Need an elegant dessert in a hurry? This is it. All dressed up for a Fat Tuesday Dinner.
I’d been wanting to create a dessert with mascarpone cheese and chocolate. I purchased the puff pastry shells by accident – I thought I grabbed pastry sheets. But I love a challenge. And that’s what the freezer sections of the grocery store are – challenging. I think I was so totally mystified that they sell toast in the freezers that I wasn’t seeing straight. At least that’s the best I can come up with.
• The pastry shells start out looking like poker chips. Flat and pale. And yes, you do bake them frozen. But they puff up nicely. However, as soon as they’re done, you pull off the little cap and use a fork to lift out the soft unbaked layer beneath. Sounds odd, but it works.
• Bake only as many shells as you need for each day. I made the mistake of baking them all and only using two each day and they got tough and chewy.
• Mascarpone cheese is used most happily in desserts because it tastes like whipped cream.
• Toast pecans in a 300 degree oven for 7-8 minutes to bring out the crunch and snap of the nut.
Now to the little desserts. Ingredients for Filling
1 cup mascarpone cheese – 8 oz by weight
3 TBS unsweetened cocoa
½ tsp vanilla
¼ cup honey
½ cup chopped pecans (I toasted mine first) Directions
• Bake 6 Puff Pastry Shells according to directions
• Pull caps off shells and let cool
• Mix filling ingredients together in a small bowl and blend well.
• Fill puff pastry shells with about 2-3 TBS filling per shell.
Like many desserts that use cheese, this has a low glycemic index, so it won’t spike your blood sugar, if that’s an issue. The chocolate taste comes through in spades with the sweetness of honey. The crunch of the pecans adds welcome texture, along with the cute puff pastry shells. This is a very rich, elegant dessert and I hope you enjoy it.