Autumn is coming! It's one of my favorite things! That first time you get to wear a sweater... leaves crunching underfoot... It doesn't last long so you better catch it quick...and enjoy it.
You know what else doesn't last long? (And is coincidentally one of my favorite things?)
It's creamy, rich and has just the right balance of chocolate and coffee flavors. It's comforting...just like that perfect sweater.
12 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa**
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup coffee-flavored liqueur
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons powdered instant espresso coffee
6 ounces ladyfingers (about 2 dozen), halved
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 1 cup of the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Transfer whipped cream to a medium bowl.. Using same bowl, beat the mascarpone, 6 tablespoons of the ground chocolate, 1/4 cup of the confectioners' sugar, 1/4 cup of the liqueur, 1 teaspoon of the vanilla extract, and the salt with a wire whisk. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. In another small bowl, combine the remaining 1/4 cup liqueur, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract, the water, and the espresso powder. Line a 2-1/2 quart glass or crystal bowl with one fourth of the ladyfingers; brush with 2 tablespoons of the espresso mixture. Spoon one third of the mascarpone mixture over the ladyfingers. Repeat, making 2 more layers of ladyfingers brushed with the espresso mixture and topped with the mascarpone mixture. Top with the remaining ladyfingers, gently pressing them into the cheese mixture. Brush the ladyfingers with the remaining espresso mixture. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of ground chocolate over the top. In a small mixing bowl, beat the remaining 1/2 cup whipping cream and the remaining confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form. Spoon the whipped cream into a decorating bag with a large star-shaped tip. Pipe large rosettes on top of the dessert. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of ground chocolate on the rosettes. Chill at least 2 hours.
**I've heard others have had some success using powdered cocoa mix, but I think the flavor of Ghiradelli's is the best.
That's one of my favorites. What's yours?