Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle | cookiemonstercooking.com

Is it breakfast?  Or dessert?  Both??  I say eat it for whichever your heart desires.  For me, that was breakfast … and I enjoyed every last bite.  But seriously, I’ve been staring at my computer screen for about 10 minutes trying to decide which category this bowl of creamy polenta goodness fits into best … and I still haven’t made a decision.  I can be very indecisive. Just ask my husband, he’ll gladly verify that fact.

But polenta, let’s get back to the polenta.  Last year I made breakfast polenta for the first time and totally fell in love.  So I decided I should make some more … and really jazz it up.  Make it super snazzy.  You know, lots of dark chocolate, pistachios (because they are pretty) and to make it even more fun a mascarpone drizzle.  Yeah, that’s right, a mascarpone drizzle.  Awesome.

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle | cookiemonstercooking.com

So this dish isn’t quite as in-your-face sweet as a piece of cake, making it perfectly acceptable for breakfast (at least that’s what I told myself).  The dark chocolate melts into the warm, slightly sweet creamy polenta and then you get some crunch from the pistachios … and for the grand finale you finish it off with a mascarpone drizzle, which also sort of melts into the mixture.  Perfection.

But don’t drizzle the mascarpone sauce onto a super hot bowl of polenta and expect it to stay for pictures – that whole melting thing.  That’s what I get for being impatient and refusing to wait for it to cool down a bit to take photos … because I wanted it in my belly as soon as possible.

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle | cookiemonstercooking.com

Dark chocolate. Pistachios. Mascarpone.  Go make it happen.

Pistachio and Dark Chocolate Polenta with Mascarpone Drizzle
Yield: about 4 servings
For the polenta:
  • 2 ½ cups milk
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coarse polenta (not instant or quick cooking)
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
For the mascarpone drizzle:
  • 2 ounces mascarpone
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
For topping:
  • dark chocolate chunks (or chopped dark chocolate)
  • shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
  1. To make the polenta - add the milk, water and salt to a medium saucepan. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a low simmer. Slowly pour in the polenta in an even stream, whisking constantly the entire time. Turn the heat down to low and partially cover with a lid. Cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, whisking every few minutes to get out any lumps (be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the pan). You want the polenta to thicken and have a creamy consistency. If it starts getting too thick, you can add in a little more milk (a tablespoon or so at a time).
  2. Meanwhile, to make the mascarpone drizzle - add the mascarpone, milk, maple syrup and vanilla to a small bowl. Whisk until well combined and smooth. Set aside.
  3. When the polenta is done cooking, remove from the heat and add in the maple syrup and vanilla extract. Whisk to combine.
  4. Ladle the polenta into bowls. Top with some of the chocolate and pistachios. Drizzle with some of the mascarpone mixture. Serve immediately.

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  1. this is everything I am craving right now. YUM!

  2. What?? Mascarpone Drizzle?! I so need that in my life. I would love this for breakfast!

  3. quite a versatile dish! love the combination of ingredients!

  4. I’ve never seen polenta as a dessert food, but this is really interesting! Definitely dessert-like flavors, or even breakfast-y.

  5. I’ve never tried sweet polenta, but that has to change asap! This looks so delicious that it is making me want to scream that I’m not eating this right now. That mascarpone drizzle is calling my name ohhhh.
    Pinned! xx

  6. Even if it is dessert, I say there is nothing wrong with eating dessert for breakfast :) This dish looks incredible, Ashley! I’m sure I would love it with the pistachio and dark chocolate. I hope you are having a great weekend!

  7. This is so creative Ashley! I love polenta, but breakfast/dessert/CHOCOLATE polenta is new territory for me, and I’m pumped!

  8. I don’t care when I eat this, I just want it! Your pictures are so bright and pretty too!

  9. Oh man, I keep meaning to try polenta for breakfast ever since you shared the strawberries and cream version and still haven’t had a chance yet. This pistachio dark chocolate version has me convinced that I need to change that pronto – it looks incredible! Anything with pistachios makes me happy and I’m board anytime I can have chocolate for breakfast :) Pinning and hope you’re having an awesome weekend so far :)

  10. This looks amazing! I’ve never seen polenta served like this (a bit like oatmeal?) before, but what a great idea. I love the combination of lovely things you have in there, too. I LOVE having sneaky bits of chocolate for brekky and often do!! Breakfast perfection!

  11. Hi Ashley, I just found your blog, and wow! I’m glad I did because I got to gawk at this post for divine polenta.

  12. Yummy, looks very delicious:)

  13. I’ve never had a sweet polenta dish – I need to change that because this looks absolutely amazing!! I would love a big bowl of this for breakfast (or dessert!).

  14. Jo @ the contented baker says:

    What fabulous breakfast!! Maybe now is the time I opened that box of polenta sitting in my cupboard?… Delicious Ashley!

  15. Wow, I’ve never tried Polenta in a sweet form! But this looks absolutely divine, Ashley! Love the sound of the mascarpone drizzle too!

  16. OK, I love polenta, and sadly nobody else in my house is too interested in it. I think THIS might change people’s minds…especially the kids (chocolate will do that!). :) I’d love to try a breakfast version, and that mascarpone drizzle sounds divine!

  17. what an incredible breakfast! i usually eat oatmeal but polenta would be so good too. and those toppings!!!

  18. I have never had polenta for breakfast….but this recipe has convinced me to give it a try! Love that you added chocolate to it!!! (Doesn’t chocolate go with everything!!?!!) ;)

  19. Love that this could pass for breakfast or dessert – that’s when you’ve got a great recipe! Plus those chocolate chunks – sign me up I love dark chocolate! And paired with pistachios – this is awesome Ashley! Hope you have a great weekend!

  20. This would be such a lovely and sweet breakfast..

  21. Oh boy…now you’ve got me curious about this! Is it bad that I really want to take a big spoon and skim the topping off and into my mouth first right off the bat?! : ) You can definitely eat this any time. Funny I didn’t finally cook polenta at home myself til a month ago…made it for a ragu and then did “fries” with leftovers…now I may need to make this! I blame you. ; )

  22. This looks so lovely! Can’t wait to try this friend!

  23. I’ve never had polenta for breakfast. I think I only had polenta once in my life. This is gorgeous though and I totally wanna try it.

  24. Oh wow! I love polenta but have never thought to eat it for breakfast or combine it with chocolate. Super great idea! It looks delicious and I’d even it for dinner. :)

  25. This looks so good sweetie!! Thank you for sharing this awesome recipe!


  26. Wow, this is so creative! I just had polenta for the first time recently and never thought it could be dressed up like this, love it!

  27. What is this insanity?! I don’t think I could have dreamed this up if I tried. It looks incredible! Now I know what to do with my leftover pistachios…mwuahahaha!

  28. I love all the flavour combinations here, Ashley! I still haven’t tried Polenta for breakfast, I definitely need to change that and it sure looks awesome with those big chunks of dark chocolate.

  29. Oh my word. I have never thought about having polenta for breakfast or as a dessert. I am so loving this sweet version of a dish that’s usually savory. Such a great idea. Would have never thought of that and now I can’t wait to try it!!

  30. Pistachios? Dark chocolate? Polenta?? YES YES YES! This looks divine!!

  31. I love this idea for breakfast! I’ve never made polenta before, but this looks absolutely perfect for a weekend brunch at home. Or dessert. :) That mascarpone drizzle sounds fantastic and I love those big chocolate chunks!

  32. Now this is my kind of breakfast! Yum! I love the mascarpone drizzle and of course, the dark chocolate!

  33. Oh my goodness!!! Oh my goodness!!! Oh my goodness!!!
    Ok – so I haven’t had polenta – like ever – I have always kinda lumped it together with grits (for no apparent reason) and since I am not a huge fan of grits, I have never felt the need to try polenta – till today – when I found your BREAKFAST polenta, cooked in milk, topped with that vanilla infused mascarpone drizzle and topped with DARK CHOCOLATE!!!! Oh my goodness!!! Thank you – your recipe is the reason I will be trying polenta PRONTO!
    Hope you have a wonderful weekend! xxs

    • haha you need to try it! I’m not a huge fan of grits but I loveeee polenta – go figure! And breakfast polenta is extra special : ) Have a great weekend!

  34. This would make a great breakfast for me. Pistachio and dark chocolate…a fantastic combination!

  35. ehehe…I know the pain of waiting for things to cool down. And then you still have to take the pictures…forever…I mean, you want that polenta warm and the chocolate melting. A beautiful breakfast or dessert idea! :) ela

  36. What a creative recipe Ashley! I would have never thought of pairing polenta with dark chocolate and pistachios! …this is one concoction that I think I need to try. I mean hey, anytime you can have chocolate at breakfast, it’s a win, right?! hahaha have a great weekend!

  37. Oh, I’ve never tried polenta for breakfast. I love having a hearty bowl of oatmeal in the morning, so I’m sure I would love this as well. I can imagine that the saltly-sweet combo must be amazing. What a fantastic idea!

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