Posted by: kriscdub | December 28, 2009

Holiday Cookie Madness Finale: Chocolate Covered Mac and Cheese

Bear with me, here. I know it sounds bizarre, but I did promise you something just plain weird. Weird, however, is not a bad thing. Over Thanksgiving break, Mom and I went on a wine tour and Macaroni and Cheese bake off on Old Mission Penninsula, and this was one of the Macaroni and Cheese recipes that we tried there. The chef called it “Love on a Stick.” It was served with a cherry brandy from Chateau Chantal, which I, of course, didn’t get to try, but which apparently compliments these perfectly. We had no idea what they were at first, since everywhere else had relatively traditional forms of mac and cheese, but biting into them, we found that the interior is almost like white chocolate cheesecake. The macaroni inside was a little startling at first, but these definitely grew on me, and we were talking about them for a long time after. The recipe that I received by email is very incomplete and vague, so we had to do some experimentation. Ours turned out a bit softer than we wanted, but I have some ideas on how to fix this in the future. Bottom line: these are a delicious conversation piece.

Your ingredients:

Mascarpone cheese again. Yum!

We chose to use lollipop sticks for only a couple of our macaroni balls, and decided that we preferred them without sticks. If you’d like to use lollipop sticks, they should be inserted into the white chocolate centers before they are fully chilled for dipping.

First you need to cook your macaroni. The recipe called for a cup of dry dry elbow macaroni. We ended up using two cups to make the filling a little more dense. It’s really up to you how much macaroni you want in there. I like it with more simply because it makes it easier to tell what is is. In any case, you want 1 cup of macaroni to 4 cups water and 1 cup sugar. Boil the macaroni a little longer than the package indicates, so it’s a little more soft than usual. We cooked ours for about 15 minutes. When the macaroni is done, drain it and allow it to cool, but do not rinse it. Try a noodle or two, by the way. I like this sweet macaroni idea. I’m definitely planning on coming up with some more dessert pasta recipes in the future.

Heat a cup of cream in a saucepan until almost boiling. The recipe originally called for a cup and a half of cream, but our filling was far too liquid, and we ended up using our ice cream maker to get it to firm up enough to scoop. You could also use the microwave for this step as I do later for the chocolate coating, but I was still feeling ambitious at this point.

When the cream is heated, pour it over a pound of white chocolate and half a cup of mascarpone cheese in a medium bowl. Stir until everything is melted and smooth.

When the chocolate and mascarpone are incorporated, stir in the drained macaroni and place the mixture in the freezer to cool. <ake sure to get as much water as possible out of the macaroni. As I mentioned before, ours wasn’t firming up just in the freezer, so we ended up using our ice cream maker to chill it. I’d check the mixture about every half hour or so and stir it. You want the mixture to be scoopable, but firm enough to hold together. When it reaches this point, use a tablespoon or cookie scoop to scoop the mixture into balls and place them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.

When you fill a cookie sheet, place it into the freezer for 20-30 minutes until the centers are relatively solid. We ended up filling two cookie sheets. While the centers are chilling, make the chocolate ganache to coat them. Again, the recipe called for a cup and a half of cream. We used 1 cup, but I would suggest using only half a cup to a pound of bittersweet chocolate, as our coating was softer than we wanted. Pour the cream and chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and zap for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between…

until the ganache is smooth. Let it cool for a bit while you wait for the centers to firm up.

When the centers are ready, roll each one in the chocolate ganache until coated and remove with two forks,

allowing the excess ganache to drip before placing back on the wax paper coated cookie sheets.

Place them back in the freezer for the coating to harden. It should only be about another half an hour before you can wow your friends with your mystery truffles. They’ll never guess what they are.

Thus ends my holiday cookie madness: not with a bang, but a ball of mac and cheese. Merry Chrismakwaanzawhateverkah, everybody, and have a happy new year!

Chocolate Covered Mac and Cheese

2 cups dry macaroni

8 cups water

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 cups cream, divided

1 pound white chocolate

1/2 cup mascarpone cheese

1 pound bittersweet chocolate

Cook macaroni about 15 minutes in sweet water (2 cups sugar in 8 cups water) until soft. Drain and allow to cool without rinsing. Meanwhile, heat 1 cup cream in a saucepan until nearly boiling, then pour over white chocolate and mascarpone cheese in a medium bowl. Stir until chocolate and cheese are melted and smooth. Add macaroni to white chocolate mixture, then chill in freezer, stirring about every half hour, until firm enough to scoop. Drop by the rounded tablespoon onto wax paper lined cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet in freezer until centers are firm, about 20-30 minutes. While the centers chill, microwave 1 pound bittersweet chocolate with 1/2 cup cream in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until ganache is smooth. Let cool until centers are ready. Roll each white chocolate center in the chocolate ganache until coated, then remove with two forks, allowing excess ganache to drip before placing back onto wax paper coated cookie sheet. When all the centers are coated, place the cookie sheet back into the freezer until chocolate ganache is firm, about half an hour.

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Responses

  1. Having sampled all the Christmas cookies I found them all to be delicious, the chocolate mac and cheese especially so. Keep up the good work Kids and Happy New Year.


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