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Chocolate Mascarpone & Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache Mini Tarts

mano amichevole/hand of friendship

All in all, this has been a wonderful weekend. Despite running around like a chicken without a head, which isn’t really anything new, I think my activities and outings were perfect before heading back to the A. First, I met with Holly, Maria, Kalyn, Barbara, Christie, Christie’s daughter Candace (ALittleblog),, Dara, Becky, & Tiffany at the Wild Grape for brunch. The gathering was spearheaded by Holly and Maria did a fantastic job with organizing the Wild Grape as the meeting spot.

Not only did we have a great time getting together and eating…


The Bistro tempted us before we even began!


Becky’s soup


My Steel Oats w/Fruit and Pecans


Several ladies chose the “Grape” Benedict

…but several of us participated in a small treat / cookie swap. Those of us who participated brought one dozen of whatever treat we chose!

Let me back up a second and say that it has been so much fun getting back on Twitter (you can follow me @MeleCotte) and blogging. I have been had a slow blogging year, especially when I hopped over to Utah. Then, when I upgraded my Blackberry, Twitter shut it down and made it impossible for the phone to work efficiently. My friend Erin, a long time friend of mmmm….15 years….told my about UberTwitter and I am now back on board! The last few days of tweets have been included a lot of chats over what to bring to the gathering Utah blogger group brunch! Do we make a recipe we have made, to ensure yumminess, try something new because…well….that’s what we love to do! It ended up being a wonderful mix of both, along with great conversation. Of course, I finally meet a great group of ladies right before I move back to Atlanta, but I am sure I will see them again.

We will all be posting about the day, so be sure to click on their names/links to check out their recipes, pictures, and prospective of the day. Okay, don’t feel like scrolling back up? Here you go! Kalyn (ho is having great things happenin’!)

Maria

Christie,
Tiffany,
Holly,
Candace, Dara,
Barbara, and

Becky

And, if you missed it, today’s Salt Lake Tribune features Holiday cookies! The paper listed all the recipes and, of course, I want to make all the recipes. ;) But that’s not the really cool part. What is? Maria & Barbara have recipes included! I can’t find the story link…but I am thinking its because its not “just a feature”. It’s a whole insert! Like the NYTimes mag! Way to go girls!

What did I bring to the brunch? I went with a no-bake, what-is-in-the-house, on-the-fly dessert since I didn’t have a functional kitchen in which to bake. So, I call these little bites Chocolate Mascarpone Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache Mini Tarts!

These Chocolate Mascarpone Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache Mini Tarts did not just pop on the plate. My drives to and from errands this week were consumed with what to do. Keep to chocolate ganache and make a peanut butter mouse with cream cheese? How big should I make the tarts? Do I even make tarts?

Once I decided write down what was swirling in my brain, I popped over to Gygi and found some mini bite-size sweet tart shells and Guittard chocolate. Harmon’s had the mascarpone and other ingredients. And, thus…Chocolate Mascarpone Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache Mini Tarts were born. The recipe is below, but here are a few of my thoughts… (1) I would choose to use regular peanut butter next time instead of all-natural peanut butter. If I use the all-natural again, because of the natural oils and separate from the mixture. (The brand I use here lists peanuts only on the ingredient list. No oils, sugars, etc.) Or, because it was a thick ganache, I may let it sit on a sieve or cheesecloth to drain. But, after all that? Jif works! ;) (2) I thought, as I was making these, that 3-inch tartlets might work. But, these are pretty rich lil’ bits, so 1-inchers will suffice.

The other part of the weekend was working with RMHC! I will definitely continue that practice in Atlanta, or wherever I end up. I went in on this snowy morning and cooked breakfast. I was a little thrown off because it didn’t have to be healthy, per say. I used whole eggs! Whoa! Because of volume and having an hour, I reverted to an old stand-by….baked eggs. After sautéing diced ham, I added it to the eggs, along with milk and grated cheese. Other items I included were home fries, turkey sausage links, fruits, bagels and bread, and navel oranges. I made more than enough eggs but only had ½ a pan (or 2) left….yippee! All the fruit and home fries went, as well as most of the turkey sausage links.

Then, I began lunch: I made three choices of lunch bags (reuseable Walmart blue bags residents could keep and use for their trips back and forth to the hospital) …(1) Hummus Turkey Wrap with Havarti Cheese & Roasted Red Peppers and (2) Dill or (3) Ranch Chicken Salad. With the protein, I added a small bag of sliced apples, carrots, pudding, drink, cutlery/hand wipes I wrapped last night.

Before I headed out, I popped in some ready-to-bake chocolate chip cookies while I cleaned the area in which I worked.

The families were so sweet, thankful, and appreciative. Seriously? They are the ones that need to be thanked! And, so many of them were mom’s by themselves. How hard! I can’t imagine. I think everyone should volunteer at their local RMHC, or for some non-profit that performs services close to their hearts.

Chocolate Mascarpone & Peanut Butter Chocolate Ganache Mini Tarts
24 mini, 1-inch tart shells
1 ½ Tbsp. sifted Dutch process or other unsweetened cocoa
8 ounces mascarpone
½ cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup peanut butter
½ cup milk chocolate, chopped or chips
¼ cup toasted and cooled chopped peanuts/sliced almonds

Place the peanut butter & chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Set aside. In a small sauce pan (or 1 minute in the microwave), heat cream over medium heat. Bring just to a boil (Watch very carefully!) Pour over the peanut butter & chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Allow to cool to thicken.

Meanwhile, combine mascarpone and cocoa in a bowl until the chocolate is well integrated.
Once the peanut butter & chocolate ganache is cooled, add fill the tart shells and smooth with a spatula/knife. Do not overfill. Top with a scoop of chocolate mascarpone. Finish by garnishing with grated chocolate and nuts.

Chill for at least an hour up to overnight. Serves about 24 mini tarts.

(* You can also carefully teaspoon a few scoops of the mousse on chilled plates, dabbled with the ganache, or spoon the mixture in a funky style into espresso cups before chilling.)

Okay…long post, I know. I will be traveling a lot over the next week, so I am not sure how often I will be able to post. So…for now, my favorite friends who greeted me each morning,
and I bid you all adieu….Until next time!
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