Health facts of Mascarpone cheese

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Mascarpone cheese Quick Facts
Name: Mascarpone cheese
Origin Native to northern Italian region of Lombardy
Calories 429 Kcal./cup
Major nutrients Total Fat (122.46%)
Calcium (14.30%)
Protein (7.14%)
Sodium (3.60%)
Carbohydrate (2.75%)
It is known as a Prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale which is a traditional regional food product. It is a cream cheese which is acquired by boiling milk and curdling through the addition of citric acid or lemon juice. Due to the similar preparation process, it is generally confused with cottage cheese or ricotta but Mascarpone cheese is a double or triple cream cheese that possess sweeter taste.

Mascarpone cheese is a fresh cheese made from cultured cream, native to the northern Italian region of Lombardy. Rather than beginning with milk, mascarpone starts with full-fat cream. This is gently acidified and cooked at a high temperature, which results in a markedly sweet taste and voluminous, fluffy texture.

This cheese is milky to white in color and also easy to spread. It is used for making Tiramisu and sweet stuffing. This soft cheese has high content of fat ranging from 60% to 75%. Mascarpone has smooth or creamy to buttery texture that depends on how it is processed during cheese making. It is used in both sweet as well as savory dishes. It is used to enhance the flavor of dish without overpowering the original taste. It goes well with mustard, spices, anchovies or combined with coffee or cocoa. It is also used to thicken dessert creams and puddings. It could be served with syrup or fruit. It should be consumed within few days or it will go bad.

History

Mascarpone is originated between Lodi and Abbiategrasso, Southwest of Milan, Italy, probably in late 16th century or early 17th century. The name is derived from mascarpa which is an unrelated milk product that is made from whey of stracchino or from mascarpia which is a term in local dialect for ricotta. Unlike mascarpone, Ricotta is made from whey.

How to make Mascarpone cheese?

What You’ll Need

Cream: 1 qt. (1 L) whipping cream (about 30% fat) or heavy cream (about 36% fat)

Acid: ¼–½ tsp. (1–2.5 g) tartaric or citric acid dissolved in ⅛ cup (30 ml) water

Equipment: Pot, spatula, thermometer, cheesecloth or organdy, colander

Process in a Nutshell

Time: 30 min. active, 16–24 min. inactive

Steps: Heat cream, add acid, drain, chill, store and use

Step by Step

Heat Cream: Pour the cream into the pot, and place the pot over medium-high heat. Heat the milk, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pot with the spatula, until the temperature reaches 195oF (90oC).

Add Acid: Slowly drizzle the dissolved acid into the cream while stirring gently. Maintain the temperature of the cream at 195oF (90oC), stirring gently, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to 100oF (38oC).

Drain: Position the colander over another pot and line with a double layer of cheesecloth or a single layer of organdy. Carefully pour the thickened mixture into the colander. Let the mixture drain at a cool room temperature of 65oF–70oF (18oC–21oC), stirring occasionally, until about the thickness of yogurt or sour cream, usually about 16–24 hours.

Chill: Cover and refrigerate the mascarpone until cold. It will continue thickening as it chills.

Store and Use: Store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Troubleshooting

Mascarpone is pretty hard to mess up.

How to Eat         

  • It is used in Lombardy dishes.
  • Use it as a spread.
  • It is used to enrich pasta and soups.
  • It is also used to thicken dessert creams and puddings.
  • Mascarpone cheese is a vital ingredient in tiramisu which is a modern Italian dessert.
  • Sometimes, it is used to thicken and enrich risotto.
  • It is used in cheesecake recipes.
  • Devour it over pancakes or combined with granola.
  • It could be served with fresh fruit or used as a cake filling or topping for desserts.
  • It is used alongside with brandy, espresso and chocolates.
  • Mascarpone is used for making frostings, thicken puddings or cream for desserts.
  • It is consumed in its own served with fresh fruit.
  • Stuff the mixture of thyme, mascarpone, salt, lemon zest and pepper under chicken‘s skin before roasting.
  • For plum tart, cut puff pastry (into rectangles) and bake till it becomes golden. Combine mascarpone with icing sugar to taste and a dash of balsamic vinegar. Then put spoonfuls of the Mascarpone mix on the top of pastry rectangles and top it with drained canned black doris plums.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mascarpone

https://www.cheese.com/mascarpone/

https://www.bbc.com/food/mascarpone_cheese

https://www.tarladalal.com/glossary-mascarpone-cheese-1519i

https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/food-wine/food-news/64004224/10-things-to-do-with-mascarpone

https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-matters-magazine/nutrition/cheese/the-good-the-bad-and-the-ugly

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