Sunday, June 27, 2010

The Daring Bakers' June Challenge - 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. (Recipe HERE)

According to www.aussie-info.com, “In 1935, the chef of the Hotel Esplanade in Perth, Western Australia, Herbert Sachse, created the pavlova to celebrate the visit of the great Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova.” Since that time, the Pavlova has been adopted by the Aussies as a national dessert.

Pavlovas are made up of a meringue base with pastry cream or mousse mounded on top. They can be dressed up with fruit, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, or anything else the chef chooses. I made individual Pavlovas, but the typical Australian Pavlova is made in a cake pan and cut into individual servings.

“So,” you might be wondering, after looking at the photo above, “Where’s the chocolate in these chocolate Pavlovas?”

I honestly did start out following the recipe as assigned in this month's Daring Bakers’ Challenge, but my first attempt, sadly, went straight into the trash. Luckily, I had only made the meringues, so the loss wasn’t great. My chocolate flavored meringues came out as hard as hockey pucks. To bite one was to risk a broken tooth!

So, on my second try I decided to go all vanilla (which Dan and I prefer, anyway). I also adjusted the baking temperature and time for the meringues, and they baked up perfectly – a nice thin, crispy shell on the outside but still soft and "marshmallowy" on the inside.

Next was to cook up the pastry cream, which was so good I could have eaten the entire bowl all by itself. It was eggy and creamy and vanilla-y. I refrigerated the pastry cream until the next day. Then I folded in some whipped cream, which made it even more decadent, and piled dollops of the cream into the meringue shells.

I added fresh raspberries and kiwi, and poured a light apricot glaze over the fruit. To dress it up, I drizzled a raspberry sauce on the plate around the dessert and dusted it all with powdered sugar.


Our neighbors, Dave and Lorraine, happily agreed to help us consume my Pavlovas. They were a hit. Here's Dan enjoying a bite.

15 comments:

The Betz Family said...

Don't you love having neighbors who will come help you out by taking desserts off your hands! I love that I can bake something and then pawn it off to others so I don't overeat the sweets. Great job on the pavlova. I ended up doing a plain meringue but still went with a chocolate mousse. Nice job on the challenge!

Natalie... said...

oh wow i love the look of the pavlova you made, it looks so fresh and delicious yumm!
great job!

Pavithra said...

Wow wonderful job.. they looks gorgeous.. great work!!!

Aparna said...

Your pavlova looks so beautiful, Linda. The colourful fruit on white looks fantastic.

Its always good to have someone share the DB desserts. :)

Dragon said...

Stunning!

crumbsoflove said...

Your pavlova looks so light and creamy. Great job

chef_d said...

Very beautifully done, i love how you made your pavlova!

Audax said...

I loved how you invited the neighbours around of the spoils of your efforts. I think that your pavs look as terrific so elegant and I bet were delicious. Great job on this challenge. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

Renata said...

Perfect pavlova! Looks so delicious! I'm sure it's going to be unforgettable for your neighbors!

Marty said...

Chocolate or not, these look too delicious for words!

saylorkel said...

Mmm... pastry cream. Your pavs look great!

LittleRed said...

Your pavlova looks perfect. I did find the chocolate meringue a bit more difficult to judge the doneness of.....and in the end found the chocolate version not as pleasing to me as the lighter traditional version. Your pictures make me want to do it all over again without the chocolate:)

Nachiketa said...

the pav looks so awesome... am so jealous of ure neighbours...... :(

but honestly, they look stunning :)

cheers,
The Variable, Crazy Over Desserts - Nachiketa
Catch me on facebook @ Crazy Over Desserts

Lisa Michelle said...

Your pavlova caught my eye immediately in the DK forum..so beautiful and vibrant. Love the pastry cream filling. Fantastic job!

The Lost Romantic said...

Thank you, Linda. I am now officially 'following' your blog. I love how supportive everyone is on here. This is a new venture (using a blog to get my fiction on) for me. Any tips for this rookie blogger on how to get the word out there, etc., and build a fan base? I notice you've got a great one built up, so you obviously know what you're doing.