Desserts

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Cakes
Cookies & Brownies
Pies
Other Desserts
Chocolate Better than Sex Cake
Delia's Special Caramel Browies
Lemon Raspberry Ribbon Pie
Apple Crisp
Sour Cream Banana Cake
Tasty Sugar Cookies
Pop Pop's Shortbread
Skor Bar Cake
Mexican Wedding Cookies
English Toffee
Sock it to Me Cake
Peanut Butter Cookies
Kraft's Fantasy Fudge
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies
 
Peanut Brittle
Batter Bowl Cake/Barbie Cake
NEW!!!
Easy Sugar Cookies
 
Peanut Butter & Chocolate Trash
Unbaked Fruit Cake
   
Super Easy Banana Bread
     
NEW!!!
Chocolate Truffle Tart with Whipped Vanilla Mascarpone

 

Apple Crisp

Contributed by Lisa E.

This is my Mother-in-laws recipe. Its a great hot dessert for winter nights.

Filling:
5-6 apples
3 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 c. sugar
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

Topping:
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon and nutmeg
1/4 c. margarine or butter
1/4 c. chopped nuts (optional)

Peel and core apples, and toss with lemon juice. Mix the other four filling ingredients, add to apples, toss and arrange in dish. Mix the topping ingredients and sprinkler over the filling. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes.

 

Lemon Raspberry Ribbon Pie

Contributed by Lisa E.

My Mother-in-law gave me this great, light and tangy dessert recipe.

1 (9-inch) baked pastry shell
1 (10-oz.) package frozen red raspberries, thawed
1 tbsp. Cornstarch
1 (14-oz.) can Eagle sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk)
1/2 c. bottled lemon juice
yellow food coloring, optional
2. c. (1 pint) whipping cream, stiffly whipped

In small saucepan, combine raspberries and cornstarch; cook and stir until thickened and clear. Cool 10 minutes. Chill thoroughly, about 20 minutes. In large bowl, combine condensed milk, lemon juice and food coloring. Fold in whipped cream. Spread 1/3 lemon mixture into prepared pastry shell; top with raspberry mixture then remaining lemon mixture. Chill thoroughly. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Pop Pop's Shortbread

Contributed by Sarah J.

This is a traditional Scottish recipe, and if you like shortbread, you'll like this. Geoff's grandpa, Pop Pop absolutely loves it.

2 cups butter
1 cup powdered sugar
4 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt (omit if using salted butter)

Cream butter. Double sift flour. Mix dry ingredients, then add butter and mix. Press in ungreased pan. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until slightly brown. Cut while warm. Makes lots.

 

Delia's Special Caramel Brownies

Contributed by Lisa E.

Like the Portobello mushroom main dish, I got this recipe from Donna (although it's no where near as healthy). SINFUL is the only way to describe these brownies.

30 Kraft caramels
1 can Eagle brand condensed milk
2 tbsp. butter
2 boxes German chocolate cake mix (try Pillsbury's)
1 cup salad oil
1 cup chopped walnuts
2/3 cup milk
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Combine caramels, condensed milk and butter, and melt together (low setting in microwave or on top of stove.)

Mix cake mix, oil, walnuts and milk. Pat 1/2 the cake mixture into a buttered 11"x14" pan, completely covering the bottom. (This is a bit tough to do. Try flattening out bits of the mixture between your hands or on wax paper and then transfer it to the pan.) Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. (It will only be partially cooked, so don't expect cake-like doneness.)

Pour caramel mixture over cake layer. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of that. Then carefully place remaining remaining cake mixture over top. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.

Cook for 2 to 3 hours in the refrigerator before cutting.

 

Tasty Sugar Cookies

Contributed by Jill S.

This sugar cookie recipe is the best one ever.

CREAM TOGETHER:
2 sticks of real butter
1 1/2 C. powdered sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. almond flavoring

ADD GRADUALLY:
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cream of tartar
2 1/4 C. flour

The dough will be soft and sticky. You MUST roll this dough out on a pastry cloth (or a large smooth dish towel) covered with flour and use a "rolling pin sleeve" (found in kitchen stores) also rolled in flour first. Divide the dough into two sections and roll to 3/8" thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and place carefully on an UNGREASED cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for only 5-6 minutes. WATCH THEM!! Remove to a cooling rack as soon as you take them out. If they have started to brown then they were cooked too long.

 

Mexican Wedding Cookies

Contributed by Jill S.

The Mexican Wedding Cookies are one of my favorites. They're not fancy, but they're good. By the way, the cooking time on those ended up being about 13 minutes for one inch size balls of dough.

1 C. Butter
1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 C. Flour
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 tbsp. milk
3/4 c. chopped nuts
more powdered sugar

Blend butter, powdered sugar and vanilla well. Stir in flour and salt. Then add 2 Tbls milk one at a time and blend well. Then add 3/4 C. chopped nuts then mix. Chill dough for 2 hours. Then roll into little balls and bake on an UNGREASED cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 13 minutes until they are set, but not brown. Roll them into powdered sugar while they're still warm and then once again when they're completely cooled.

 

Chocolate Better than Sex Cake

Contributed by Lisa E.

My Mom gave me this recipe. It is totally rich and sweet and wonderful. If you love chocolate, you'll love this.

1 (18.25-ounce) package plain devil's food cake mix
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
cup chopped pecans (optional)
1 (3.9-ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate pan frosting (recipe follows)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly mist a bundt or tube pan with cooking spray, then dust with flour. Set aside. Place cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, oil, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl and mix until you have a thick, well-blended batter. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts, then pour batter into pan. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Allow to cool on a rack, then invert onto a serving platter. Once the cake is cool, frost it.

Chocolate Pan Frosting
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup whole milk
4 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

Place the butter in a medium saucepan and melt over low heat, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cocoa powder and milk. Let the mixture come just to a boil, stirring constantly, and remove the pan from the heat. Stir in the confectioners sugar until the frosting is thickened and smooth. Pour the warm frosting over the top of the cake, spreading it to all sides with a spatula.

*THIS MAKES MORE FROSTING THAN YOU ACTUALLY NEED. IF YOU POUR TOO MUCH, IT WILL FILL UP THE HOLE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CAKE. I DIDN'T EVEN NEED TO USE THE SPATULA - I JUST POURED IT OVER THE TOP. IT'S VERY RICH SO YOU DON'T NEED IT TO COVER EVERY SIDE .

 

Sour Cream Banana Cake

Contributed by Laura C.

I got this recipe from a friend, and Craig actually tried it out before I did. It turned out to be easy and delicious. I also love this recipe, because it gives me something to do with those last few bananas that are about to go bad.

2-1/2 C. Flour
2 C. Sugar
2 Tbsp. Baking Powder
1 Tbsp. Baking Soda
3 Eggs
1/4 C. Butter (softened)
3 Ripe Bananas
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
1/2 C. Chopped Walnuts
1 C. Sour Cream (I use fat free)

Mix together all dry ingredients; Then add sour cream. Bake for 40-45 minutes (or until a toothpick comes out clean) at 350 degrees. Let cool and then top with cream cheese frosting (see recipe below).

Cream Cheese Frosting:
2-1/2 C. Confectioners Sugar
3 oz. Softened Cream Cheese (Fat free or lowfat will NOT work; It is too runny)
1 Tbsp. Milk
1 Tbsp. Vanilla
Dash Salt

Mix Well.

 

Peanut Butter Cookies

Contributed by Sarah J.

This recipe came with the mixer, I changed a few things. They were a big hit over the holidays.

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup flour
Hershey Kisses (optional)

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately. Combine. Roll into balls and press with fork or hand. Bake 375 for 10-12 minutes. Place Hershey Kiss in the center of each cookie and let cool.

 

Skor Bar Cake

Contributed by Traci P.

My Grandma first made this cake, and she got the recipe from a family friend. Whenever someone in our family has a birthday, this is usually the cake requested. Everyone will want to know this recipe if you take it to a party, it's just that good!

1 box yellow cake mix
1 tub of Cool Whip (small)
1 jar of hot fudge (not sauce!)
5 Skor candy bars (not Skor baking bits!)

Make cake according to directions in a 13 x 9 inch pan. Let cake cool at least 15-20 minutes. Poke holes all over the cake with a wooden spoon handle (or something close to that size).

Heat entire jar of hot fudge in the microwave (my Grandma likes to use "Mrs. Richardson's" hot fudge...don't forget to take the lid off when you heat it!) Once hot fudge is fairly easy to pour - pour it over the cake, making sure it goes into the holes. Use the entire jar so it covers the surface of the cake.

Let hot fudge cool completely (if you don't the cool whip you layer on next will slide right off...believe me - I know from experience!). Spread on a layer of cool whip - it usually takes the entire tub.

Smash up the candy bars into small pieces (I usually keep them in the wrappers in the freezer; then I smash them with a ladle or against the counter to break them and this makes less of a mess) Lastly, sprinkle the candy pieces over the entire surface of the cake. Keep the cake in the fridge until ready to serve. Yummmmmmy! Enjoy!

 

Sock it to Me Cake

Contributed by Lisa E.

"A Day Late and a Dollar Short" referenced a Sock it to Me Cake, so I found a recipe on the Internet and made it for the book club meeting on this selection. If you like old fashioned, coffee cake types of desserts, this is great.

Cake:
1 package of butter cake mix (18.25 oz.)
1 c. sour cream
1/2 veg. oil
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. water
4 eggs
1 c. chopped pecans
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. ground cinnamon

Glaze:
1 c. confectioners' sugar
1 tbsp. milk

Preheat oven to 375. Grease and flour one 10-inch tube pan. (I used a bundt cake pan and it turned out great.) In a large bowl, blend together cake mix, sour cream, oil, white sugar. water and eggs. Pour 2/3 of the batter int9o prepared pan. Combine pecans, brown sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over batter in pan. Spread remaining batter evenly over filling mixture. Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes until the cake springs back when touched lightly. Cool right-side-up pan about 25 minutes. Mix together confectioners' sugar and milk. Remove cake from pan and drizzle with glaze. Serve!

 

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake

Contributed by Andrea R.

If you have cold, brewed coffee on hand, it can be used in place of the instant coffee and water, but to make sure it isn't too strong, use 1 cup of cold coffee mixed with cup water. Serve the cake warm with vanilla or coffee ice cream. Leftovers can be reheated, covered with plastic wrap, in a microwave oven.

2 tsp. instant coffee
1 cups water
2/3 cup (2 oz) Dutch-processed cocoa
1/3 cup (1 oz) packed brown sugar
1 cup (7 oz) granulated sugar
6 TBSP unsalted butter
2 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped ( I used chips)
cup ( 3 oz) unbleached all- purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 TBSP vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole milk
teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
vanilla ice cream (optional)

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly spray 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Stir instant coffee into water; set aside to dissolve. Stir together 1/3 cup cocoa, brown sugar, and 1/3 cup granulated sugar in small bowl, breaking up large clumps with fingers; set aside. Melt butter, remaining 1/3 cup cocoa, and chocolate in small bowl set over saucepan of barely simmering water; whisk until smooth and set aside to cool slightly. Whisk flour and baking powder in small bowl until combined; set aside. Whisk remaining 2/3 cup sugar, vanilla, milk, and salt in medium bowl until combined; whisk in yolk. Add chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Add flour mixture and whisk until batter is evenly moistened.

2. Pour batter into prepared baking dish and spread evenly to sides and corners. Sprinkle cocoa/sugar mixture evenly over batter (cocoa mixture should cover entire surface of batter); pour coffee mixture gently over cocoa mixture. Bake until cake is puffed and bubbling and just beginning to pull away from sides of baking dish, about 45 minutes. (Do not overbake.) Cool cake in dish on wire rack about 25 minutes before serving.

INDIVIDUAL HOT FUDGE PUDDING CAKES

Follow recipe for Hot Fudge Pudding Cake, heating oven to 400 degrees and lightly spraying eight 6- to 8- ounce ramekins with nonstick cooking spray; set ramekins on baking sheet. Divide batter evenly among ramekins (about cup per ramekins) and level with the back of a spoon; sprinkle about 2 tablespoons cocoa/sugar mixture over batter in each ramekin. Pour 3 tablespoons coffee mixture over cocoa/sugar mixture in each ramekin. Bake until puffed and bubbling, about 20 minutes. (Do not overbake.) Cool ramekins about 15 minutes before serving (cakes will fall).

 

Batter Bowl Cake/Barbie Cake

Contributed by Carrie D.

This is a great cake for a little girls' birthday parties. It looks like a princess in a dress.

1 boxed cake mix (18-19 oz), any flavor
2-4 cups icing
food coloring

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare cake according to package directions.  Spray Classic Batter Bowl with vegetable oil spray.  Pour batter into prepared Batter Bowl.  Bake 55-65 min or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 15 min on cooling rack, invert.  Cool before decorating.  12-15 servings.

Doll Cake Variation:

Bake two cakes separately and prepare 4 cups of icing.  Trim 2 inches from the bottom of one cake to serve as base of skirt; place cut side up on cake plate.  Set second cake on top of 2 inch base.  With a knife, hollow out a small round opening in top center of cake and insert doll wrapped in plastic wrap.  Decorate doll skirt and bodice of doll with tinted icing.

 

English Toffee

Contributed by Kasey St. J.

1 lb Butter (no margarine COSTCO brand works great)
1.5 Cups Sugar
1 Cup finely chopped nuts (Pecans)
1-Cup Almonds
1 8 oz. Package Chocolate Chips

In heavy skillet (cast iron), melt butter. Add sugar and cook and stir over highest heat until mixture foams vigorously. Cook 5 minutes more over low heat and add Almonds. Stir over highest heat until nuts begin to pop. Reduce heat and continue cooking for seven minutes (stirring constantly). If mixture darkens too fast, remove from heat, but continue stirring full 7 minutes. Pour candy onto cookie sheets and cool (place in refrigerator if desired) for approximately 1 hour. Melt 8 oz Package of chocolate chips; spread half over candy and sprinkle with ground up nuts, cool. Turn candy over and coat other side with remaining chocolate and nuts. Cool in refrigerator until chocolate hardens (approximately 1 hour). Break into pieces and serve.

 

Unbaked Fruit Cake

Contributed by Kasey St. J.

This is a St. J. family favorite.

1 LB Pecans (finely chopped)
1 LB Walnuts (finely chopped)
16 oz Vanilla Wafers (ground coarse)
1 LB Pitted Dates
1 LB Marshmallows
1  LB Candied Pineapple
1  LB Candied Cherries
1 Small Can Evaporated Milk

Chop nuts, cut cherries, pineapple, & dates; place in large mixing bowl. Grind Vanilla Wafers, add to nuts and fruit. In a medium bowl, melt marshmallows and milk in microwave (approximately 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute). Pour over other ingredients and mix well (we do with our hands so the mixture will be well distributed). Wet hands with water and shape into balls, coat with powered sugar and place in paper liners. It can also be placed into loaf pans if so desired. Place in refrigerator for at least 24 hours. Serve.

 

Kraft's Fantasy Fudge (Microwave)

Contributed by Kasey St. J.

¾ Cup Margarine
3 Cups Sugar
1 Small Can Evaporated Milk (? Cup)
1-Cup Pecans (Chopped)
1 Jar Kraft Marshmallow Cream
1-Teaspoon Vanilla
1 12 oz. Package Chocolate Chips (or any other flavor of your choice)

Melt margarine in 4-quart microwave bowl. Add sugar and milk, stir well. Microwave on high for 5 minutes, stirring after 3 minutes. Stir well and microwave for 5½ minutes, stirring after 3 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in chips until melted. Add Marshmallow cream and stir well. Add nuts and vanilla, stirring well. Pour into greased 13x9 inch pan and cool at room temperature. Cut into squares. Makes about 48 squares of fudge.

 

Peanut Brittle (Microwave)

Contributed by Kasey St. J.

1-Cup Sugar
½ Cup White Corn Syrup
1 7 oz. Jar Dry Roasted Peanuts
1-Teaspoon Butter
1-Teaspoon Vanilla
1-Teaspoon Baking Soda

In 2-quart glass casserole, stir together sugar & syrup. Microwave on HIGH 4 minutes. Stir in nuts, microwave on HIGH 3-5 minutes until syrup is light brown. Add butter and vanilla, blend well. Microwave 1-2 minutes or until syrup is hot. Add Baking Soda and stir well. Pour onto a lightly buttered cookie sheet, spread thin. Let cool, break into pieces to serve.

 

Mexican Wedding Cake Cookies

Contributed by Kasey St. J.

½ Cup Powdered Sugar
2 Sticks Butter
2 Cups Chopped Pecans
2 Cups Sifted Flour
1-Teaspoon Vanilla

Cream butter and sugar; add vanilla and flour. Mix well. Add chopped nuts and mix well (mixture will leave sides of bowl). Pinch into marble sized pieces and roll in palm of hand (also can use small cookie measurer). Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool 5 minutes; roll in powdered sugar while hot, and re-roll next day.

 

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Trash (Great for Kids)

By Sarah J.

This recipe is easy and it makes a ton. Great to put in cute Christmas bags or boxes to give to neighbors or teachers. My kids love to do the bag shaking part.

1 box Crispex cereal
1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1 stick butter
2 1/2 c. powdered sugar

In large pan melt chocolate, peanut butter and butter. Remove from heat. Pour in cereal and toss lightly until coated. Put powdered sugar in a brown paper bag. Dump coated cereal in bag and shake and shake and shake.

 

Super Easy Banana Bread

Contributed by Lisa E.

Rachel fell in love with banana bread on our Maui trip and I came across this super easy recipe. Just a few ingredients and no need to use a mixer.

3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

 

Easy Sugar Cookies

By Sarah J.

This is the easiest and best tasting recipe. I use waxed paper or foil to roll out the dough, which means you only have to chill the dough for about 2-3 hours instead of overnight. It also cuts down on the messy flour. (If you put them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, and then the refrigerator for 35-40 minutes, you only need to chill for an hour.)

1 3/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup shortening (I use butter flavored Crisco)
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Waxed paper or foil

Early in the day or the day before, make dough. In a large bowl cream the butter, the shortening and mix with sugar. Add the eggs, extract, and milk. In a medium bowl, mix the dry ingredients with a wire whisk. Add dry ingredients slowly to wet ingredients until well combined.

Roll out about 1/3 of the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper or foil and place in the refrigerator. Continue until all the dough is rolled out, stacking the dough sheets. You will go through a lot of waxed paper or foil, but the convenience is worth it for me. It also cuts down on the extra flour needed to roll and reroll the dough, which can make the cookies less sweet and more dry (and make a mess).

Chill for at least 2-3 hours. If you want to chill overnight, place waxed paper sheets in a Ziplock bag. If you put them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes, and then the refrigerator for 35-40 minutes, you only need to chill for an hour.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. When you're ready to cut the cookies, take out one sheet at a time, peel off the top waxed paper or foil, and you're ready. Collect the dough scraps in a plastic baggie so they don't dry out. Re-roll between waxed paper or foil when you have enough and chill rerolled dough for a few minutes in the freezer. (The cooler the dough is when it goes in the oven, the better the cookies will keep their shape.)

Bake for 8 minutes. Do not over bake. Cool completely before icing.

 

Chocolate Truffle Tart with Whipped Vanilla Mascarpone

Contributed by Lisa B.

Lisa B. brought this to a party a couple of weeks ago and everyone was DYING over how amazing this rich, sophisticated dark chocolate torte was.

Crust:
2 cups finely ground graham crackers (you can buy them ground up in the baking section)
4 tbsp. granulated sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
3/4 lb. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. table salt

Topping:
1/2 lb. mascarpone cheese, at room temp
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

First, make the crust (bake it and cool it before proceeding with the next steps). Position rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350. Have ready and ungreased 9 1/2 inch fluted tart pan w/removable bottom (or springform cake pan). In medium bowl, mix cookie crumbs and sugar w/fork until well blended. Drizzle melted butter over the crumbs and mix w/fork or fingers until evenly moistened. Put the crumbs in the tart pan and use your hands to spread the crumbs so they coat the bottom of the pan and start to creep up the sides (you may not need all of the crumbs). Use your fingers to pinch and press some of the crumbs around the inside edge of the pan to cover the sides evenly and create a wall a scant 1/4 inch thick. Redistribute the remaining crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan and press firmly to make a compact layer. (I like to use a metal measuring cup with straight sides and a flat base for this task.) Bake the crust until it smells nutty and fragrant (crusts made with lighter-colored cookies will brown slightly), about 10 min. Set the baked crust on a rack and let cool. The crust can be made up to one day ahead of filling, and stored at room temperature, wrapped well in plastic.

Next, make the filling. Melt together the chocolate, milk, and butter in a medium bowl in a microwave or in a double boiler over medium heat. Add the vanilla and salt. Whisk the mixture until well blended and smooth. Set aside, whisking occasionally, until room temperature and slightly thickened, about 1 hour. (For faster cooling, refrigerate the filling until thickened to a pudding consistency, about 30  minutes, whisking and scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula every 5 minutes.) With a rubber spatula, scrape the mixture into the crust and spread evenly, taking care not to disturb the edge of the crust. Let cool completely, cover, and refrigerate until the filling is set, about 4 hours and up to 8  hours before proceeding with the recipe. (You can even do this part the night before, FYI.)

Finally, make the topping. In a medium bowl, combine the mascarpone, cream, sugar, and vanilla. Using an electric mixer, beat on low speed until almost smooth, 30  to 60  seconds. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until the mixture is thick and holds firm peaks, another 30 to 60  seconds. Don't overbeat. With a rubber or metal spatula, spread the topping over the chocolate filling, leaving lots of swirls and peaks. Serve the tart right away or cover loosely and refrigerate, in the pan, for up to 4 hours. (We've eaten this up to a couple of days after it was served, and it's just fine in the fridge.)