A Sweet Indulgence

As of late, one thing I have decided is there are just some things in the kitchen that should not be skimped on and my grocery bills have reflected it. Not that I’ve gone out and bought the most expensive everything and anything, but each trip to the supermarket, or maybe more like every other trip or every third trip, I pull out a list of what I consider “sweet indulgence” ingredients and buy something from the list — especially if I happen upon a sale.

Not everything on the list is expensive. Some items are just ingredients that I would not use very often, making it hard to justify purchasing them. Others are a bit on the pricey side but there are some ingredients you should NEVER buy imitation or knockoff’s of, it’s worth spending the extra money.

The other day while picking up a few items at a specialty fruit market (someplace I don’t usually go unless there is a sale of some sort), Hubby and I found a sale on mascarpone cheese. This cheese is best known for its use in tiramisu, but is a wonderful addition to many other rich desserts. A container that would normally be anywhere from $6.50 to $8.00, was marked $3.50 and the expiration date was not until the end of May. What a find! I picked up two containers knowing I would find a use for them.

Some nights I go all out on dessert for the family and spend half the day working on something special. Other nights they are lucky if they can find packaged cookies buried in the freezer. A day or so after finding the deal on the mascarpone cheese in between putting the finishing touches on dinner and serving it, I whipped up a mascarpone cream and soaked some fresh fruit in sweetened Marsala wine. Talk about a rich, decadent dessert!

Although this particular dessert was not something Grace could enjoy with her sensitivity to dairy, Hubby and Zeb devoured the custard bowls filled with the fruit and cream combo. If you’d like to see how I made it, check out my post on Simply Grateful Cooking for Mascarpone Cream with Sweetened Marsala Berries.

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This dessert could probably be made with a less expensive cheese such as ricotta, but the rich, smooth mascarpone, albeit typically pricey, made this dessert “company worthy,” and for this sweet indulgence I am — Simply Grateful.

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Mini Desserts #4 – Single Serving Tiramisu

One of the most decadent desserts I enjoy is tiramisu.  Along with being decadent, it is also quite expensive.  The mascarpone cheese costs about $5 per 8 oz. container and a typical 13×9 dish of tiramisu contains two of these.  I have even found it necessary to use three, when having a larger dinner party.  Not cheap by any means.

Making tiramisu in mini glasses is a great way to serve a decadent dessert to guests without going broke.  I cut my original recipe in half and made 10 mini desserts.  This was perfect when you take into consideration I had several other mini desserts to choose from.

Single Serving Mini Tiramisu

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  • 3 Large Egg Yolks
  • 4 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 8 oz. Mascarpone Cheese
  • 10 Lady Fingers
  • 1/2 Cup Very Strong Coffee
  • 2 Tbsp. Kahlua

In saucepan, whisk the eggs and sugar until smooth.  Add milk and vanilla.  Turn on heat and cook until thick, stirring constantly. Let cool.

When cool whisk cheese into custard.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

To assemble, combine coffee and kahlua.  Dip each lady finger into coffee mixture and place in dessert cup.

Fill pastry bag with custard filling.  Pipe into dessert cups around and on top of lady finger.  Top with whipped cream and sprinkle with coco.

As much as I enjoy making one special dessert, I enjoy making a variety of desserts for my guests to enjoy even more, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.