Monday, May 3, 2010
In a couple weeks, Pike Place Market will host the annual Seattle Cheese Festival. I believe this is the 4th year and counting. The Cheese Festival falls the weekend before my birthday, so in past years I’ve been unable to attend due to being out of town or otherwise celebrating another year on planet Earth.
I’m bound and determined to attend this year’s Cheese Festival. And, to really show how dedicated I am in this endeavor, I decided to enter the Grilled Cheese Sandwich Contest.
Earlier today I posted my first entry in the contest, here is my second entry. I've gotten the most positive feedback from this recipe, and truth be told, it's my favorite of the two. Onward!
Nutella & Mascarpone on Brioche
2 Tbsp. Nutella spread
4 generous Tbsp. Mascarpone Cheese
Big ol' dash of cinnamon (optional)
Sliced strawberries for garnish
Preheat skillet over medium heat. Generously butter one side of a slice of bread. Spread Nutella on other side. Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet bottom. Butter a second slice of bread on one side, spread with Mascarpone. Sprinkle cinnamon if desired, and place butter-side-up on top of sandwich. Grill until lightly browned and flip over; continue grilling until bread is golden. Remove from pan. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with sliced strawberries.
Inspiration: I love, love, LOVE Nutella, and have been looking for more reasons to cook with Mascarpone. I decided to try my hand at a dessert grilled cheese sandwich for this competition. I was not disappointed! The mascarpone absorbs the chocolate/hazelnut flavor, and the powdered sugar almost caramelizes as it melts on the warm buttered bread. It is basically heaven on a plate. Seriously. Try this sandwich.
I got my brioche at Le Panier Bakery in Pike Place Market. I've gotten eclairs from this bakery before, but never ordered a loaf of bread. I should order loaves of bread more often, because apparently it's their specialty.
Here's the girl who sold me my loaf of brioche. Her name is Alice. She was so helpful and encouraging. Thanks Alice! You're the best.
Here's some naked brioche. No more, no less.
A generous helping of Mascarpone on one slice:
Thin layer of Nutella on the other:
Don't forget that hefty dash of cinnamon!
Throw it on the skillet.
Flip it over...
See that Mascarpone oozing down the side? Can ya see it??
Why yes it DOES taste as good as it looks!
The final product.
+ Brioche is a good bread to use, as it's fantastic for French toast and other sugary treats. But any other type of egg bread would work. You just don’t want anything too flavorful, as it’ll take away from the overall integrity of the sandwich.
+ Though the cinnamon is optional, I highly recommend it. The bitterness of it complements the sweetness of the Nutella so nicely. If you add it, don't skimp!
+ The strawberries do not need any sugar - a bit of tartness is actually good for the sandwich.
+ I brought a sandwich into my boss for breakfast on Monday morning. She ate a few bites and saved it for later. Around 4pm, she polished off the rest of the sandwich. She came bursting into my office a few minutes later to tell me that even after sitting on her desk all day, no longer warm and melty, the sandwich was still very tasty. Good to know. :)
+ UPDATE: This is also phenomenal with cardamom in place of cinnamon. OH MY YES.