Taking Baby Steps With Some Chocolate Mascarpone Mini Cups

10 Mar

Just a few posts ago, I wrote about how I was homeschooling my toddler. I was enjoying that experience to the hilt and thought of continuing it for as long as I could. I could see how much it was helping my child learn faster and it was the best way to fill up my time as well. But life has its own quirky way of sneaking up on you and changing it without any prior warning. Usually I’m up for such change of tracks but this new development put me out of my comfort zone and overnight I was fraught with worry about how I was going to manage things from now on. I should have been happy and don’t get me wrong I am happy with this new development but when you are a mum, your happiness has to wait in line till your child’s priorities have been sorted out.

The thing is, after a gap of 2 whole years, I landed myself a job in Bahrain. This was when I had almost given up hope and decided on focusing on doing something entirely different with my life. My first instinct was to stress out about how I was going to manage Mimi. I wanted to home school her given its definite advantages but now with a full-time job which was too good to give up, I had to make alternate arrangements. My kind housekeeper obliged to play the nanny for certain part of the day until I got back home from work. So with that in place, I decided to look for a school that would not only accommodate my child in the middle of the year but also fulfill certain criteria that were important to me with respect to its curriculum and discipline. Most of the schools refused outright asking me to apply the following year and some just didn’t make the cut. Finally I found a leveler in a school that was close to my home and seemed right in most ways for Mimi to attend. Thankfully, they had one last place to offer her and the deal was sealed.

Her first day was on the 1st of March. I constantly spoke to Mimi the previous few days about how she was going to school and what she would do there. I even prompted her every now and then about waking up early since she had to leave by 7 30 am. I never in my dreams thought that she would actually pay heed to what I was telling her. For a  2.5 year-old , she is pretty smart, I must say. She woke up at 6 45 am on the first day on her own and quietly let me dress her up. To see her in her white shirt and beige skirt ( which was too long btw) and her red sweater, I was shedding a silent tear on the side. She posed for me and seemed happy to be going to school. The moment she entered the school compound, she let-go off my hand and rushed to the playpen. She was excited to see the swings, the slides and all her favourite fun activities in one place. I had a tough time coaxing her to see her class. Her class teacher seemed like a kind but firm sort of lady and that put my mind at rest. Leaving Mimi with them was difficult as she is not used to being restricted in a room. After some distraction tactics, I managed to slip away and come home. To return to an empty house seemed very weird. I found myself fidgety and anxious. I worried about Mimi and whether she would have had her breakfast or not or whether she would sit in one place or not. I used that time to bake something (obviously) so that I don’t combust and evaporate. I made these dainty little cups of joy using ofcourse our ( Mimi’s and mine) favourite ingredient Chocolate and another beautiful ingredient Mascarpone. Making these required some focus and that helped me calm down.

While I make/bake something with the intention of blogging about it afterward, I usually start the post in my head with the process. The story, the outline, the character building, the sweet reminiscences start swirling in my head as I start putting the ingredients together. And by the time the task is done, my blog post is ready to be published in my head. So then, it is only a matter of typing the words down on the blog page.

So during this chocolate mascarpone exercise, I thought about how Mimi and I are going through similar experiences in our lives right now. But Mimi has had a head start since she started school before I join work. I join work this Sunday ( 11th of March) and it would be my first after 2 long years. I have had some sort of preparation only because of the zillions of interviews that I had attended but to actually imagine myself in office- that was scary. I thought about how I would have to look serious all the time, wear stuffy coats and trousers ( as opposed to the breezy night pyjamas and comfortable Ts  that I never get out of) and attempt making adult-like conversations with my colleagues ( in contrast to the baby talk that I have practised with my child these 2 years). How in the world was I going to fit in? I am going to feel like a fish out of water the first day. And since my role is primarily going to be a client facing one, I don’t know if I still have it in me to hold anyone’s attention. All of a sudden, the whole job thing started to look like a mistake. I wasn’t feeling up to it. NOT AT ALL. My heart began to race and I had to call my mother. Though I didn’t tell her about my anxieties, but I told her about Mimi and her school. I always feel a lot better after talking to her. She told me about the time when she had to leave me and my brother with our nannies to go back to work and how difficult it was for her ( this was without any prompting from me about my chaotic mind frame).

Only when we have our own children do we realize what all our parents would have endured raising us and we take it all for granted. Unfortunately, these bursts of realization come very late. So talking to my mum laid most of my fears to rest and I concentrated on getting my tiny desserts done well. I don’t know where I got the recipe from but I must thank whoever that person/cookbook/blogger is. These fabulous pieces of ecstasy are meant for those special occasions; the first days sort of celebration. Indulgent but not being overly so.

Recipe for Chocolate Mascarpone Mini Cups

Makes about 20 cups

Ingredients

 100 gm plain chocolate ( for the cups. You will need petite -size paper cups to make these chocolate cups)

Filling 

100 gm milk chocolate

200 gm mascarpone cheese

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

cocoa powder for dusting

Preparation

1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Break 100gm plain chocolate into pieces and place it in a bowl. Set it over a saucepan of hot water. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Spoon the melted chocolate into 20 paper cups ( the smallest ones), spreading it up the sides, with a small spoon or pastry brush. I think the pastry brush helps to spread it out evenly and reduces waste. Place these tiny paper cups upside down on the baking tray and leave to set.

2. When set, carefully peel away the paper cases. You have to be very careful lest the chocolate breaks. I had some mishaps but I used those broken chocolate cups anyways. It is chocolate after all. I cannot let anything chocolate go in waste.

3. For the filling, melt the chocolate. Place the mascarpone cheese in a bowl and beat in the vanilla essence. To this add the melted chocolate until well combined. Leave the mixture to chill in the refrigerator, beating occasionally, until firm enough to pipe. I was excited to do the piping but my piping nozzle kept dropping off every time I tried to squeeze the chocolate mixture out of it, into the cups. Finally I gave up and used a spoon to fill the cups.

4. In case you have a better quality piping bag and nozzle with you, a star nozzle would be the best to pipe the mixture into the cups. Decorate the cups with a dusting of cocoa powder. Keep in the refrigerator until you want to serve.

*If you have paper cups of a thicker variety, it would be easier to have better shapes.

These were an instant hit with Mimi and my husband. I even sent some off to my friend Gayathri, whose birthday is on the 11th of March. I dedicate these chocolate mini cups to Gayathri and wish her a beautiful birthday. I know she would make a spectacular cake on her birthday for herself and I cannot wait to have a taste of it.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GAYATHRI

While you all read this post, I would be in office trying to look professional. I feel the giggles coming already! I must imagine how difficult it must be for Mimi to step out of her cocoon into an unknown territory without knowing a thing about what lies before her. Atleast I have 5 years of work experience before I took a break. In that terms, Mimi has it tougher but I am sure both Mimi and I will manage and succeed by taking baby steps while enjoying the process.

We need your best wishes and prayers so that we manage to tread these unknown paths with confidence and great optimism.

41 Responses to “Taking Baby Steps With Some Chocolate Mascarpone Mini Cups”

  1. bhuvana March 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    First things first. Mimi looks so endearing and I love the way she poses. Big hug to her. Good luck to u Anita for your new job. I can understand what you must have felt while deciding between getting back to work and being a full-time mom to Mimi. It’s a tug of war and trust me there’s never a right answer. It’s always good to follow one’s heart and things will settle down sooner or later. So lots of good wishes coming your way for a new start.

    • Anita Menon March 10, 2012 at 6:05 pm #

      thank you so much Bhuvana. Such a lovely comment. You lifted my spirit considerably. Much love.

  2. Buls March 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm #

    Congratulations on the job. Don’t worry, you will do great. Work is no big deal… and you will enjoy the adult company after so long. Loved the mini cup cakes. What is mascarpone cheese? Does it have any other name?

    • Anita Menon March 11, 2012 at 6:04 am #

      Thanks so much Bulbul. IT is called Mascarpone only. ALternately you can try fresh cream , whip it will so that it becomes stiff and then fold it together with melted chocolate.

  3. pooja March 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

    Anita my dear, congratulations for tomorrow- a big day, which I know for sure you will crack in your ever charming way, effortlessly!
    You have captured the essence of being a mom so beautifully here. My heart went out to you literally!
    Mimi is a born model, she is a delight to look at and the little “longer” skirt makes her all the more endearing :-) muah!
    Lots and lots of love for tomorrow, you will be fabulous!

    • Anita Menon March 11, 2012 at 6:06 am #

      thank you pooja,

      you are a darling. You know that , don’t you?

  4. anamika March 10, 2012 at 6:49 pm #

    Hope Mimi is fine now…she looks real cute in her dress & of course the mini cups were yum!

  5. Ankur March 10, 2012 at 7:27 pm #

    Oh Mimi looks super cute…. All the best for her new adventure into the school life…. :)

  6. yummychunklet March 10, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    Aw! Mimi looks so cute and sophisticated in her outfit!

  7. Payal March 10, 2012 at 8:24 pm #

    Mimi is very sweet, good luck to Mimi n Mumma n congratulations to you for a new job!!

  8. Gayathri Ramdas Sreekanth March 10, 2012 at 9:14 pm #

    Gal..u r going to do brilliant and from what it looks like Mimi is probably going to be having an even more fabulous time than you ! All the very best and all my prayers with both of you for the exciting future ahead !!

  9. Hetal Patel March 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm #

    First of all Congratulations. Mimi looks so cute in her school uniform. All the best for the first day at work.
    Lots of love to Mimi

  10. hotlyspiced March 11, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    Mimi looks like she’s very proud to be wearing that uniform. What an emotionally draining time you must have had with all of this. I do hope it’s all working out well and that Mimi is making friends, learning and loving her new school. And I hope you’re enjoying your new job as well xx

  11. Deeps @ Naughty Curry March 11, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    congrats on landing the job u wanted, so mimi is all settled in..surprising that she took to the new school idea so well, no hysterics & cryng? ur one lucky mom with a wonderful daughter! :) the chocolate cups look so pretty with the pleated cover, i have a bunch of strawberries sitting in my fridge maybe il add them too im sure itl go beautifully with that creamy filling

  12. Devina Divecha (FooDee) March 11, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    Congratulations on the new job :) And yes, life just manages to surprise us like that! Good luck to your daughter with her new school, and you for the job.
    New beginnings for both mother and daughter, woohoo!

  13. Kochutheresa Fernandes March 11, 2012 at 11:26 am #

    Cute as she looks, resembles you so much..
    Good work with all your recipes ..
    Does singing continue or occasional..
    Doing exceptionally good .. keep up the good work :-)

  14. Choc Chip Uru March 11, 2012 at 1:51 pm #

    Congrats congrats congrats – you are very talented in everything you do and will succeed!
    These gorgeous mini cups prove me right :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Tropical Caramelised German Baked Pancake

  15. Farwin March 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm #

    Hi Anita,hope your first day at work is pretty good and you’re settling in.I see Mimi was excited of the new chapter in her life and she’s enjoying it.I’ve felt the same way as you about going to work but after much thought I had to turn down the offers I got and waiting till kids get a bit bigger to get back to work.
    Don’t worry,things will fall into place and you guys will adjust to your new lives.

  16. Cass @foodmyfriend March 12, 2012 at 3:48 am #

    Mimi is so so cute! These look really mourish Anita, almost too good to leave them uneaten…

  17. Ameena March 12, 2012 at 5:43 am #

    Oh how I can relate! Having a job and juggling a child…so tricky. Something always seems…off. Doesn’t it? Good luck with your first day my friend…I know that you will wow them!

    She is adorable! I love the uniform…wish we had those here. It would certainly make life so easy!

  18. La @ FoodSlice March 12, 2012 at 9:32 am #

    Mimi looks so cute in that uniform. She looks so happy. I am telling you soon enough she is going to have so many friends, you will have to bake much larger batches of these lovely mini-cups to feed them all. And you are going to do wonderfully well in your job. Good luck to you both. And looking forward to reading about more adventures here.

  19. Bikram March 12, 2012 at 12:44 pm #

    Hey first of all congrats on the job, Now to the part where the little one is going ot school, you know its a good choice , I can understand you saying teaching at home etc, but what a child learns in school is different then at home, look at how many people she will meet, lot more resources at school.

    Soon she will be the favourite as Mommy dear cooks such fabulous dishes :) you will soon be cooking for all in the class …

  20. Suchi March 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Mimi looks so cute in that long skirt…soon a time would come when she would refuse to wear it :-) Loved reading about her first day at school…reminded me about the stories my mom tells me about my first day at school!
    The chocolate cups look so dainty…chocolate and mascarpone….life cannot get better!
    Congratulations on your job!

  21. Marie March 12, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Oh wow, big changes indeed. I am excited for this new phase in your life and can’t wait to hear how it’s going. I bet Mimi makes great friends.

  22. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com March 12, 2012 at 7:24 pm #

    Such huge life changes — I am sure you and Mimi would excel, with flying colors!! Congrats on the new career and on grooming Mimi so well to prepare her for success :) She is a cutie!

  23. Anita Menon March 12, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

    thank you everybody for all your lovely comments

  24. Namitha March 13, 2012 at 2:04 am #

    Congrats on your new job and hugs to sweet lil Mimi . She will do great so will you, believe me, been there done that, 2 times :-)

  25. Anisha March 13, 2012 at 7:09 am #

    Being a mother is a feeling beyond compare. Every mother relates to another be it through separation anxiety, the pride of her growing independent, the showering of love as well as trying to be a strict disciplinarian. Someone said to me once ‘there is no right balance, it is what one decides and is happy with’. Wish you all the happiness and luck for your new assignment. As for lil doll, socialising with other children will bloom her radiant personality furthermore. A big warm bear hug to mom and kiddo…take care!

  26. Deboshree March 13, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    I tell you Anita, this page is getting way more tempting than I can handle. :D

  27. Sarah March 14, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Congratulations Anita on your new job and to the lil one for being such an adorable lil sport! I know how frustrating job hunting can be… been there… and its one of the reasons why i dare not give up my job cos i got it after going thru so much…

  28. beena March 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    i must try these mini cakes :) for my lil one…just like yours he too is a playschooler & i know the anxiety a parent feels while leaving them walk alone… but they are little men & women we cant help loving :) i think my baby will love these :) thanks

  29. Audrey Roth Okaneko March 15, 2012 at 10:58 pm #

    A huge congratulations on the new job. I know you’ll both find a balance that leaves you both feeling good about the changes.

  30. Rafeeda April 1, 2012 at 10:08 am #

    love this write-up… when i was going through your mimi’s experience, the first days for my first daughter rasha came to my mind… yes, i too felt the same thing… now she’s in KG2 and very excited about school. she just loves it. i’m sure mimi would feel the same way as well… :) since i never experienced having to sit at home after having my children, i cannot empathise on the second part, but yes, leaving the children at home and going still gives me a guilt pang, even after all these years… thanks for those fantastic recipes, keep posting…

    • Anita Menon April 2, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

      Thank you Rafeeda for your thoughtful comment. I feels so comforting to know that all mums at some point in time feel the same when their fledgling goes to school for the first time

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Being Prepared With a No- Bake White Chocolate, Cinnamon Infused Orange Cheese Cake « - March 23, 2012

    [...] about preparation makes me recall my experience on the first day at work. As I had mentioned in my previous post about having joined work, I felt underwhelmed by my lack of confidence on the first day at work. [...]

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