June 2010 – Daring Bakers’ Challenge

This months Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Dawn of Doable and Delicious. She challenged us to make Chocolate Pavlovas filled with Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse based on a recipe from Chocolate Epiphany by Francois Payard.

A challenge consisting of two chocolate based recipes? There was no way I was going to pass up this opportunity…

I hope you enjoy my version of this delicious dessert.

Chocolate Pavlova Shells

Chocolate Meringue

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) cocoa powder

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.

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.)

Cocoa Powder and Meringue
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.)

Chocolate Meringue for Pavlovas

Pavlovas Base
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 or spatula.

Chocolate Pavlova Shells
Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Pavlova Filling

Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse

1 cup heavy cream
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
8 ounces mascarpone cheese

Chocolate Mousse
Warm heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once warm remove from stove and pour chocolate chips, whisk until chocolate chips have melted and place in the refrigerator to chill.

Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse
Whip mascarpone on medium until soft peaks form, be carefull not to overwhip. Carefully fold the chilled heavy cream and chocolate mixture into the mascarpone.

Chocolate Pavlovas
Fill a pastry bag with the chocolate mousse and pipe onto the cooled pavlovas.

Chocolate Pavlovas topped with Kiwi Fruit
I topped my pavlovas with sliced kiwi fruit, and drizzled them with melted white chocolate. Deb’s version called for a mascarpone creme to be drizzled over the top of the pavlovas. But there was just too much craziness going around so shhh…I took a little shortcut.


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Please don’t judge, to tell you the truth… and I’m almost embarresed to admit it. I had no idea nor had I heard of Donna Hay, until Mardi from Eat Live Travel Write invited me to participate in this event – Hay Hay it’s Donna Day (HHDD).

Isn’t it funny as soon as someone points something out to you, you seem to come across it more often then ever before? Like a coworker’s bad habbit, or tick. You just hear white noise until someone point it out, then unfortunately it’s there… for ever present.

So, like I said I haddn’t heard of Donna Hay until just a couple of days ago. Then, just this week I was at Barnes and Noble, I made a quick stop just to pick up my daily Americano fix.

As I was browsing through their endless magazine racks in the, what else? Culinary section I stumpled upon, yep you guessed it. A Doona Hay magazine, I did a double take once I saw it and I was about to pick it up and browse through it when I heard my coffee order was ready.

I was running late and didn’t have time to look through it. I do however intend to go back and take a quick gander, becuase now I’m just intrigued ‘cmon I hear she is the “Australian” Martha Stewart?!?!

Before we move on to the recipe I would like to quickly thank Denise of Chez Us for being our facilitator and for keeping the HHDD tradition going. – Feel free to invite me anytime dessert is involved! :)

Donna Hay's Blackberry Cheesecake Pots

Mardi picked a great dessert for us to share with you, it’s quick, it’s easy, it’s tasty, and… it’s perfect for summer. So enjoy!

Donna Hay’s Blackberry Cheesecake Pots
adapted from


250 grams cream cheese
1/4 cup (55g) caster (superfine) sugar
1/4 cup (60ml) heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120 grams fresh blackberries, divided
8 biscotti, to serve


In a small bowl whip the heavy cream with a whisk attachment. In a medium bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar, whipped cream and vanilla extrack beat with paddle attachment or regular beaters until smooth.

Donna Hay's Blackberry Cheesecake Pots
Donna Hay's Blackberry Cheesecake Pots
Add half (60 grams) of the fresh black berries to the bowl and beat on medium speed until just crushed.

Spoon into 4 x ½ cup-capacity (125ml) dishes and refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.

Donna Hay's Blackberry Cheesecake Pots

Serve with the biscotti and the remaining (60 grams) of blackberries. Serves 4.

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