For the next post in Baking Basics series, I chose a simple yet delicious homemade cheese recipe. Pronounced as Mahs-Car-Pone, mascarpone cheese is an Italian cheese largely used in making the famous Italian dessert Tiramisu.Mascarpone cheese is not easily available here in Madurai and when I saw a pack of the cheese in Coimbatore Nilgiris, I was shocked at the price. All my plans to make Tiramisu at home crashed. After that I searched for any alternative for the cheese and came upon a home made mascarpone cheese recipe. Last time when I made mascarpone, I din’t take step wise photos as I was not very sure of the result. But still I managed to make it and used it successfully in my Eggless Tiramisu.
The cheeses is so soft and creamy and it has only two ingredients. Fresh cream and citric acid to curdle the cream. I used the cream with high fat content which we use for whipping. I haven’t tried it with low fat cream yet. The steps include heating the cream in a double boiler until it reaches 190°F. Then citric acid or lemon juice is added to curdle the cream. Do not expect the cream to curdle as it curdles for paneer. It will stay just like that but after 5 minutes on heat, you need to remove it off from double boiler and set aside for 20 minutes. Then the cream is poured into a cloth lined sieve set over a container. As the cream is so thin, it will jut pass the cloth. But after a minute, the cheese will stop the remaining cream from passing through the cloth. You need to pour that liquid back into the sieve. Cover and place the set up inside fridge for 10 hours or overnight. By the time, most of the liquid would have drained and the cheese will start thickening. Now it is time to take it to a smaller container. Again it is left inside the fridge for 24 hours before transferring it to a air tight box. The only thing you need the most is patience. The cheese will not look like cheese for the first 10-12 hours. And it is perfectly fine. So do not throw away the cream. Keep on checking it for consistency and you will be amazed by the texture of the cheese by the end of 24 hours.
Mascarpone cheese can also be used for savoury dishes and sweet dishes other than Tiramisu. Truffles and creams can be made with this cheese. The cheese is slightly tangy because of the citric acid used and it is so creamy. It is not grainy and so the texture of the cream while mixed with whipped cream would be so light and delicious.
Whipping Cream – 1 lt
Citric Acid-1 tsp
Lemon Juice-4 tbs
In a bowl take the cream.
Arrange it on a double boiler.
Let the cream reach 190°F.
If you don’t have a thermometer, then touch the cream with your finger. It should be extremely hot. Be careful and don’t burn the finger.
Mix citric acid with 3 tbs of water and allow it to dissolve.
Add it to the cream and mix well.
It will not curdle or become thick.
Just keep on stirring for 10 minutes.
Now remove the bowl and set it on counter for 20 minutes.
Line a sieve with a cotton cloth.
Place it inside a bowl to collect the dripping whey.
Now pour the cream into the sieve.
At first the cream will pass the sieve and will get collected in the bowl below. But after 10 seconds, the cheese will stop the cream from passing through the sieve.
Now pour back the cream from the bowl into the sieve.
Cover and allow it to cool.
Place the set up in refrigerator for 8-10 hours.
Keep on discarding the whey which gets collected in the bowl. We don’t want the whey to get back into the cheese.
The next day, shift the cheese to a smaller arrangement.
Tie the cloth on a spoon or chop sticks or satay stick and hang it inside a small jar.
Let the cheese drain for another 24 hours.
The next day, remove the cloth and creamy cheese will be ready.
You can use it right away in any dish or transfer to an airtight jar and freeze it.
Place the bowl of cream on a double boiler.
Dissolve citric acid in water.
Let the cream become hot.
Watch the temperature.
When it reaches 190F, add the citric acid. Keep on heat for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside for 20 minutes.
Pour the cream in a cloth lined sieve.
After 10 seconds, the cream will stay inside the sieve.
Pour the cream which passed the sieve into the sieve again.
The whey will be clearer. Refrigerate this for 8-10 hours.
The next day transfer cream to a smaller set up.
After 24 hours, mascarpone cheese is ready.
My other posts in the Baking Basics Series: