Mascarpone cheese is a triple cream cheese, which is made from low fat, fresh cream of cow's milk. These cows are fed special grasses, filled with fresh herbs and flowers, so that they produce milk that is just right for the cheese. Owing to this special diet, a unique taste is often created and imparted to the cheese as well. The texture of Mascarpone cheese resembles a sticky pudding and its color is that of cream. It is milky-white in color and spreads easily. For more information on Mascarpone cheese and its different uses, read on.
More About The Cheese
Mascarpone is supposed to have originated in late 16th or early 17th century, in the area between Lodi and Abbiategrasso in Italy, southwest of Milan. The name of the cheese is said to have been derived from mascarpa, a milk product made from the whey of stracchino (aged cheese) or from mascarpia, a word in the local dialect for ricotta. However, unlike ricotta, mascarpone is not made from whey. It is similar in taste and quality to Iraqi Gaymer. In effect, Mascarpone is used in various dishes of the Lombardy region of Italy. The cheese is a main ingredient of tiramisu - an Italian cake.
Mascarpone cheese was traditionally produced in the autumn and winter months, mainly for immediate consumption. The cheese is mostly sold right after the processing and should ideally be used immediately. Refrigerated mascarpone lasts only for a week. Talking about the nutrition contents, a sample composition for mascarpone cheese is estimated to contain 50% fat, 3% protein and 5% carbohydrate.
Uses of Mascarpone Cheese
- Mascarpone cheese can be used as a filling in desserts, such as tarts and cheesecake. The cheese provides a unique richness and mild flavor to such items.
- The cheese can also be used in pasta sauces. It adds a unique flavor to the sauce.
- Mascarpone cheese can be used to thicken items such as soups or risotto, replacing butter or Parmesan cheese.
- The cheese can also be blended into dips, to attain viscosity and mild flavor.
- Mascarpone cheese can also be used as a dessert topping, just like whipped cream.
- The cheese can also substitute for cream in the mix formulation, while freezing ice cream.
- Mascarpone cheese can be used as a spread, replacing butter or margarine. This way, you can escape the high fat content present in butter and margarine.
How To Make Your Own Mascarpone Cheese
- 1 quart Whipping Cream
- 1 tbsp White Wine Vinegar
- First of all, select a stainless steel bowl. Make sure that the bowl you select easily fits into a large saucepan, without touching the base of the pan.
- Now, add water to the pan and place the bowl over it. The bowl should be such placed that it touches the surface of the water, but sits firmly on the rim of the pan.
- Now, remove the bowl and place the pan on medium heat.
- Once the water boils, pour the cream into the bowl and place the bowl over boiling water.
- Make sure that the heat applied is on a medium flame. Once in a while, check the temperature with the help of a thermometer, to 190o Fahrenheit, stirring occasionally.
- Once the temperature is reached, stir in the vinegar. Continue to stir until the cream starts curdling.
- Now, remove the bowl from the heat and cover it with a lid, for about 10 minutes, allowing the curd to firm up.
- Line a strainer or colander with dampened cheesecloth, napkin, or coffee filters. Set the curds into the strainer.
- Allow the mascarpone to get cool at room temperature, covering the strainer tightly with plastic wrap.
- Once the cheese is completely drained and becomes firm, refrigerate it for about 24 hours, in a tightly covered container.
- The mascarpone cheese is ready to use!!