Tag Archives: mascarpone

Almond mascarpone muffins with white chocolate chips

The husband has been working nightshifts the past couple of days and its been a real change in our family lives. He comes home at 7.30, hits the sacks and comes back to life around 3 in the afternoon. He insists on having diner with me at night so we still get to spend some quality time together. But that left me a little bit hanging on what to serve him for breakfast in the afternoon. We eat around 6 in the evening, so what could I give him when he gets up? The answer came to me in the most decadent muffins I ever made in my whole entire life. They combine so much lovely flavours that some people might state that it’s a little bit over the top. And to be honest… it is. But I am not apologizing for it! My hubby deserves something rich and sugary when he awakes in the afternoon. He has been making money for our little family and fighting his sleep (well the first few days he was. Now its getting better.) So honey, these ones are for you!

INGREDIENTS

 

125 grams cake flour
125 grams of soft butter
60 grams of almond flour
100 grams of white sugar
2 eggs
3 tablespoons of amaretto
65 grams of white chocolate chips
250 grams mascarpone

In a bowl stir together the flour with the almond flour and a pinch of salt.
Then mix together the soft butter with the white sugar until you get a creamy mixture.
Now add the eggs one by one and mix well.

Add the amaretto, the flour and the mascarpone and keep mixing till all is combined.
Then stir in the chocolate chips.

 Place some paper cups in your muffin pan and spoon in the batter. Bake to muffins for about 20 minutes in a hot oven at 200 degrees. Let them cool on a rack.

Daring Baker: pavlova (with infused lavender mascarpone mousse)

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!

 INGREDIENTS

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

topping

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!

Italian snitzel with creamy sauce

The sun keeps shining so I keep cooking Mediterranean style! I just cant help myself, when the sun shines I get in vacation mode. Even when I have to get up at 6 in the morning to go to my office, I still have the ‘whoot vacation” feeling in me. After 8 hours of hard work I search refugee in my garden, where I am surrounded by olive trees, lavender and delicious smelling herbs. Instant happiness! And yes, at night I try to keep the feeling. When I cant go to the Mediterranean, the Mediterranean has to come to me!
Yesterday the Mediterranean came to me disguised as a kip snitzel with creamy sauce and fresh basil pasta! A nice glass of fruity white wine and we felt on vacation in one instant!

INGREDIENTS FOR THE KIP SNITZEL

1 chicken filet
200 grams flour
2 eggs
300 grams of bread crumbs
150 grams of parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon of dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CREAMY TOMATO SAUCE

olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 can of peeled tomato cubes
1 tablespoon of rose wine (or any other wine you find in your kitchen and you feel like drinking!)
1 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
fresh chopped basil according to taste
fresh chopped oregano according to taste
1 tablespoon of mascarpone
1,5 teaspoon pesto rosso (Recipe will follow later)
salt and pepper

FOR THE CREAMY TOMATO SAUCE

Heat the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onions and the garlic. Let them simmer till the caramelize a little bit.
Now add the tomato cubes, the balsamic vinegar, the wine and the sugar and let this simmer for about 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes add the freshly chopped herbs and season with pepper and salt. Now let it again simmer for about 10 minutes.

Take the sauce of the heat and stir in the mascarpone and the pesto rosso.

FOR THE CHICKEN SNITZEL

Place 3 bowls in one line next to each other. In the first bowl you place the flour. In the second bowl you place the eggs, loosely whisked. And in the last bowl you mix the bread crumbs with the cheese and the dried herbs.

Now take the chicken filet and slice it into thin slices. I used a filet knife for this. Out of one filet I got 6 snitzels. Place the slices under some foil and bang them with a meat hammer. (If you, like me, don’t own a meat hammer you can just bash it with a bottle of wine!)
Heat some olive oil in a pan and let it warm trough. Now dredge the chicken in the flour. Make sure the chicken is totally covered in flour. Shake of any excess flour. Then dip the chicken in the beaten eggs before covering the slices with the breading.
Place the snitzels in the searing hot oil and bake them until golden and crisp. This should not take long, since the chicken is very thin. Mine only took 2 minutes to cook.

Serve this with your favourite pasta. I choose to use basil pasta, which has a lovely taste!

Dessert Pallet

Inspired by my previous post on my New Years Eve menu and my promise to share more recipes of that evening, I decided to share my dessert plate with you today.
I need to confess that I am a little dish person. I just love to make little dishes for the aperitif and dessert.
Why? I have no idea. Maybe because I think its cute? Maybe because I have a collection of tiny glasses, cups, spoons and plates where any restaurant would be jealous of.  I think it is meanly because I get bored easily. When we go out to eat I order “the walk trought the menu” every single time and as a dessert I want “a selection of…”
A one flavour dessert does not bring me the happiness 4 little nibbles give me. So when you come to my place for dinner, you can be sure of the fact that I serve you a dessert pallet.

This time my dessert pallet consisted of 3 white dessert, rice pudding, mojito cheesecake and mascarpone mousse.
Three very different flavours, but combined together a marvellous trio.
The rice pudding I used for this dessert was a white rice pudding, which means I did not add any saffron.

INGREDIENTS RICE PUDDING

1 l full fat milk
125 grams dessert rice
4 tablespoons of sugar
1 sack of vanilla sugar
1 tablespoon of custard powder
a little bit of butter

INGREDIENTS MOJITO CHEESECAKE

100 grams of biscuits
50 grams of melted butter
4 limes
120 grams sugar
4 tablespoons of white rum
1 hand of mint leaves
250 grams cream cheese
100 grams of cream
250 grams mascarpone

INGREDIENTS MASCARPONE MOUSSE

250 grams mascarpone
65 grams powder sugar
2 egg whites
50 grams cream
speculaas ( A dutch spiced biscuit)

RICE PUDDING

Set aside 25 centilitre milk and bring the rest of the milk to the boil together with a nut of butter.

When the milk starts to boil, add the dessert rice and let it simmer for about 30 to 40 minutes on medium heat. Stir regularly, so the rice does not get a chance to stick to the bottom of your cooking pot.
Mix the remaining milk with the custard powder. This should become a thick paste like mixture.
When the rice is almost ready add the custard mixture. Let this boil for a minute under constant stirring. While you stir you should feel the resistance building up, because the pudding starts to thicken.
Take the rice pudding of the fire and poor it into the little pots and put them for a couple hours in the fridge.
Just before serving you can decorate the pudding with a little bit of light brown sugar.

MOJITO CHEESECAKE

Take a cooking pot with a thick base (very, very, very important!) and heat in this pot the sugar with 5 tablespoons of water. You are actually making a thick sugar syrup. Let this boil for about 2 minutes without stirring. Now add the juice and the zest of 3 limes, the rum and the mint leaves to the syrup. Take this almost immediately of the stove, stir well and place the pot into a bad of cold water. This will make the syrup cool a lot faster.

Now add the biscuits to a Ziploc bag and bash them into crumps. (I used a bottle of wine to do this. One has got to help themselves with original kitchen tools!)
Now add the crumps to the melted butter and mix it together. Now fill the serving cups with a spoon of this mixture. The biscuit-butter mixture is mend as the bottom of your cake.

Poor the syrup through a sieve. (don’t forget to push the leaves and the zest, so you get all that jummie flavours out!) Now poor the syrup into a large bowl.
Beat the cream until it is stiff and has creamy peaks.
Now add the cream cheese and the mascarpone to the syrup and mix it all with a wooden spoon. Then add the beaten cream and mix carefully, you don’t want to loose the lightness in your paste.

Now poor in the cheese mixture on top of the biscuits and place the little cheesecakes into the fridge for at least 3 hours.

Just before serving you can decorate the cheesecakes with some fresh mint leaves.


Mascarpone Speculaas mousse

Speculaas is a sort of short crust biscuit that is very popular in The Netherlands and Belgium. The dough of the cookie combines lots of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom and white pepper. Other ingredients are butter, flour and brown sugar. Gingerbread is not the same thing as speculaas, but could be used as a substituted.

Beat the egg whites until the are stiff and have high peaks like the snow-white alps! You should be able to hold the eggs above your head without any accidents happening!
Now mix the mascarpone cheese with the icing sugar.
Add the speculaas to a Ziploc and beat into crumps.
Now add with a wooden spoon the egg whites to the mascarpone mixture.

Now start building your dessert. Start with a layer of speculaas crumbs, then mascarpone, crumbs, mascarpone… always end with a layer of crumbs!

Spring cupcakes: coconut all the way!

These cupcakes have a funny story behind them. A story staring my wonderful dog Yoda.
My husbands works weekends every other week and that’s why except from cleaning the house and doing the laundry Saturday is my cooking and experimenting day.
As some of you know I am a pagan and ostara is a holiday I celebrate on the 20th march and on Easter my (catholic) family always has a brunch. This year I organise the brunch. So I tried to combine the two into these lovely spring cupcakes. They are perfect for Ostara and they are a wonderful try out for my Easter Brunch.
Anyway I spend the afternoon decorating my cupcakes with wonderful mascarpone frosting in lovely spring colour and even lovelier sugar sheep, little chocolate eggs and little chickens. I must say they look so cute and delicious. I was a proud cook!
I decorated my cupcakes on a plate and placed it in the middle of our table.
When my hubby got home we left the room for a little while and when we got back… well… lets say there was not a lot of cupcake left.

Our dog however sat in the very corner of the living room with a little green face from all the frosting. He was surrounded by half eaten cupcakes.
Frosting was spread all over the floor.
Of course I was a little angry. Not only because he ruined my lovely cupcakes, but also because I was a little scared for his health. It cant be good for a dog to eat that much sugar. I was very relieved to see he did not eat the chocolate eggs!
No need to say we had a bouncing dog the rest of the evening from his sugar rush. The next day we had a blast when we saw his *** was green. It may sound very childish, but Michael and I laughed so hard when we saw how lightning green it was.
That same day Michael helped me make another batch of these wonderful cupcakes. Not as pretty decorated as the other batch (cause I ran out of decorating stuff). But I must say, these cupcakes are delicious. They are in my top 10 of favourite cake stuff ever! So If you try one thing this weekend, for crying out loud, let it be these cupcakes!

INGREDIENTS FOR THE CUPCAKES
175 grams all purpose flour
60 grams of grounded coconut
2 teaspoon of baking powder
¼ teaspoon of salt
113 grams unsalted butter
200 grams of sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon of vanilla essence
120 ml coconut milk

INGREDIENTS FOR THE FROSTING

250 grams of sugar
90 grams of unsalted butter
220 grams of mascarpone
food colouring (I used pink, green and yellow)

The butter you use for the cupcakes and the frosting should be at room temperature.
Add the butter to the food processor (or use a hand mixer) to beat it until it is creamy and a little bit fluffy.
Now add the sugar and mix it till all is combined.

Now splits the eggs. Keep the egg whites apart and mix in the egg yolks.
Add the vanilla essence and mix again.
Now add the flour, the salt and the baking powder to the mixer.
Mix for a couple of minutes and then add the coconut milk.
When all is combined you can add the grounded coconut and mix it one last time.

You should get a creamy mixture with a lovely smell!
Now beat the egg whites until they get lovely tops that resemble the snow covered Alps.
Now using a wooden spoon fold in the beaten egg white with the batter.
Now fill your cupcake forms with the batter in place in a preheated oven on 175 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes.

In the meanwhile we can make the incredible tasty but very easy topping.
Just mix the butter with the sugar till you get a nice creamy paste.
Then using a wooden spoon add the mascarpone cheese and mix well.
Divide this mixture into 3 different plates and add a little bit of colour.

Let the cupcakes cool down and then start decorating!

Banana Split Brownies

The husband did not feel well on Saturday, his throat hurt, his legs were heavy and he was a little tired. By Sunday he was in his sweater on the sofa coughing his lungs out and his temperature went from cold to very hot.
Instead of having a fun weekend with lots of plans and lots of shopping, I transformed into a faithful nurse for the very grumpy patient in my living room.
He drunk the tea with fresh lemon zest and honey  with a long face. The fresh chicken soup with lots of vermicelli got a little more enthusiasm, but nothing could thrill him or make him smile a little.
He stayed a whole day on the cough, slumbering, coughing, and winning because I made him drink orange juice and tea.
So there I was, grounded… well I could just as well experiment a little in my kitchen. Nothing better than a little hocus pocus with my pots and pans.
In my refrigerator I found some bananas which  had seen better days, I also found some mascarpone which was about to expire and  chocolate is a must have in my house. I even have a little chocolate cupboard in my kitchen.
The ingredients reminded me of banana split, the royal wedding of these delicate flavors and one of my favorites on a hot summer night. So banana split brownies It would be!
After the whole house smelled of delicious freshly baked brownies, I could even seduce my sickly husband to take a little nibble of the heavenly pastry. His verdict:  delicious chocolate lushness with a little hint of banana.
Mission accomplished!

INGREDIENTS

150 grams dark chocolate
30 grams milk chocolate
100 grams butter
200 grams sugar
2 bananas
150 grams mascarpone
3 eggs
50 grams cacao powder
60 gram all purpose flour

Preheat the oven at 175 degrees.
Melt the chocolate together with the butter on a low fire or use the au bain marie technique.
In the meanwhile mass the banana.
Now take the melted chocolate away from the heat and pour it into a large bowl or into your food processor.
Now add the sugar to the chocolate mixture and mix it in. The heat of the melted chocolate will make the sugar melt into the dough.
Add the mascarpone and the mashed bananas.
Now add the eggs one by one and turn the food processor to the highest stand.
Wisk everything together.
Sift the flour and the cacao powder and add it to the mixture.

Now pour the batter into a brownie form and bake for about 30 minutes.