Home made Mascarpone Cheese
Pronounced as mahs-kahr-poh-neh, is a type of soft Italian cheese that looks like cream. Before I ventured into this baking world, I thought cheese can be either solid ( as in processed cubes and slices) or as cheese spread and only cream I knew was the one that comes in tetra packs. I never noticed how paneer which is called as cottage cheese in english could also be a type of cheese. There are infinite varieties of cheese available in market today and to make things more confusing there was this ‘cream cheese’!! Jeez!! With my rudimentary knowledge in foreign cheese terminology slowly expanding , a confused me came across this strange sounding but super easy to make mascarpone at suma’s blog. It’s difficult to say if the recipe is really easy or made easy by her superb step by step decription of its texture and consistency. If any confusion please visit her blog here for a better understanding.
- Whipping cream / Fresh cream- 400 ml ( I used two tetra packs of 200 ml Amul cream), preferably kept in fridge for 1-2 hours before using.You can also use Amul whipping cream. The more the fat content, more denser will be the cream.
- Vinegar/ Lemon juice- 1 tablespoon
For heating cream:
- A deep bottomed pan , with around 1/4th level filled with water.
- A smaller vessel which would contain 400 ml cream and would sit comfortably in the deep bottomed pan.
For straining and setting cheese:
- Cheese cloth/ muslin cloth/ soft cotton dupatta
- Sieve to keep the cheese wrapped in cloth.
That’s it, let’s get started with this super easy recipe!!
- Heat water in the deep bottomed pan, until it just about starts boiling.
- Meanwhile drain the liquid from the tetrapacks and dispense the cream into the smaller container.
- Place this container with cream into the deep bottomed pan, adjust the water level accordingly so that there is no spillage of boiling water once the cream container is placed.
- Continue heating the cream with this double boiler method,the initial thick cream now thins and forms flowing consistency.
- Once the cream is uniformly heated ( the original recipe says 190 degree F, but I don’t have a thermometer, so I heated for around ten minutes, until the cream was uniformly hot), add a tablepsoon of lemon juice/vinegar.
- Keep stirring, the liquid cream now starts to thicken, with few tiny granules here and there. You will not see any frank seperation of cheese and whey like in paneer (cottage cheese) making.
- Stir for few minutes, switch off the flame and allow the cream to cool in the bowl.This is how it looked after around 30 minutes of cooling at room temperature.
- Meanwhile line a big sieve with cheese cloth ( I used my soft cotton dupatta), place it over a bowl to collect the draining water.
- Transfer the cooled cheese into the sieve line dwith cheese coth.
- Knot the cloth lightly, place the bowl with the sieve in the refrigerator for few hours.
- This is how my cheese looked after refrigeration of around 8 hours, ready to go into Tiramisu.
- The consistency of the cream was slightly crumbly,bit of soft-creamy when cold. When brought to room temperature it became more of spreadable consitency, slightly thicker than hung curd consistency.
Where do I use it?
- The first and the best use is in ‘tiramisu’, alternate layers of coffee syrup soaked sponge and mascarpone- whipped cream mixture.
- You can use it for frosting cakes and cup cakes, like whipping cream.
- Use it in cheese cakes along with cream cheese.
- Add some flavourings, fresh fruits and serve it as dessert
And in many other innovative ways!!