Chocolate Mascarpone Petits Fours
In these small, tall squares, a silky-rich dark-chocolate filling made with mascarpone is sandwiched between layers of from-scratch devil’s food cake, then topped with raspberries.
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- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup milk
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup boiling water
CHOCOLATE MASCARPONE FILLING
- 4 ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese (such as Crave Brothers mascarpone), at room temperature
- ¼ cup confectioners sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons seedless raspberry fruit spread
- 16 fresh raspberries
- Fresh pomegranate seeds (optional)
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch square baking pan; line the bottom with parchment paper; then butter and lightly flour the paper. Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until dry ingredients are well blended. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and vegetable oil.
- With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the egg mixture into the dry ingredients for about 2 minutes until batter is smooth and dark. Beat in the boiling water until well blended (the batter will be quite thin). Pour the batter into the prepared pan, making sure it spreads evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until the center springs back when gently pressed. Cool cake in pan for 10 minutes, then invert cake onto a wire rack; remove paper and leave cake upside down until completely cool.
- Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, stirring occasionally. Set aside melted chocolate to cool until it feels barely warm to the touch but before it starts to re-harden. In a medium bowl, stir together the mascarpone and confectioners’ sugar. Fold the chocolate into the cheese mixture, mixing just until blended and smooth. Set filling aside.
- To assemble the petits fours, place the cake in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to make it firm and easier to cut. Keeping the smooth cake bottom on top, use a long serrated knife to cut the chilled cake in half horizontally to make two layers. Spread the mascarpone filling evenly over the bottom layer. Replace the top layer and coat with a thin, glossy layer of fruit spread. Cut the cake into sixteen 2¼-inch squares, and decorate each with a raspberry and, if desired, pomegranate seeds.
- A boxed devil’s food cake mix may be substituted, but it will fill two 9-inch square baking pans, so double the filling if you want to use both cakes.
- Make the cake part only a couple of weeks ahead and store it, tightly wrapped, in the freezer. Once filled, the cake, wrapped in plastic, will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.
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