Considering how often I usually post here, it sure has been a while since I've had time to put anything up. Or cook anything for that matter. I've got a few recipes on the back burner until theyre perfected but otherwise, its been quite the busy week.
I spent a few days in Atlanta with two of my sisters and ever since we got back I have been working almost nonstop. Literally. But, here I am with a few hours to spare and before I take the biggest nap that this world has ever seen, I figured I'd post my very first daring bakers challenge. My apologies if this post is not particularly interesting, as my brain has lost most of its operating ability.
I have to be honest, I've never been particularly intrigued by pavlova. After this challenge, I think I might like to think about it more often but I have to say that this mousse was far too rich. A small dollop would definitely have been enough.
My notes are as follows: I definitely prefer the freeform method as far as shaping the pavlova is concerned. I would definitely make the pavlovas and the creme anglaise again, but not so much the mousse
Anyway. Recipe: 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
Recipe 1: Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):
3 large egg whites 1⁄2 cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) white granulated sugar 1⁄4 cup (30 grams) confectioner’s (icing) sugar 1/3 cup (30 grams) Dutch processed cocoa powder
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 looks like it will not happen. Fold gently and 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. (Class made rounds, hearts, diamonds and an attempt at a clover was made!) 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.
Recipe 2: Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (for the top of the Pavlova base):
1 1⁄2 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 nutmeg 2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier (or orange juice)
1. Put 1⁄2 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 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.) 3. Mix about 1⁄4 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.
Recipe 3: Mascarpone Cream (for drizzling):
1 recipe crème anglaise 1⁄2 cup (120 mls) mascarpone 2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional) 1⁄2 cup (120 mls) heavy cream
1. Prepare the crème anglaise. Slowly whisk in the mascarpone and the Sambucca 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 (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
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 1⁄2 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. 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. Assembly: 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.
I am a learn-o-phile with a penchant for all things domestic. I love, first and foremost the muppets and then, among other things (and not in any particular order), classic horror movies, fresh basil, citrus fruits, garlic, lace, staying up later than most sane people would consider, dancing in my kitchen to the sounds of billie and ella, dancing in empty old man bars to sam cooke, high heels (although the chance to wear the many pairs I own comes only in a blue moon), string quartets, whispering, brown sugar, ginger, aprons, the green mill on a lazy sunday night, spinach, drawing, swings, lyonel feininger, souffles, red lighting, indonesian culinary delights, used book stores, making things from scratch, classic cartoons, growing herbs, thrift stores, farmers markets, lemongrass, biking on a sunny 70-degree day, thunderstorms, fresh mozzarella, feeling like a kid, and finding ways to cook healthy delicious meals that both I and my live-in boyfriend can enjoy despite our conflicting tastes. (without excluding the occasional way too indulgent dessert)