Capuccino Cupcakes

photo 5

Any excuse to play in my kitchen is a great excuse. A few days ago, someone asked me how to bake perfectly round cups using sugar cookies or regular cookies. I had used them many times to make fun treats, but had never really tried to use them and bake them empty so I thought to give it another try. Well, as a result I was left with an array of empty shells to work with. Being a fan of chocolate, and coffee I decided to make those cute yummy treats. I hope that you will enjoy them. Plus, they are a fun treat to make with children. Easy, Mess free and Yummy!!!

Ingredients for 24 mini cupcakes:

  • 1 pre-baked sugar cookie dough ( i don’t have any preference, I used Pillsbury)
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 4 oz. of bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tbsp of sugar ( optional – i don’t because i like dark chocolate but those of you who may like  sweet desserts, i would)
  • 1 tbsp of coffee granule
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream for the whipped cream
  • 2 tbsp of mascarpone or cream cheese at room temperature.
  • a few coffee beans for decoration.
  1. Turn the oven to 400. Place the mini cupcake tray on the medium perforated sheet and place a cookie square in each 2
  2. Cook the cookies 10 3
  3. Remove the pan from the oven, and with a shot glass ( i hope that you have one, or the back of a large spoon), press the dough down to make a 4
  4. Place the cookies back in the oven and cook for another 3-5 minutes ( it will depend on your oven).photo 5
  5. Let them cool completely and prepare the 2
  6. Place the chocolate chips, sugar and coffee in a bowl and set aside.
  7. Place 1/2 cup of heavy cream in a small bowl and cook for 1 minute or until it is hot.
  8. Pour the cream over the chocolate mixture and let it set for 1 minute to let the chips  melt.
  9. Stir until you have a very liquid mixture free of lumps. Place it in the fridge to cool.
  10. Meanwhile prepare the whipped cream. We are adding the mascarpone cheese so that the whipped cream will not fall.
  11. Place the cream and the cheese into a small bowl and whip until you have stiff peaks.
  12. Remove the chocolate mixture from  the fridge, place it in a kitchen mixer and whip it until you have  a fluffy mousse.
  13. Place the chocolate whipped ganache into a ziploc bag, or pastry bag and fill each cup to 3
  14. Then, fill another ziploc bag with whipped cream and pipe the cream on top of the 4
  15. Decorate with coffee beans. C’est tout!!!photo

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Fillo Cups with Mascarpone Mousse and Mango Fruit Salad

Ahhh Spring… Finally. I am so ready for all the wonderful fruits that it brings such as strawberries and berries and melon…As far as desserts, I am more of a chocolate fan, but I love fruits too! My favorite desserts with fruits are those where the fruits are served as they are, uncooked and au naturel. I love fruit tarts, vacherin ( icecream and meringue cake on top of which fruits are added), pavlovas. The problem with some of those desserts is the time that it takes to make them. When I have time, I love to make them but since I am often limited with times, I have to find desserts that are fast, look great and that taste yummy.

There is so much you can do with mousse and fresh fruits but I was thinking of something for my cooking class that would be very easy and that would not involve too much time. Fillo dough is that magical medium that allows you to do all that. It is so light that it takes no time to cook. It is so easy to mold into what you want your desserts to look like that using something else. Finally it is so light and airy that it almost becomes transparent and let the fruits shine since it is not empowering the dessert.

Ingredients for 12 people or 12 cups:

  • 1 cup of heavy cream,
  • 1/2 container of mascarpone cheese at room temperature,
  • 2 tbsp of maple syrup for the mousse, and more for drizzling
  • 1 cup of fresh strawberry,
  • 2 mangos peeled and diced thinly.

Use only one package of the fillo dough and place the rest back into your freezer. 

1. Take the fillo dough out to thaw it out.

2. With some scissors, cut squares of about 2 1/2 inches.

3. Take 3-4 sheets and layer them inside each cupcake hole.

4. With a pastry brush, brush some melted butter or olive oil on the sides of each of those cups, or use a oil spray and spray the cups.

5. And bake those cups at 375 for 5-8 minutes or until they become golden brown.

6. Meanwhile place the heavy cream in a large bowl and with a whisk, beat the cream until it starts forming soft peaks.

7. Add the mascarpone and beat well.

8. Add 2-3 tbsp of maple syrup and beat well again.

9. Spoon the cream mixture into each cup.

10. In a large bowl, mix the diced strawberries and the diced mangos. Spoon the fruit salad over the cream and drizzle more maple syrup over the cups and fruit. Devour!!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Chocolate and Caramel Tiramisu- YUM!!!

I don’t eat a lot of desert, but when I do, it needs to be out of the ordinary and spectacular. It must;-) because I don’t want to waste those hours on a treadmill for nothing…Luckily the only desert that I really love are the homemade kind and the one from true French Patisserie so i am safe… I only indulge whenever I go out of town or when I made my own deserts. Since on the week-end, i let myself indulge a little more, I decided  to create une verrine ( desert served in a  shot glass). I got my inspiration from a French cookbook called “verrines sucrees” from the ESI Editions. Their verrine was a plain mascarpone mousse whereas mine is made with chocolate ( chocolate makes everything taste better:-)

Ingredients for 6 big glasses or 15 small shot glasses:

For the caramel: 120 gr of sugar, 50 gr of salted butter, 80ml or 2.5 oz of heavy cream.

Place a small saucepan on a stove on medium-high heat, and put half of the sugar in the pan. When the sugar is starting to melt and is bubbling, add the rest of the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon. When the sugar is turning into a light brown caramel, remove it from the stove, add the melted butter and the cream ( it needs to be warm so as to prevent  splashing). Mix well and set aside.

Tiramisu mousse: 3 eggs, 60 gr. of sugar, 1 box of mascarpone, 6 shortbread cookies or sables bretons crumbled, 8oz of bittersweet chocolate( preferebly ghiradhelli).

Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. Stir to make it smooth and set aside to cool. Separate the yolks from the egg whites. In a large sauce pan, bring some water to boil. When the water is boiling, lower the temperature and place the bowl with the egg yolks and the sugar on top of the boiling water. Keep the egg yolks over the steaming water until the yolks are warm to the touch, but make sure to stir so that the egg yolks will not curd. When the yolks are warm and the sugar has almost melted, place the bowl on your mixer and beat the egg yolks until they triple in volume and become whitish.  Slowly add the mascarpone and the melted but cool chocolate.

In another bowl, beat the egg whites until they form soft peaks, and incorporate them into the mascarpone mixture.

To create the verrine, fill the verrine with the chocolate/ mascarpone mixture up to half of the glass. Top with shortbread crumbles, then with the caramel. Then fill up the glass with more chocolate mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle some powder cocoa, and some chocolate shavings or raw chocolate crumbs. Place the verrrine in the fridge to chill for a minimum of 3 hours. After that, devour;-)

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!