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Daring Bakers: Chocolate Pavlova

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Local fruit dress up this pavlova
I was actually quite surprise that the chocolate meringue discs I made for this three-tier pavlova turned out well and remained crisp even after a day in a large plastic box. I was afraid, this being a humidity-sensitive confection and all, that they would weep, bead and soften as most of my meringue attempts are prone to do. But  the Gods of the Weather heard my plea and I am grateful.

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 Fran├žois Payard.

You can get the full recipe here.

I've only been a DB member for a little while so I don't understand some of the requirements. I know we're allowed to substitute or change the recipe if any of the ingredients are unavailable or expensive but even though there are mandatory items where some or all of the components of a dish must be made according to the recipes provided, I have noticed that there are Daring Bakers in a particular challenge who don't always adhere to this ruling.

Well, it's not a competition, so there's nothing illegal about it. This time ­­– and it's only my third challenge ­­– I am taking some liberties. First of all, Mascarpone and heavy cream, used in the filling, are expensive items over here and the recipe calls for quite a lot of both ingredients. In addition, I think that pavlovas don't require such a rich filling since they're sweet on their own. So I decided to make it in three layers, fill it with coffee custard (recipe below), dust the top with cocoa powder and serve it with local fruit. 

Layers of crunch with a gooey centre
It's not the prettiest thing ­­– check out what other Daring Bakers have done; there's some fantastic stuff there! ­­– and I blame that on my slicing, but paired with mango, papaya and dragon fruit, it tasted really good. (I also got some custard apple, which I included in the picture, but with all the seeds, it is a fruit to eat on its own.)

This is a dessert that doesn't keep well, so fill it and eat it. I thought I could take the pavlova minus the one slice to work the next day for some colleagues, but it had turned to mush when I took it out of the fridge!

2 tablespoons custard powder
2 tablespoons caster sugar
250ml milk
1 tablespoon instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
  • Combine custard powder and sugar in a small saucepan over low heat. Gradually stir in milk and cook, using a wooden spoon to stir, for 2 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Stir in coffee mixture. Transfer to a large heatproof bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to chill. Stir custard until smooth before using.


  1. Your pavlova looks great! I love the layers. I also used mango for one of my garnishes and really liked the flavor combo. Nice job on your challenge!

  2. Mmmm wow a creamy custardy coffee filling, that sounds so good, yum your pavlova looks gorgeous!

  3. Looks lovely! Coffee custard is a great idea.

  4. Your custard layered pav cake is superb and yes you are right a few DBers do take a few liberties with the recipe only because a certain thought-train takes over the challenge and they want to show this. I'm a big offender I have to admit LOL LOL. But it is good to do some variations on the theme so the members can see some ideas on how to vary and interpret a new recipe. I made 3 versions for the challenge. Usually what is most important is to keep to the spirit of the challenge a pavlova is a pavlova is a pavlova as they say.

    That 1st photo is stunning and deserves to be in a cookbook well done. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  5. A multiple layer pavlova...yummy!Great idea!

  6. Great idea to do the layers and chocolate with coffee sounds so delicious! I have the same impression about the DB ruling and I try to stick to the the recipe, but also like to do some variations, guess that's just fine!

  7. Love the look of your pavlova. I did find the fillings much more rich and heavy for a pavlova than I would prefer. Your interpretation sounds delicious! Great job!

  8. Ha! I've always wondered about the Daring Bakers not adhering to the rules, even though they always say in the beginning "you have to follow the recipe and make it with these ingredients..."

    That said, I'm in my third challenge as well, and I decided I just didn't want to make the creme anglaise because of time I skipped it!

    You local fruit looks AMAZING! The dragonfruit looks SO vibrant and gorgeous!

    And the inside of your pavlova looks perfect! Crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey with the custard. *sigh* If only I had not overbaked mine. It didn't have that fluffy inside...

  9. The fruit in ure pictures is stunning.... the idea of layered discs has caught my fancy... will try these next time :)
    I used mango too...

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

  10. Sometimes it's nice to break the rules. Your coffee custard is such an example, it seems like a perfect accompaniment to the pavlovas.

  11. That layered pavlova looks amazing! I'm a bit jealous of all that tropical fruit! I only made mine about an hour before the picnic, and kept the sauce on the side, so I had no sogginess issues. I bet it was still delicious the next day, though!

  12. I have always wanted to try pavlova but somehow never gotten around to it.


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