Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese

Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese

For the past two years, I have created a special Valentine’s Day grilled cheese involving strawberries. This year, I wanted to do something different, I wanted to do something I had yet to tackle. For every single grilled cheese sandwich I have cooked, they have been the main course. They have been the star. Not this time. Not this Valentine’s Day. For the first time in my 3+ years of creating and preparing grilled cheese sandwiches, I would make a dessert grilled cheese sandwich, featuring gourmet chocolate. The pressure was on to create something spectacular. I was up to the challenge…even if I still included strawberries. (It was Valentine’s Day after all!)

On a side note, I thought I would give everyone an update on GrilledShane the person. I don’t talk about myself a lot on this blog so I thought I would catch everyone up on my life. GrilledShane the culinary student is currently taking just one class, Basic Food Preparation, the first class where I am actually in the kitchen. Last week in class I started practicing my knife cuts, leaving with all 10 of my fingers in tact (and not bloody). I would say that that is quite the accomplishment.

GrilledShane the cashier is on his way to moving up. In no time, I will be promoted to lead cashier, with more responsibilities and a raise. When leaving my webmaster job, the goal was to move beyond cashier. That plan seems to be coming true a lot sooner than expected. Sure, I won’t be management just yet, but at the same time, I am no longer just a cashier.

Finally, GrilledShane the man is still out there searching for GrilledShane the lady. Sure, I have been on dates and gone out with various Jewish women, but I have yet to find her. I have yet to truly connect. If you, random visitor, know of any single, Jewish women in the Cleveland/Ohio region of this great country, please, send them my way. Mark Zuckerberg used Facebook to find women so why can’t I use my love of grilled cheese to do the same? It would make for a great story…and a very happy GrilledShane.

This Sandwich Featured in Melt: 100 Amazing Adventures in Grilled Cheeseingredients:

  • Melted Chocolate (El Rey Caoba Milk 41%)
  • Fresh Strawberries
  • Graham Crackers
  • Vermont Creamery Mascarpone Cheese
  • Challah

Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese: Vermont Creamery Mascarpone Cheese

the cheese: mascarpone

For some reason, the minute I thought dessert grilled cheese, I thought mascarpone cheese. Maybe subconsciously I have connected mascarpone with dessert, I don’t know why but it was a good choice. It actually took some hunting to find plain mascarpone, but thankfully I found some great vermont creamery brand cheese.

Not long ago, the word mascarpone would draw quizzical looks. Nowadays, the distinctly Italian-sounding name is the only thing obscure about this velvety, rich cream cheese. One story suggests that a visiting Spanish dignitary in the 16th-century tasted fresh mascarpone in Italy and proclaimed it mas que bueno — better than good! In the early 1990?s, as U.S. chefs discovered the dessert phenomenon tiramisu, its chief ingredient — mascarpone — began to grow in popularity. (VermontCreamery.com)

thoughts

There is nothing better than freshly melted chocolate. Ooey gooey and oh so yummy. I had hoped to purchase meltable chocolate from Malley’s, a local chocolate shop that I worked at many years ago. However, I forgot it was Valentine’s Day. When I traveled to the one next to the local Whole Foods, not the one I worked at, the line was long and the clerks were all 90+, with one foot already in the grave. The store was picked over and I couldn’t find any meltable chocolate. I decided to return to Whole Foods and just buy the chocolate there.

Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese: El Rey Caoba Milk 41%

On a table was El Rey Caoba Milk Chocolate discs sitting there waiting to be purchased. I didn’t know much about the particular chocolate I was buying, all I knew was that it smelled good and I wanted it.

Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese: El Rey Caoba Milk 41%

After searching the Internet a bit, I realized that El Rey is the brand of chocolate and caoba is a tree that shades the cacao plant. There is 41% cacao in this particular chocolate, which I have read is a high amount for a milk chocolate. Either way, I would imagine you could use any of your favorite meltable chocolate and this grilled cheese would still be great.

Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese: Melting Chocolate

Yes, we do have a microwave, but for some reason my mind was set on using a makeshift double boiler to melt the chocolate. Simply put a pot of water on the stove, boil, place bowl with chocolate on top and melt.

Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese: Melting Chocolate

With as little chocolate as we were melting, it took only a couple minutes. The smell wafting through the kitchen was absolutely amazing.

Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese: Mascarpone Mixed With Chocolate

I had originally thought of only drizzling a small amount of chocolate into the mascarpone. However, once I got mixing, I decided to use about half of the melted chocolate. It was the perfect amount.

Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese: Graham Crackers

When I mention s’mores, what do you think? Campfires? Being young again? Snack time at school? The minute I thought about doing a chocolate grilled cheese with mascarpone, for some reason, I immediately thought of s’mores and graham crackers. I believed the crackers would add a nice crunch to a smooth, creamy grilled cheese.

Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese: Fresh Strawberries

I wanted to create something original for this particular Valentine’s Day. I kept pondering what final ingredient to include within this grilled cheese, in addition to the chocolate, mascarpone and graham crackers. It needed one more ingredient and all I could think of was strawberries, strawberries, strawberries. I wanted to avoid strawberries. I used strawberries. And then drizzled chocolate on top of them.

Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese: Challah

We had challah at home to make “french toast cookies” for my nephews so I thought why not use it for this dessert grilled cheese sandwich? I always think of challah as a sweet bread, so why not use it for a sweet, dessert grilled cheese?

I only toasted the bread on a pan in some Land O’ Lakes butter for a few minutes, just to get it browned. I sprinkled on some cinnamon sugar and that was the end of the cooking process. I prepared the rest of the sandwich cold.

the grilled cheese:

Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese Chocolate Mascarpone Grilled Cheese

chocolate mascarpone grilled cheese: A

For the first time, I created a dessert grilled cheese sandwich. For a first attempt, I created a sweet (almost too sweet) dessert grilled cheese sandwich that would be great on any restaurant’s dessert menu. The only complaint I have is that the graham crackers did not add the crunch I was looking for. I believe that if I left the crackers in larger pieces, the crunch would have been there. The strawberries on the other hand, were perfect in combination with the chocolate mascarpone and a great addition. As a sign of good things, my father ate all of the sandwich. That means this was a good grilled cheese. It simply had all the right components and the perfect amount of chocolate. This will be hard to top the next time I try and create a dessert grilled cheese.

P.S. If you look closely, the challah kind of looks like a heart. Happy coincidence.

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