dessert mac & cheese
Guys, I have an obsession, and its name is mac and cheese. Many of my early food memories revolve around this dish, and when I began developing recipes, this was one of the first ones. In fact, this dessert was the reason that I began hosting 6-course mac and cheese dinners, because I needed an excuse to show people that mac and cheese is one of the greatest things of all time.
It was also one of the first videos I did for Tastemade (you can check it out below!) and got a very mixed reception. People who came from cultures that eat rice pudding-type dishes or some Asian cultures were immediately into it…others seemed totally disgusted. And I get it: mac and cheese is such a standard in American cuisine, and even the variations on it are rarely all that outrageous (I’m looking at you, caramelized onions, white cheddar and bacon, lobster mac and cheeses). This dessert has all the amazing baking spices flavors that warm up your nose and tummy in the wintertime, a bit of mascarpone for some creamy cheesiness, and also provides a sweet bechamel recipe, that you can use on other desserts. I like to serve it with a berry compote, but fresh fruit works great as well.
dessert mac and cheese
Serves 6 - 8
1 box pasta, shape of your choice
50 g all purpose flour
50 g unsalted butter
1 c heavy cream
1½ c whole milk
4 ea whole cloves
1 pinch nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling
3 Tbs sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1 pinch kosher salt
1 ea 8 oz container of mascarpone
Preheat oven to 375F.
Combine cream, milk, spices, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and heat on low to infuse flavors, about 10 minutes.
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than recommended cooking time. Strain, and run cold water through it to stop cooking.
In a medium saucepan, combine butter and flour and cook to create a roux. Once roux comes together, Keep cooking until butter starts to brown and fragrant.
When roux is done, add milk mixture in batches through a strainer while whisking. Continue adding, cooking and whisking until your sauce won’t thicken anymore.
Turn heat off and stir in mascarpone. Add your pasta and stir to combine.
Transfer mac and cheese to a 9 x 13 baking dish, sprinkle top liberally with cinnamon and sugar and bake for 15-20 minutes, until bubbling. Remove from oven, and finish in broiler if you so choose.
*Note: mac and cheese can be held in the fridge before baking for up to 3 days. Serve with fresh berry compote.