Homemade Mascarpone for Easter's Lemon cake
Everything tastes better with whipped cream and when in Italy last year, I looked for cream in the Italian grocery stores, but could only find Mascarpone. I bought it because I had to have something with my strawberries. I hadn't really tasted it that much before. I knew that it is used in Tiramisu, but that was about it. I got used to it after a while, it's very, very creamy. But yesterday I used Google to find recipes, although I have two books about cheese making which I could have used (I need to find those). I found many recipes for Mascarpone, the blogs Baking obsession, Not without salt and Make it from scratch all have recipes and lovely photos. Another website that I found which is excellent is Fankhauser's cheese page. It's just a wealth of information about cheese making of all sorts.
But the Mascarpone is really easy to make. I used:
2.5 deciliters whipping cream (that is 250 ml or about 1 cup)
1/2 tbsp Lemon juice
Just heat the cream in a water bath. I put it into a saucepan which I put into a larger pot containing water. I could have used a bowl in the pot. Doesn't matter, but it's best to heat the cream gently and stir regularly. Heat until it reaches 85C / 190F then add the lemon juice and continue to stir for 5 minutes while holding the temperature constant. The cream will thicken somewhat. Don't worry if you don't notice a massive change. I didn't and I've read many comments about that. Just make sure you reach the right temperature and hold it for 5 minutes and follow the rest of the instructions. It should turn out just fine.
Now, I followed the advise of Dr. Fankhauser and covered it and put it in the refrigerator overnight. But some people just let it cool on the counter for 20-30 minutes. I will prbably try that next time. Just make sure that you don't disturb it while it's cooling. It's the same as with yoghurt, which hates to be disturbed while doing it's thing.
But the next step, either way you choose to do it, is to line a sieve with a moistened cheesecloth. And the moistened part makes a difference, I think, because then it drains a bit better. I failed to do that. But anyway, put the future Mascarpone into the lined sieve, then gather the corners and let it hang, preferably in the fridge, for a few hours.
I just had to taste it even if it isn't quite ready and it was very nice, thick and creamy with some mashed strawberries and honey that I had left from breakfast. Yesterday I also made a cottage cheese/Ricotta type cheese from milk and I chopped up some Pineapple peelings to make enzyme cleaner and then I made a little soap. It feels good to be back in the swing of things.