It isn’t too often that I use ‘pre-made’ ingredients in the desserts we make, as I like making most everything from scratch. This dessert includes not one, but two ‘pre-made’ ingredients, Nutella and Biscoff cookies, both delightfully delicious on their own. Paired with an espresso mousse, this dessert becomes shamefully sublime and a top contender in the surreptitious world of guilty pleasures.
The saying ‘necessity is the mother of invention’ was more than apropos when putting this dessert together. Originally, I had always made this as a tart, but I wanted to summer-ize it while bearing the wrath of the latest heat wave. Using our little countertop oven with only a 1-2 degree jump in our kitchen temperature rather than kicking it up 10+ degrees with the ‘big oven’ made sense to me and everyone else in the house.
As wonderful as it is, Nutella can be messy to work with. When I saw fellow blogger Nagi at Recipe Tin Eats brilliant idea of freezing the Nutella into discs (she made filled pancakes), life in the kitchen became a little bit easier. The Nutella discs are perfect for this recipe, making it so much easier to work with.
Baking the Biscoff cookie crumble gives it a wonderfully rich flavor. If you haven’t tried Biscoff cookies (aka Speculoos), give them a try. Made in Europe since 1932 and served on Delta airline flights, they have a caramelized brown sugar flavor that is addicting. Fortunately, they are available in most grocery markets. We used a tablespoon measuring spoon to mold them, which is the amount used for each crumb layer. They bake quickly in a countertop oven, and break up easily when layering them into each dessert container.
The Espresso Mascarpone Filling adds the cream factor to the crunchiness of the Biscoff crumb and the velvety texture of the Nutella. The cream lightens the density of the mascarpone while still keeping it creamy. It whips up quickly and can be made ahead and kept in the refrigerator.
The mascarpone and cream make this dessert luxurious and rich and the espresso enhances the chocolate and caramel flavors swirling around in your mouth. Each bite delivers layers of flavors that just keep on giving, with thoughts of ‘I can’t believe how good this is’.