pavlova with light chocolate meringue topped with dark chocolate mousse, kiwifruit, and candied mandarin oranges
The June 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Dawn from 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.
I've seen recipes and photos of pavlovas but have never eaten nor tried to make them. I love meringues whether they are crispy, soft, or mixed with ground nuts and it was good to find out that the Daring Bakers are challenged to make pavlovas.
I changed the original recipe using just a quarter of the cocoa powder, omitted the confectioner's sugar, and baked it for a little over 1 hour which is half the recommended baking hours. The meringues came out crispy but still a little soft inside. I liked it. The recipe also calls for a mascarpone sauce that has 6 eggs yolks but I thought it was too rich. I'm sorry Dawn for not making the sauce this time. I will make it for another dessert because it sounds absolutely divine.
I made another one with slightly more chocolaty meringue but made a lighter mousse. I topped the cake with sliced mango and blueberries. This one has a more pillowy interior. I liked it too.
This one is my favorite, a plain vanilla meringue shell topped with sweet strawberry halves and slightly sour sliced kiwifruit. I followed Audax's recipe which is very similar to the one in my British desserts cookbook. The shell has a crispy almost crackly exterior with soft marshmallow innards, is light as feather and has melt-in-your-mouth quality. Super-duper delicious!