Daring Bakers: Chocolate Pavlovas with White Chocolate Mousse and Strawberries

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.

Originally, this recipe didn’t sound summery enough to me.  Chocolate upon chocolate just seemed a bit heavy and rich to serve in June.  However, the chocolate pavlovas are wonderful and light.  I made white chocolate mousse and served it with sliced strawberries.  I was very pleased with the results and found this to be a lovely dessert.

Take the time to make the mascarpone cream.  It tastes divine drizzled on the desserts, and it also delicious eaten like soup…soup that tastes like melted ice cream.  Yum.

This could be done in a day, but I opted for the  two day option just to make like a little less hectic.

Day 1: Make pavlovas and creme anglaise.  Store the pavlovas in an airtight container and let the creme cool in the fridge.

Day 2: Make the chocolate mousse, and use your reserved creme anglaise to make the mascarpone cream.  Then assemble your desserts.

Once assembled and ready to serve, this is quite an impressive dessert.  It has a few components, but they are all worth the time and effort.  I brought this to a friends for a little dinner party, and so I had to have everything prepped and ready about 3 hours before we actually ate the desserts.  I was a little worried about how the mousse and cream would hold up in the fridge.  Thankfully, everything was perfect and the mousse was easier to scoop after being chilled.

The combination of the crunchy pavlovas, creamy and rich white chocolate mousse, sweet, fresh strawberries and indescribable mascarpone cream makes for quite a dessert.

Make the Pavlova Batter

Pipe and Bake the Pavlovas

Make the Creme Anglaise (photo courtesy of Daring Bakers)

Make the White Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

Make the Mascarpone Cream (photo courtesy of Daring Bakers)

Assemble and Enjoy

Here are the recipes.

Chocolate Meringue (for the chocolate Pavlova):


  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ cup plus 1 tbsp (110 grams) white granulated sugar
  • ¼ 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.
  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.
White Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse


  • 1 ½ 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) white chocolate, chopped
  • 1 2/3 cups (390 mls) mascarpone
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp (30 mls) Grand Marnier (optional)
  1. Put ½ 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 ¼ 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.
Creme Angliase
  • 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 ½ 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.
Mascarpone Cream


  • 1 recipe crème anglaise
  • ½ cup (120 mls) mascarpone
  • 2 tbsp (30 mls) Sambucca (optional)
  • ½ 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.
  2. Fold the cream into the mascarpone mixture until smooth.


  1. Pipe or scoop the mousse onto the pavlovas.
  2. Top with fruit is desired.
  3. Drizzle the mascarpone cream over the top.
  4. Dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired.