Homemade Mascarpone Cheese and Tiramisu

Last night I attended a Seattle Free School class about making your own mascarpone cheese, and then how to make tiramisu with the cheese. And let me tell you, homemade mascarpone is much better than the stuff in the store. Not to mention much easier and inexpensive. Seriously, it’ll knock your socks off at how easy it is to make. The recipe below is the one I got last night at the class.

[print_this]Mascarpone

  • 1 quart cream
  • 1 quart half-and-half
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon tartaric acid (not cream of tartar)

You can find the tartaric acid at brewing supply stores or specialty cheese making supply stores.

1. Heat cream and half-and-half to 185°F-205°F but no hotter.
2. Start with 1/4 teaspoon tartaric acid and stir for several minutes. The mixture will slowly thicken and resemble a thinner version of cream-of-wheat. Tiny curds will also begin to form. If the cream does not coagulate, add an 1/8 teaspoon more of the tartaric acid and stir for another 5 minutes. Be careful not to add too much tartaric acid or a grainy texture will result, probably no more than 3/4 teaspoon. Be patient and keep stirring.
3. Line a colander with a double layer of high quality cheesecloth (not the kind you buy at Safeway or Fred Meyers, you can find it at kitchen supply stores). Pour the curd into the colander and drain for 1 hour for a traditional mascarpone texture. Drain for up to 12 hours in a refrigerator for a whipped cream cheese texture. Place the cheese in a covered container and keep up to 1 week.[/print_this]

Photo by Maciej Łebkowski.

Tip: If you’re worried that you’ve gotten enough curd and used enough tartaric acid simply drain the first time into another clean pot. If you didn’t put enough tartaric in the first time you can just repeat the process with the stuff that drained through.

[print_this]Tiramisu

3 eggs, separated
2 cups mascarpone at room temperature
1 T vanilla sugar
(note: you can make your own vanilla sugar by placing one vanilla bean into
a jar of sugar- let sit for at least a week, you can also choose to just use regular or no sugar here)
¾ cup cold, very strong black coffee
¾ cup kahlua or other coffee-flavored liquor, or rum
1 large package of ladyfingers (18-20)
Unsweetened cocoa powder

1. Put egg whites into a mixing bowl and whisk until they form medium stiff peaks.
2. Combine mascarpone, egg yolks and sugar in another bowl.
3. Fold the egg whites into the mascarpone mixture.
4. Put a few spoonfuls of the mix at the bottom of your serving pan and spread out evenly (a 9×9 glass dish works about right for this)
5. Pour the coffee and the liquor into a shallow dish and stir to combine.
6. Dip the first layer of lady fingers quickly (they don’t need to be soaked through) and place on top of the mascarpone in the serving pan next to each other. Tiramisu is sort of like lasagna so basically make a layer of soaked cookies.
7. Spoon ½ of what you have left of the cheese mix on top of the cookies and spread evenly.
8. Make another layer of cookies soaking these ones a bit longer (remember, the liquid goes to the bottom, thus no need to soak the bottom layer for too long. Your cookies should never be falling apart on you or you’ve soaked them too much).
9. Cover this layer with the cheese mix and dust with the cocoa powder. Cover and let sit in the fridge overnight. Don’t serve immediately, the cookies need time to soften. Wait at least 10-12 hours before serving.
[/print_this]

Your actual working time is less than an hour to make the cheese and the tiramisu. And the instructor said last night that her friends say it’s the best tiramisu they’ve ever had. The proof is in the homemade mascarpone.

See more deliciousness at Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays!

Tiramisu photo by stu spivack.

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One thought on “Homemade Mascarpone Cheese and Tiramisu

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