Tag Archives: mascarpone

Mixed Berry Shortcakes with Lemon Mascarpone Cream

I suppose you could convince me there is a dessert that typifies summer more than shortcake, and you might be able to string me along for a while before I came to my senses to explain delicately that, at least to me,  not much else can compete.

My shortcake memories go back years, but they always begin the same:  with a biscuit.  Not a slice of angel food cake, or pound cake.  A lowly biscuit.  One that, if you’re me,  would normally be found on a plate filled with beans, rice, and coleslaw.  That kind of biscuit.  The one that not much else can compare to when it comes to soaking up juice and binding everything together, whether it’s dessert or not.

Sure, I’ve tried a variety of recipes, combinations of flavors and ingredients, but in the end I’m only truly satisfied with that slightly salty bite of biscuit and the tart sweetness of fresh berries tempered by the richness of cream.  It’s fabulous.

Recently, my husband surprised me with Thomas Keller’s latest book, ad hoc at home.  He’d heard that the man himself would be visiting a local Williams-Sonoma so decided to wait on his lunch hour in a rather lengthy line to get Keller’s signature for me.  Not only was I touched by the gesture, I couldn’t wait to dig into the recipes.

You know what it’s like to get a new cookbook.  You leaf through the pages, savoring each possibility, wondering what might measure up to your expectations without killing yourself on the first attempt:  buttermilk fried chicken…rubbed and glazed pork spareribs…iceberg lettuce slices…No, it was the buttermilk biscuits that got my attention first.  I have to admit I did go back to the iceberg lettuce slices (you have to try his Blue Cheese Dressing), but the biscuits are what I first settled down to make knowing instantly they were destined for berry shortcakes.

Think about it.  They’re perfect for the picnic of all summer picnics — July 4th.  You make them the day before, cool them completely before sealing their crispy freshness away so you can split them and then dollop on some cream and berries that have had a chance to sit for a while to develop a lovely, syrupy juice.

There is an art to this if you want to take some time with it, and if you’d like to consider another ingredient you may never have tried before which is perfect with berries, try mascarpone.  I’m partial to mascarpone, so when I saw that Keller included it in a recipe for peaches and cream, I had to try it giving it my own spin, of course.

If you’re thinking that it may not travel well, think again.  With a few recycled jars filled and kept in an ice chest, you’ll be able to turn out the perfect summer dessert for your July 4th holiday, courtesy of inspiration from Thomas Keller, of course.

133/365:  Autograph

Continue reading

Chocolate Caramel Cookies with Orange Mascarpone Cream

It was only a matter of time before I gave into temptation and changed one of the cookie recipes I’ve been sampling from Bon Appetit’s Holiday Cookie assortment this year.  Actually, that’s only partially true.  The collection includes several mix and drop cookies, and I strayed early on to experiment with a recipe for the perfect oatmeal cookie that I may share, but I digress.

When I saw the festive-looking Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies, I truly wanted to try them — but without the peppermint. I decided that if a hazelnut chocolate chip cookie could be classified as a holiday cookie, then why not chocolate and caramel?  All I needed to do was find a different filling for them since peppermint and caramel aren’t flavors I’d want to sample in one bite.

There happened to be some mascarpone in the fridge, and if I used a few drops of…

Continue reading

Apple Walnut Pancakes

IMG_6671

A friend of mine gave me a bag of small, crisp red apples the last time she came for dinner and somehow, I’d lost track of them.  I should have known they’d been sitting in the fridge, waiting for me to get around to making something with Fall written all over it.  Would it be apple nut muffins, a new take on a Waldorf salad, or perhaps an apple butternut squash soup?  I couldn’t decide until last weekend when I knew I’d be in the kitchen making macarons and decided to treat the menfolk to breakfast.  I’m not the one who normally makes breakfast on Sunday, so my offer was met with surprise and instant nods of, “Yes, please!”  Neither my husband or son would turn down pancakes even if they had a healthier twist than those my husband usually makes.  Besides, I knew I’d get to experiment a bit and it’s always fun to find out just how a particular recipe will end up.

If you have a jar of dulce de leche sitting around, it’s amazing what a little bit of it can do to a nice stack of hot ones on a cool Fall morning.  Initially, it was to have ended up filling the macarons, but it didn’t make it past the pancakes.

Who knew?

Continue reading

Strawberry Chocolate Tarty Pie

Strawberry Chocolate Tarty Pie

This past weekend, my local grocery store had strawberries on sale:  buy one pint, get one free.  I’m always a  sucker for those deals even though I do take the time to look and see how much the “one” costs and whether it will be anything remotely like what I’d call a deal.

The strawberries were remarkably red, deliciously sweet, and many were larger than the lemons I have in my fruit bowl.  I don’t know that I’ve seen strawberries that large before so knew when it came down to celebrating Pi Day which is being hosted by Kitchen Parade, I’d have to celebrate with strawberries.

Continue reading