Mascarpone Chocolate Mousse in White Chocolate Cups

I firmly believe it is healthy to step out of your comfort zone every now and then. It tends to be…uncomfortable, but I’ve found that something new and worthwhile is often waiting to be discovered on the other side.

That was an overly philosophical way of introducing these white chocolate cups filled with mascarpone and chocolate mousse. I decided to make these because I wanted to use up the rest of the pricey mascarpone I purchased for these cupcakes. Also, while I gravitate toward simple recipes, I think it’s good to take on something a little more challenging every now and then!

The result was so worth it. These were good.

I’ll admit I was nervous about creating the white chocolate cups, especially when it came to peeling off the paper liner.

The moment of truth arrived, and I emerged victorious!

A couple notes:

I actually used 4 ounces of mascarpone and 4 ounces of cream cheese. This worked out totally fine for me. However, I hesitate to recommend fully replacing the mascarpone with cream cheese, just because those two cheeses aren’t precisely the same thing. (If you risk it and it works please let me know!) Honestly, mascarpone is worth the price, at least every now and then. It is just so creamy and dreamy and it gives the mousse a unique flavor.

Secondly, I would recommend bringing the cheese to room temperature before beating it with the chocolate. I had some initial difficulty combining the whipped cream with the firmer chocolate/cheese mixture.

I hope you make these! Make them on a day when you are feeling focused and creative. Good luck!

Mascarpone Chocolate Mousse in White Chocolate Cups

Recipe adapted very slightly from Giada De Laurentiis

Makes 8 cups

8-9 ounces good-quality white chocolate, chopped
4 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
8 ounces mascarpone cheese
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
White chocolate curls, for garnish

Line 8 muffin cups with paper liners. Melt white chocolate slowly in a double boiler over simmering water, stirring until smooth. Coat the bottom and sides of each paper liner with about 1 tablespoon of white chocolate, using a pastry brush. Be sure and make this first coat relatively thick and even, and coat all the grooves in the liner. Let the cups freeze for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate is firm.

Re-melt the white chocolate and spoon it into the cups, giving the bottom and sides a second coat. Freeze for an hour or until the cups are set.

Melt the semisweet chocolate in the top of a clean double boiler, stirring until smooth. Let it cool completely.

With an electric mixer, beat the whipping cream and sugar in a large bowl until soft peaks form. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone cheese, orange peel, vanilla, and melted semisweet chocolate in a large bowl just until smooth and glossy (about 30 seconds). Do not overmix.

Fold whipped cream into the chocolate mixture in two batches.

Carefully remove the wrappings from the white chocolate cups. If the wrappings stick too much, let the cups sit at room temperature for a few minutes and try again.

At this point, you can transfer the mousse to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe it into the white chocolate cups, or you can simply spoon the mousse into the cups.

Sprinkle the white chocolate curls over the mousse.* Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate overnight and then let stand at room temperature about 1 hour before serving.

*To make white chocolate curls: slightly soften a bar of white chocolate by placing it in a warm room or under a lamp. (You could also hold it for a few seconds in the air over your double boiler as you melt the other chocolate.) Use a vegetable peeler to carefully carve curls from the bar. Chill on top of foil until ready to garnish the cups.

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