I love those moments when you’re noodling around in the kitchen and combine a few ingredients on a whim, stumbling upon a new-to-you creation that is perfect for the task at hand. A few weeks ago I was testing recipes for a lemon tarts and was trying to come up with something tasty to serve on the side. I considered straight whipped cream, but wanted something a little thicker; I also tossed around the idea of a cream cheese icing, but that was a little too thick for this particular pastry. After digging through the refrigerator a bit, I found a half-used tub of mascarpone cheese that needed to be used in the next few days. I scanned the top shelf of the fridge and noticed a bottle of my beloved Strauss whipping cream – the best in the Bay Area, if you ask me – and thought, “How come I’ve never added mascarpone to whipped cream before?”
The two combined to create a lovely, velvety texture that lingers on the tongue without being too fatty. The smoothness of the cheese plays nice with the airiness of the whipped cream so that you get a fluffy consistency that’s a perfect middle ground between rich and light. I add a touch of milk to this recipe to give it a little more flow, and the end result is a dreamy cream that could be used as a cake filling, a pastry topping, or in a fruit parfait.
As with anything else fat-based, make sure you keep your mascarpone cream well-sealed while it lives in your refrigerator, lest it pick up the flavors of the other things nearby. That is, of course, unless you prefer onion-flavored dessert toppings.
Sweet Mascarpone Cream
Yield: 4 cups of mascarpone cream
- 1 cup chilled whipping cream
- 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk
1. Combine whipping cream, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla in a large metal bowl. With an electric mixer on high, beat until the mascarpone cream starts to seize and thicken.
2. Turn mixer speed to low and slowly drizzle in milk, beating just until well combined. Keep in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to a week.