  23. sasasunakku says:

    Lovely pavs Deeba – I admire you soldiering on despite the temperature! It's cool how different everyone's look despite being the same actual recipe.

  24. Happy Cook says:

    Hats off to you Deeba for having the courage to bake this on 44°c. Looksreally yummlicious.

  25. Yasmeen says:

    The preserved fruit must be an excellent topping,love the richness of chocolate :D

  26. SMITH BITES says:

    Can I just say WOW!! My first time to visit your site and this is what I find – beautiful! And I am completely smitten with your preserved fruit!!

  27. bakingit says:

    As usual your food is presented just beautifully. Well done on the challenge :)

  28. poonam,,, says:

    Ur pavs look so pretty!! and I love love love ur pictures :)))

  29. ap269 says:

    Beautiful pictures, scrumptious pavlova. GREAT job on the challenge, Deeba! Kudos!

  30. Chantel says:

    Just beautiful! This is the first time I've seen your site, I will be spending some more time here!

  31. pragmaticattic says:

    Wonderful photography and luscious looking pavlovas. I just got some sour cherries from the farmers market and you have given me some great ideas how to preserve them! Thanks, Deeba!

  32. Lolah says:

    Hi Deeba, thanks for your words in my blog. I follow yours since a long time, you are a great inspiration for my.
    Your Pavlovas are beautiful, I like your preserved fruits.
    Sorry for my english…I'm learning it.
    A kiss from Spain.

  33. anjelikuh says:

    SORRY DEEBA!! i just realized i wrote the wrong comment on your post! I'm getting a little bit too excited looking through everyone's challenge that i have so many browsers and windows open–got me confused :( SORRY once again.

    Your pavlova looks amazing, and i just wanted to say that your idea of cherries and peaches are a great pairing! And i can't believe it's 44C over there, sheeeesh, i guess i'll stop complaining about the heat where i'm at. You did a wonderful job, and great photography!

  34. I think you did a great job, despite the heat. The preserved fruits look delicius!

  35. Natalie... says:

    Oh wow your pavlovas look delicious!! Yumm! Great job on this mnths challenge, elegant and gorgeous as always!

  36. sadaf says:

    i love these cracks on your meringue the actuall pav should look like this well done as usuall
    your blog is so inspiring
    keep writing and sharing

  37. Natalie says:

    Deeba, they are adorable.. and not even the heat could stop you :)
    I love the little cracks on the pavlovas…

  38. Barbara Bakes says:

    What gorgeous fruit preserves. I love your flavor combination. What's not to love about chocolates and cherries.

  39. These look so good!! But then, u make everything look so inviting Deeba!! Hope Mr.PAB is fine now..yeah,I too get baking thoughts in my mind at the most inappropriate of times :-))

  40. Cakelaw says:

    I love all of these gorgeous preserved stone fruits on your pavs – they look wonderful.

  41. Karen @ Citrus and Candy says:

    There's something so warming and almost autumn-like about your pavlovas – the fruits and photos just look so comforting. Even though you are enduring scorching heat! I can't imagine doing anything while it's 44°C much less baking so a thousand kudos to you! :D

  42. crumbsoflove says:

    I think you did a great job. Your stone fruit looks so pretty and your pictures just keep getting better

  43. MeetaK says:

    oh deeba the preserved stone fruits look sensational on their own. but with the pavs they are mind blowing. lovely take on the challenge my friend!

  44. sunita says:

    Deeba, your pavs look gorgeous; considering the odds, you've done really well !

  45. Eliana says:

    Every part of this dessert looks absolutely wonderful (as with everything else you do).

  46. Nachiketa says:

    Ure really the QUEEN of my heart…. totally amazing stuff despite all the obstacles in the way…. :)

    Hope vineet's better now…

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

  47. Simply...Gluten-free says:

    Beautiful! Love that fruit on top. This was my first DB challenge, it was fun to participate.

  48. Juls @ Juls' Kitchen says:

    Deeba I'm impressed! Stoned fruit is a great idea to freshen up this chocolate pavlova!
    Stunning!

  49. Bonnie says:

    I love pavlovas! The stone fruits in the jar are so beautiful. I find it so rewarding to be able to put up preserves or fruit to enjoy later. Just something about the process is so fun. Would you be posting a recipe about the fruit?

  50. Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] says:

    Your pavs look delicious, D!! Were these better than the previous ones you've made?

  51. Patty says:

    Oh My Oh My Oh My!!! Stunning looking pavlovas and beautiful pictures!

  52. They looks so perfect. The fruit is a great addition!

  53. Magdalena says:

    Oh my God that looks amazing ! And so much work with pictures, so many of them ! Your are a hard worker, chapeau bas !

  54. Renata says:

    Stunning photos! Your Pavlovas are wonderful with the cherries!

  55. Asha @ FSK says:

    beautiful creations Deeba.. love the multicolored fruits on top! :) so cheerful!

  56. bake in paris says:

    I agree, the chocolate and cherry makes a good combination, just simply look at what you have created, so colourful and your pictures are pleasant to the eyes :-)

    Sawadee from Bangkok,
    Kris

  57. Nicisme says:

    Great combo and fabulous photos! The meringue looks so chocolatey and really crisp, but chewy at the same time. Well done Deeba!

  58. Anonymous says:

    wonderful site !!!
    It may sound stupid but what is the approx size of your cup? I know it would probably be a measuring glass but they too come in variety of sizes…

  59. Tangled Noodle says:

    Dear, your food photography skills and ability to beautifully preserve fruits, then putting it all together, are second to none! So sorry it's been such a hectic time for you; I hope that Mr. PAB is feeling much better and that your days, much like your mousse, are now more stabilized! 8-D

  60. Barbara says:

    Love the idea of stone fruit on top of your pavlova! Such a gorgeous presentation..and you did a beautiful job with this challenge.

  61. I know you would do a fab job! See, I'm right! :D

  62. saylorkel says:

    Mmm… looks good!

  63. Maria Beatrix says:

    Extremelly beautiful pavlovas. Loved it. Congratulations

  64. Lovely combination!

  65. FamilySpice says:

    What can I add that hasn't been mentioned above?!!! Wonderfully done, again! You are extremely talented and you give me a lot of inspiration.

  66. Lisa Michelle says:

    Deeba..your pavlovas are absolutely beautiful! I love that you used your own burgundied cherries and preserved cherries and peaches to top them. I would love to know your method for the cherries and peaches!

  67. Su-Lin says:

    These chocolate pavlovas look amazing! I love how they look like little nests!

  68. Junglefrog says:

    Your chocolate pavlova's look amazing! And so totally delicious that I am definitely going to make this at some point in the very very near future… ( but I do hear myself say that far too often… never a good sign..lol)

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  70. Jessica says:

    Beautiful work! How did you preserve your peaches and cherries?

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