Sunday, June 27, 2010

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Chocolate Pavolva

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 Epiohany by Francois Payard. 
A Pavlova is a meringue based dessert named after the Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova.  The dessert was created by a New Zealand chef to honor Pavlova when she visited that country as part of her 1926 world tour.  It’s still a popular dessert today, and often served at holiday meals.  
The meringue base of this dessert is traditionally decorated with a topping of whipped cream and fresh fruit.  The challenge called for a mascarpone mousse, however, I can no longer eat dairy products, so I dropped the mascarpone mousse and used a non dairy whipped cream recipe that I adapted from Hannah Kaminsky’s “Impossible Pies” E-Book.  You can check it out on her website Bittersweet
I’m also allergic to eggs, so I used an egg free meringue mix I bought on line some time ago for a french macaroon challenge, to make the base.  I added some cocoa powder to make a chocolate version.

The meringue mix comes in two parts.  The first part “A” is mixed with water and whipped and part “B” is mixed with sugar and then whipped into part “A”. (and then I added some cocoa powder)  You pipe it onto a cookie sheet and bake it at 210 degrees for 30 minutes.  It’s an expensive product but very good.

I made Hannah’s whipped cream recipe and then divided the finished product in half.  To one half I added cocoa powder and to the other half I added some fresh raspberries.  I piped the chocolate whipped “cream” on the meringue cookie and then a layer of raspberry whipped “cream”.  I topped each with a fresh raspberry from my garden.
These little gems were very tasty.  The cookie base was crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside and the whipped cream toppings were were just sweet enough without being overpowering.
[I apologize for not having more detailed pictures of my process but Mr. RK changed the settings on my camera and I didn’t notice it.  Most of my pictures came out really dark and unusable.]

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