Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.



Daring Bakers: Chocolate Pavlova with Banana Mascarpone Mousse and Vanilla Mascarpone Ice Cream

Choc Pavlova + Banana mascarpone mousse + Vanilla mascarpone ice cream + choc mascarpone sauce 1

July 3, 2010 Update: This post was featured on FoodBuzz Top 9 today

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.

I didn't think I was going to post about this at all. It has been a very trying month for me with few reasons to smile. Truth be told, it has been a challenging couple of years, really. While this blog has kept me sane through most of it, in my frustration, I turned my anger on it.

For some time, recently, I have been contemplating discontinuing blogging. While food is a passion and blogging a medium for expressing it, it really was meant to be a hobby, albeit a serious one. My profession is something else, atleast it is supposed to be.

Choc Pavlova + Banana mascarpone mousse2

Anyway, I lost interest in creating anything. I just wasn't upto putting on my culinary thinking cap when things were falling apart around me. But, eventually, I realised that the distraction that had worked so effectively so far, still had it's magic. Besides, I had made a commitment to the DB group and my conscience wouldn't let me break it..

Making the components of this challenge took away my mind from the reality, even if just for a couple of hours. It was a much needed break and breath of different air that I sorely needed. So, although late, here is my creation for this month's Daring Baker's challenge - Chocolate Pavlova with Banana Mascarpone Mousse and Vanilla Mascarpone Ice Cream.

Choc Pavlova + Banana mascarpone mousse + Vanilla mascarpone ice cream + choc mascarpone sauce

Verdict: Anyway, as to the dessert, it is indeed a fantastic one, at once light and rich with the different components coming together beautifully. Although, we were asked to make everything chocolate, since I am not a chocolate fan, I made a banana mousse instead. Also, I churned the mascarpone cream into ice cream. The rich creaminess lends itself very nicely for a smooth, creamy ice cream even without an ice cream maker.

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) 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. 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.)

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. (Class made rounds, hearts, diamonds and an attempt at a clover was made!). Bake for 2-3 hours until the meringues become dry and crisp. Cool and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Banana Mascarpone Mousse

1 ripe banana
3 T heavy cream
2/3 cup (160g) mascarpone
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 T powdered sugar

Puree the banana with the cream until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Stir in the powdered sugar and nutmeg. Add the mascarpone and beat until you get a creamy mixture of mousse consistency. Whip on medium speed until it holds soft peaks.

Chill for atleast 10 minutes before assembling onto the pavlova.

Crème Anglaise
(a component of the Vanilla Mascarpone Ice Cream below)

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

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until the mixture turns pale yellow. Combine the milk, cream and vanilla in a saucepan over medium high heat, bringing the mixture to a boil. Take off the heat.

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. 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.

Vanilla Mascarpone Ice Cream

1 recipe crème anglaise (above
2/3 cup (160g) mascarpone

Once the creme anglaise has chilled, add the mascarpone and whip to make a smooth mixture. Adjust sugar if needed. At this point follow your ice cream maker's instructions to churn and freeze for ice cream.

If you don't have an ice cream maker, freeze the mixture and after an hour, beat the mixture to break down the ice crystals and incorporate air. Repeat atleast 2 more times and then let freeze for atleast 4 hours.

Chocolate Mascarpone Cream

1/2 cup crème anglaise and mascarpone mixture (recipe above)
2 T heavy cream
1 T semi sweet chocolate

Melt the chocolate into the cream and cool to room temperature. Stir into the creme anglaise mixture.

Stacked Pavlova Assembly

Place one layer of the pavlova on the plate. Pipe the mousse onto the pavlovas. Sprinkle cocoa powder or chocolate shavings on the mousse layer and then arrange banana slices over it. Place the next layer of pavlova on the slices and repeat. Drizzle the chocolate mascarpone cream over the top. Top with the Vanilla Mascarpone ice cream.


  1. I've never had pavlova but it seems like this is a great recipe to try. I never knew you could make ice cream with mascarpone. So simple. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Lovely take on the pavlova!

    And I share your sentiment about blogging. I went through a phrase of taking a break from my blog (due to interstate moving and lack of inspiration). But since it’s a hobby, no stress needed, right? ;)

  3. Love the pavlova and also the pictures!
    I can relate with you on the frustration part and for me blogging is proving to be a great way to channel all the negative energy into something constructive.

  4. What's up my sweet? This is not the Asha I know. Am gonna mail you. Stick with blogging; will give you some creative outlet. Yours pictures are awesome, and the pav has my still sick hub drooling over the keyboard! Life is very trying and frustrating, but there is always that something that will pop up as an opportunity. Don't get so disheartened Asha. SMILE sugah ... together we'll make the day shine! BIG HUGS!!

  5. Asha, I totally sympathize the situation you are facing right now, even though I am not sure what it is. Just want to extend my mental support for you to get through it. And it seems like blogging has been doing just that, so I hope you keep it up.

    I think the banana mousse mousse complements the chocolate pavlova so well, and really nice pictures!

    Looking at your pictures, I could tell how much you have enjoyed the photo shoot and styling. And thanks so much for participating in June MBLGIT!

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  6. Asha everybody gets a little blue where the mojo of life gets lessened for a while and the creative juice ebb but it is important to realise it is only you that can stop this flow - life is wonderful and it can be terrible also it is how we navigate the extremes that makes us the people we are.

    Your pav creation is extremely beautiful and looks so professional and elegant. Superbly done. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  7. Browny pavlovas looks super yummy

  8. Hey Asha, sorry to hear about how you are feeling now - sounds pretty serious... I am glad though that for a few hours you were able to "escape" it all - and you made such a lovely dessert as well - I love the combination of banana and chocolate and the way you stacked the pavlova like a cake.

  9. Sorry to hear things have been hard for you, this is a beautiful take on the DB recipe and I hope things look up for you soon.

  10. That looks so yummy, I need to pull my finger out and get mine posted.

    I love your pictures and would be disappointed if you stopped completely so why not scale down the frequency of posts if it's a bit much to deal with at the moment?

  11. Sorry to hear that you were feeling that. I always think that blogging really only works when you really "feel it" and love it. So taking a break is totally legitimate and can help bring back the spark! :)

  12. Love this. Reminds me of this dessert we get at my fav mexican restaurant here..thats got a banana cream pudding - basically a banana napolean.
    will give this a try sometime.
    thanks for the food porn Asha. love it...keep it up girl.


  13. Lovely space and neat presentation. Came from Meeta's blog.
    Yous clicks are great, nice to be here.
    Best wishes.

  14. hang in thr... i see a sweet ending!

    btw this was yummmmmm!!!

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  16. Hey Asha!
    The moment I see a blog update from FSK, I come running to see the pictures first (recipe later, as I'm always too busy ogling at the pictures)
    You've never disappointed me and you have no right to not give us what we deserve!! We have the absolute right to come to FSK, ogle and write comments..don't we??

  17. Thanks everyone for your kind words and support for my blog and photography. I cannot put into words my gratitude for your patronage and hopefully will continue to exceed your expectations with more posts.. :)


  18. Great photography! I think with DB challenges they can take you into a zen like cadence. I hope you keep it up because you are so talented, an artist!

  19. Asha, I think I understand what you're feeling and can only hope things will get better for you.

    I'm sure you do enjoy blogging. Just loook at your bog, posts and pictures. That should be enough to convince you not to give it up. Use it as your relief from other sresses.
    That's what I do and it almost always works. :)
    Surely you cannot give it all up after making this gorgeous pavlova!
    Keep smiling. :D

  20. This looks delightful, love the banana mascarpone mousse!

  21. I'm so sorry you are struggling right now. I hope you are able to find peace soon. The banana mousse is a fabulous idea. Perfect with chocolate.

  22. That looks so delectable. I want to eat that now!

  23. Oh you aced this challenge! This looks luscious and heavenly. The flavors are all my favorites, I think I could probably eat that whole plate of chocolate goodness. ;)

  24. Your pavlova looks beautiful and delicious... Great job!

  25. Again, fantastic photos...wish you could come shoot for me:) Oh, and a perfect job on the pavlova... gorgeous!

  26. Sorry to hear life is hard for you right now Asha and I can certainly understand how you would consider stopping blogging, but... your blog is fantastic and it would be a shame to lose something so good!
    And your pavlova looks absolutely incredibly. I'm quite sorry I missed this DB challenge due to holiday, but will definitely be making it at some point!

  27. Yum! I've always wanted to try make pavlova! Yours looks great! :)


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