Mascarpone Amaretti Cup

Baking is not really my piece of cake!

I do enjoy spending hours at the time in the kitchen, I am ecstatic when I work hard to treat my family and friends to new recipes or to menus that require  undivided attention and a lot of work. Indeed the kitchen has become to me at the same time a safe ground where I nourish my soul but also a fun laboratory where I can let loose and test myself, here and there.

I have come to understand that baking is an (almost) exact science. It was probably the best way for me to start hitting the kitchen at a young age; if you follow directions properly chances are you will obtain a decent result… some times you might even surprise yourself. “Look Mom, I did this all by myself!”.

Problem is that creative personalities like mine feel a bit constricted by the exact quantities of ingredients that a chocolate soufflé might demand… and that’s why anytime I meet a good baker I am in awe. Whenever I have tried to improvise or alter the few cake recipes I like, the results made me feel, for the most part… how to say it, castrated!

That’s why, when I now work on my menus or I try to develop new recipes, I intend a dessert something that does not necessarily have to be baked. It is in fact to me a matter of taste, texture and personal satisfaction; the best dessert is not actually the most luxurious or the richest in chocolate, but the one that better complements the menu and the other ingredients that just made their way into my stomach.

Behold, one of my new favorites desserts of all time, Mascarpone and Amaretti Cups. This easy to make dessert has served me well in the past couple of years as the closing menu item for family dinners and Holiday celebrations as well. Light, creamy and luxurious enough to make me forget that when it comes to baking, I still have a lot to learn.

INGREDIENTI

Prep Time: 15 min / Serves:6

1 (8 ounce) container Mascarpone
3 eggs, separated
2 ounces sugar
1 ½ cups Amaretti Cookies, roughly crumbled
1 shot of brandy
Dash of cocoa powder, and more for garnish
Shaved dark chocolate, for garnish
Fresh seasonal, for garnish
Mint, for garnish
1

Mix the egg yolks with half of the sugar, and mix until you obtain a creamy light mixture.

2

Work the Mascarpone in a bowl using a wooden spoon, making sure you eliminate any lumps, then add to the mixture of sugar and eggs and continue to mix well.

3

In a separate bowl mix well the egg whites with a pinch of salt and the remaining sugar, until they reach a somewhat firm (stiff peaks), then fold them into the Mascarpone mix.

4

Add crumble cookies to a medium bowl and stir in the brandy (until just moistened, you don’t want them soggy), and add a dash of cocoa powder.

5

Divide the cookie crumble mixture to the bottom of 6 glasses.

6

Add the mascarpone cream to a pastry bag and pipe the cream into each glass.

7

Top with a sprinkle of cocoa powder, shaved dark chocolate, garnish with a few berries and a sprig of mint.