Summer is here. Bake something summery :)

August 16, 2011

Mascarpone Cheese

Sometimes I have difficulty fulfilling my promises. Usually I promise my mom or daddy to wash up and then I forget all about it or it includes some king of other housework etc. However, this time I am here to fulfill my promise I gave you a week ago. And that would be about showing you an easy way of making your homemade mascarpone cheese. I promise (the word shows up quite frequently, don't you think?) it'll be easy peasy and the result stunning and delicious :)

Mascarpone (pronunciation here) is an Italian cheese made from cream (fat content higher than 30%) denatured with tartaric acid, citric acid or acetic acid. Whey is then removed without pressing or aging. Its color is milky-white and it is easily spread. The texture and consistency resembles cream cheese but the taste is totally different. It is used in various dishes (e.g.: tiramisu, risotto etc.). Mascarpone tastes like very thick extremely creamy whipping cream. In Italy it's really very cheap and they sell it in almost every grocery store (they have more different brands of it than milk or sour/whipping/sweet cream). For your imagination, one container of this cheese (250g) costs in Italy about 2 dollars (mostly 1.8 to 2). In fact, there it belongs into basic ingredients used in sauces, desserts and many other dishes.

The choice of cream is the most important here and the quality and taste of the final product depends on it. The better cream you use the better mascarpone you get. You have to use whipping (or heavy or heavy whipping) cream - the butterfat content is from 30 to 40% and in fact it doesn't really matter which one you choose. For example in my country there only is sold whipping cream with 31 or 33% fat and I can assure you that my mascarpone always tastes great :) The best would be using organic non-pasteurized whipping cream. However, sometimes it can be hard to find this (it's not sold at all here where I live), so it's OK to use regular whipping cream of the highest quality possible, but avoid using ultra-high pasteurized (UHT) cream - this one may need more cooking time because all those natural organisms and bacterias are dead. I haven't tried using the UHT cream as I prefer the "more natural" pasteurized cream stored in fridge to the UHT one in tetra pak on shell at room temp.

I created this recipe last year because I wanted to make frosting for a cake and I had really bad experiences with our Czech mascarpone by Italat. It's grainy and no matter what I do or make it curdles almost every single time plus it's price is ridiculously high. That made me go, find and make my own and now I can say that this homemade cheese really does compare to the Italian original one. I think that's quite a statement, isn't it? When I say "created" it means I read through many recipes online and tips from those who tried them and put the pieces together. The recipes don't differ too much, in fact they're almost the same so it was easy to put them "together". I've tried it many times during the long year and it has never let me down. Daring enough to try it out? I hope so!

500ml whipping cream (30-40% fat)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

In a wide pan bring about 3cm of water to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low so the water is barely simmering. Pour cream into a pot and place the pot into the pan. Heat the cream, checking the temperature often, to 190F (88C), stirring occasionally. Keep stirring at this temperature for about 15 minutes. Now add lemon juice to the heated cream and continue heating, stirring often, until the mixture curdles. "Curdles" means it thickens, no lumps/grains will show up. The mixture will cover the back of your wooden spoon generously and a few clear whey streaks will be visible as you stir. Remove the pot from the heat and allow the mixture to sit and cool slightly for 20 minutes. In the mean time, prepare your sieve. Line a sieve with about four layers of dampened cheesecloth (or a clean, damp cotton/linen dishcloth) and set over a bowl. Pour the mixture into the lined sieve. Do not squeeze the cheese in the cheesecloth or press on its surface, just let it be undisturbed until cooled completely. Cover the sieve tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours to allow the cheese to finish draining and become firm. Then remove from sieve, transfer into a bowl and either use immediately or store in the refrigerator in a tightly covered container.

  • This recipe yields from 260g to 280g of mascarpone, but it can easily be doubled to make enough cheese for tiramisu or any other dish.
  • Do not underestimate the number of layers of cheesecloth! Do not use less than four layers of it, otherwise the silky mixture will flow through the sieve. You only want the whey to flow through it. I usually get about 2-3 tbsp whey not more. Also, whey is almost transparent in color, so if you see a lot of white mixture in the bowl under the sieve, something is wrong and you might have not used enough layers of cheesecloth.
  • You can use any type of thermometer: cooking, confectionery, preserving (I use this one) etc.

Mascarpone is one thing I could eat every now and then so it's good I don't have in my fridge every now and then :D considering the amount of fat in it and all those calories. Anyway, everytime I make this luscious creamy cheese I have a hard time not eating it with a large spoon in one sitting - yet I've been strong enough not to do this because usually I need every tiny spoon of it for a dessert or cake. Well, as for the taste: D I V I N E! Creamy dreamy with milky taste, soft and thick at the same time, tender and silky on tongue. No wonder it's a big sinful treat, but once in a while it's okay :)

Linked to:
These Chicks Cooked
Flash Back Friday
Foodie Wednesday
Sweet Tooth Friday
Sweets for a Saturday
Sweet Indulgences Sunday
Whisking Wednesdays


  1. Mascarpone and Tiramisu has been on my wish list for a very very long time!! Even i seem to have a difficulty fulfilling my promises:-(
    This weekend i must make this:-)Ur post is a timely reminder for me !!
    As always lovely clicks!!

  2. Oh my goodness! I didn't know it was this simple! Hmmmmm I know what I'm gonna do the next time I'm bored =)

    Cookin’ for my Captain

  3. I didn't even know this was possible! Thank you so much for sharing this! Beautiful pictures by the way.

  4. This is some seriously dangerous knowledge to have. Mmmmm...

  5. WOW!!! Mascarponde in Brazil is a very expensive cheese! Thank you for sharing!!!

  6. Catalia, my FBF link is up again! Hope you can link up!
    Flash Back Friday

  7. oh my goodness! This looks WONDERFUL! I found your blog through a link party and I love it! I am your newest follower and would love it if you would come check out my blog and follow me too! Thanks so much!

  8. Oh my...I really want to try making this. I got some lady fingers from my friend and was about to make some tiramisu. Then, realized the market I visited don't even carry mascarpone. The other one who does was charging an arm and a leg for just a tiny package! So, I gotta try your recipe soon so I can enjoy some tiramisu soon! :P

    My blog just turned 1 and I’m hosting a giveaway on my blog as a way to say thank you for your supports in the past year. Please come over to check it out if you’re interested.

  9. My goodness this is my favorite recipe this week. I never even thought about making my own mascarpone and how easy it is. I usually buy it in Italian deli and the price is ridiculous.

  10. Ramya: Thank you! I know exactly how hard it is to fulfill promises especially when it comes to baking :D My list of things I want to bake has more than 60 things :D Let me know if you try them out :)

    Carolyn: Yes, it's an absolute boredom killer :D

    Bites of Sweetness: You're welcome! I'm glad you like it :) Thank you.

    MOMentum: Totally :D My waistline isn't very happy for that :D

    Manu: I know, here we have the same problem and in fact, it's just cream. You're welcome :)

    Chef in Training: Thank you a lot for both comment and following! I'm gonna follow back for sure :)

    Amy: I bet you'll enjoy your tiramisú even more with mascarpone made from scratch :D Don't forget to let me know when you try it out :) Thank you for informing me about your giveaway and congratulations to your blog b-day :D

    Ms Bibi: Thank you :) Exactly! They charge a fortune for this cheese in stores. The funny thing is that not only is homemade mascarpone cheaper but it's also much better!

  11. I'm so glad that you posted this. I cannot find mascarpone cheese in my area so it will be nice to be able to make my own. Thanks for sharing on Sweet Indulgences Sunday.

  12. You're welcome, I'm really happy that the recipe will be useful for someone else, too :) Let me know if you try it out.

  13. I never even knew that you could make this at home. Absolutely saving this!

  14. Tessa: I'm really happy you found it helpful :)


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