Mascarpone is known to us mainly from the classic Italian dessert tiramisu. BUT! Did you know that this cheese is incredibly versatile and excels perfectly in savory dishes or even soups?
Read this article and discover all its hidden sides and make your culinary and taste experience more pleasant, thanks to a simple ingredient.
What is Mascarpone Cheese?
Mascarpone is a white-colored, creamy smooth and easy-to-spread fresh cream cheese. The taste is creamy and slightly sweet. Its rich, buttery texture comes from its high butterfat content (up to 75 percent).
This Italian cheese comes from the Lombardy region in the northern part of Italy, bordering Switzerland. The landscape of this part of Italy boasts rolling mountain slopes that boast vast alpine pastures and produce some of the richest cow’s milk in the country.
How is Mascarpone cheese made?
Commercially, this cheese is made by adding acid to fresh cream, which causes it to coagulate, and the resulting cheese is gently cooked over a constant heat until it reaches a creamy consistency.
Unlike many cheeses that rely on the thickening power of rennet, enzymes, Mascarpone uses citric or tartaric acid to stiffen the cream.
Nutritional values of Mascarpone (per 100 g)
|Calorie||Carbohydrates||Sugars||Fats||Saturated fatty acids||Proteins||Fiber||Salt|
|410 calories||2 g||2 g||42 g||29 g||6 g||0 g||0.08 g|
Mascarpone vs. cream cheese
Mascarpone has at least twice as much fat as classic cream cheese, giving it a higher quality that almost melts in your mouth. Cream cheese tends to be firmer with a stronger flavor.
You can interchange them in recipes, but you should expect differences in taste and texture.
What can we replace Mascarpone with?
The closest cheeses to mascarpone are English clotted cream and French crème fraîche .
Mascarpone can also replace quality creamy ricotta or classic cream cheese.
Comparison of nutritional values in selected cheeses per 100 g
|A type of cheese||Calorie||Fat||Proteins|
|Gorgonzola||1344 kJ||27 g||20 g|
|Camembert||1213 kJ||24 g||18 g|
|Mascarpone||1463 kJ||42 g||6 g|
|Feta cheese||976 kJ||20 g||11 g|
|Mozzarella||947 kJ||17 g||18 g|
|Cottage||497 kJ||7 g||11 g|
What can you make with mascarpone?
Mascarpone can be added to both sweet and savory dishes, where it provides a rich and creamy element.
|Use it instead of whipped cream on top of a bowl of fruit or as a topping for cakes or cupcakes (bake the cupcakes according to our recipes and you can start decorating them right away)|
|Bake it into a cheesecake (like one of these cheesecakes ) or swap it for sour cream in banana bread or muffins (like these fluffy muffins )|
|For savory recipes, add Mascarpone to pasta sauce or use it in place of cream in almost any dish|
|It can also be used to thicken soups, stuff chicken breasts and as a bagel spread|
|Add a few teaspoons to roasted vegetables or mix it into scrambled eggs|
What to flavor Mascarpone with?
For an easy dip, whisk fresh herbs and garlic into Mascarpone.
Or enjoy a large serving of Mascarpone as a light dessert with a dusting of cocoa, chocolate shavings or a drizzle of honey on top.
Serve it with fresh fruit, figs or simple cookies.
Recipe for homemade mascarpone
- 1 liter of whipping cream (unpasteurized)
- 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar or lemon
- Heat the cream in a bowl in a water bath to 87 °C
- We add wine vinegar
- Let it settle, remove from the flame
- Cover with a lid and let stand for 10 minutes
- Strain the mascarpone
- Cool the mascarpone in the fridge for 24 hours
- Store in the fridge and use within 3 days
How to store Mascarpone?
Mascarpone is usually sold in tubs and should be kept refrigerated.
Mascarpone tends to spoil quickly, so use the opened container within a few days and return any unused portion to the refrigerator with the lid tightly closed. If mold appears on it or if its smell or color changes, discard the entire package.
You can easily freeze mascarpone for several months, but this will affect the texture and may separate when thawed. It is then best suited to cooked dishes.