I’ve been thinking outside the griddle.
Not “thinking,”… daydreaming!
Entry # 3:
This blog contest recipe started in my mind. I imagined walking in the autumn air on an overcast day, woodsmoke scent coming from the distance.
My husband was sitting there waiting, under the maple tree… and there was a dessert. Of course.
I sat down in front of him, gently placed my spoon in and tasted it.
When I brought this idea back to the kitchen I thought it would be a custard. My first few attempts were a custard but I decided the egg took away too much from the sensuality of the maple syrup. Did you know maple syrup is romantic? It truly is.
I finally decided on cream cheese, even though it is a little heavier than I imagined. But while I was at the grocery store I remembered mascarpone cheese. It’s silky-smooth with a little less cheese flavor.
I zested an orange. Orange and maple, nice.
I knew the maple syrup would come next, I wanted to see it and taste it on my spoon. Then I looked in the pantry and found ground cardamom. I was surprised how happy the marriage was of the two, earthy earthy earthy. Perfect.
But it needed a little allure. We drink wine. However, sometimes I pick up those little liquor bottles and keep them for flavoring things. I used a Southern Comfort because there is something so comfortable about this little imaginary place under the maple tree, but dark vanilla spiced rum or orange liquor would be extraordinary too.
Now the kiss.
The tartness of a sweet, sweet raspberry cut in half, a pretty heart. I love maple syrup. This is dessert.
Re-purpose idea: whip and use as a filling for cream puffs.
This recipe would be lovely at a tasting party, with little clear tasting glasses and mini spoons.
From The Maple Tree, With Love (a dessert)
1/4 cup plus 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (3/4 cup total)
3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (about half a packet)
1/2 cup milk (whole or 2 %)
1 teaspoon fresh grated orange zest
8 ounce container mascarpone cheese, softened
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 Tablespoon sweet soutern style bourbon liquor, spiced rum or orange liquor (to taste)
Fresh Raspberries for garnishing, cut in half
In a heavy non-stick saucepan, whisk together 1/4 cup maple syrup, gelatin powder, and milk. Stir in orange zest and mascarpone cheese. Turn heat on medium and stir until hot, about five minutes. Remove from heat and pour into a large glass measuring cup. Place in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Fold in the whipped cream until smooth.
Pour into champagne glasses or smaller tasting glasses. Chill for at least 4 hours until set.
Meanwhile, in small glass mixing cup, stir together 1/4 cup maple syrup, cardamom, and liquor. Cover and chill. When ready to serve, pour two tablespoons maple-cardamom syrup onto top of each. Garnish with raspberry. Serve with slender spoons. Four servings or 8 small servings.