Just back from vacation… there was a lot of cleaning up, washing and ironing to do before getting back to work and normal life. But there was also a Daring Baker challenge waiting for me, when I arrived back home. One I could not miss out of. One my husband would never forgive me if I missed out of it. Like I mentioned before on this blog Pavlova is my hubs specialty. So to be completely honest this is my husbands daring baker challenge.
He did all the handy work and I shouted instructions and mingled with the flavours.
And again I changed the challenge a lit bit… I cant seem to control myself…; Every single time a need to get of the wonderful road the challenge is giving me to do my own thing. But after a lovely holiday in France I just could not be bothered with chocolate and more chocolate. I really wanted to try out my newly bought lavender flowers and I thought they would go wonderful with our bottles of Montbazillac. So we left the chocolate for what it was and we made this incredible Pavlova. We also used another recipe for the basic pavlova. I really wanted a marshmallow inside and a crunchy snowwhite outside, so I used my cant fail recipe from Nigella Lawson. We served it on my birthday party and it was received with wildly enthusiastic cheers from our guests!
for the meringue base
6 egg whites
300 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon of vinegar (white that is!)
2 teaspoons of corn starch
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
for the filling
500 grams mascarpone
250 ml heavy cream
2 teaspoons of dried lavender blossoms (make sure these are blossoms you can eat. Not every lavender is meant for consumption!)
6 tablespoons of icing sugar
3 drops of food coloring
strawberries (or any other fruit you like)
250 grams of white chocolate pearls
35 ml of montbazillac whine
1 teaspoon of lavenderblossem
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Add the egg whites to a large shallow bowl and beat the eggs on medium high speed until they hold soft peaks. Now start adding the sugar, a tablespoon at a time while constantly beating the eggs.
When the mixture is thick and glossy, you need to test if all the sugar is dissolved. You do this by taking a little bit of the batter between your fingers and rubbing it gently. Do you still feel some grains, then keep beating! The mixture is ready when it feels smooth like pomade.
Now sprinkle the vinegar, the cornstarch and the vanilla over the meringue and spoon it in with a wooden spoon.
Now line up a baking sheet with some parchment paper and draw a circle of about 18 cm on it.
Spread the meringue gently inside the circle, smoothing the edges and building the pie. Make sure that the edges of the meringue are slightly higher then the centre. Cause you want to fill that up with lovely mascarpone cream and fruits!
Place the meringue in the oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The moment you place the meringue in the oven, you need to turn down the heat to 100°.
After 1 hour and 15 minutes dig in with a little fork or spoon to taste. (Don’t worry about that little Is the top deliciously crunchy? Is the interior thick and lush like marshmallow? Yes, then the meringue is ready! But don’t be to fast! Turn the oven off and let the meringue rest in the oven until it is completely cooled down!
Now for the cream filling… I made fresh mascarpone using a recipe we got from another daring baker challenge. It is lovely in every way, but a good store-bought version will work wonders to… so don’t worry if you don’t have the time to make the fresh cheese.
Whip the cream until soft peaks form and set it aside. Now add the mascarpone, the lavender blossoms and the icing sugar to a bowl and mix it will. I recommend you do not use a mixer for this, because it can ruin your mascarpone. Because of the high speed the creamy texture is broken down and the mascarpone becomes a bit runny.
Now add the whipped cream and the drops of food colouring. The food colouring is not necessary, but we loved that sweet pink cream on top of the heavenly with meringue. It made it all a little bit more sexy. J
Now for the sauce… just add the chocolate chips, the montbazillac and the lavender to a pot and place it on a medium low fire. Its important that the lavender gets some heat to infuse his flavour into the sauce. Its also important that the alcohol disappears from the sauce. And it is very important that the chocolate melts!
While waiting for that you can slices the strawberries, or any fruit you like, so that it is ready to serve.
When the chocolate has melted set it aside to cool down a little bit.
Now it is time to arrange the pie! Spoon the mascarpone mousse on top of the meringue and scatter the strawberries on top of it. Now drizzle the chocolate sauce all over the meringue.
Voila ready for serving!
I hope that Dawn of Doable and Delicious can forgive me the adaptation of her dessert. When I have more time and I am again in a chocolate mood I will defiantly give her chocolate pavlovas with chocolate mascarpone mousse a go!