Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse Tarts with Strawberries

Junior Chef is eating solids now. So far, she loves it all, with the exception of oatmeal. But, she'll gobble that down if we mix in some bananas or applesauce. I'm so pleased she loves food! But, feeding her requires me to think about grocery shopping a little differently. I have to be prepared for the next food,  I have to make sure to have fresh bananas and avocados on hand (and that they don't get overripe). And it really isn't a big deal, but I'm just used to planning a grocery list for just me and Jeff. It's just different.

So, last Saturday, I had to run to the grocery store just to pick up some bananas. But, on my way in, I noticed a display of strawberries for only $1.50 a pound. It's not the best price I've ever seen, but when they are that price, I'll pick up a pound or two without even thinking twice.

Of course, then I started to wonder what I was going to do with these strawberries (besides eat them, of course). I did a quick search on Tastespotting for strawberry desserts and found a recipe that looked just delicious. Naturally, it involved chocolate.

I followed my nose over to A Recipe For Living, who had made a tart with chocolate mascarpone mousse and strawberries. Yum! It looked so simple! So I picked up some mascarpone and set to work.

It was just as easy as it sounded.

But, you should make it shortly before serving. Do not refrigerate it! The mousse gets too stiff, I'm sure a result of the mascarpone cheese and the chocolate. Have you ever noticed that mixtures with melted chocolate get really thick when they're refrigerated? It makes sense, of course...but it still happens. It's easy and fast, though, so making it before serving shouldn't be an issue. You can make the crust early, and then whip up the mousse when you're ready.

Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse Tarts with Strawberries
Adapted from A Recipe For Living
Printable Recipe

A baked tart shell or about 20 mini tart shells
2 cups strawberries
6 oz baking chocolate, finely chopped.
1 cup cream, divided
1 cup mascarpone
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons orange juice

Warm 1/3 cup cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Do not let it boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate and whisk until the chocolate melts and is smooth. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

Once the chocolate is at room temperature, add the remaining cream to the mixing bowl of an electric mixer. Add the mascarpone and beat on low to break up the mascarpone. Once it is smoother, add the cinnamon and orange juice and beat on medium until soft peaks form. Don't overbeat!

Spoon or pipe into the tart shell(s) and top with sliced strawberries.

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