Monday, 30 November 2009

What I Made with my Mascarpone Cheese

When one makes homemade mascarpone, the second step is to decide what to actually do with that bounty. Upon careful consideration of our cravings and what we actually had at home, I found a brilliant and simple recipe from Bon Appetit magazine which I adapted to what I had at home. BA's Strawberry, Mascarpone, and Marsala Budini became Cherries and Blueberries, Mascarpone, and Ice Wine/Brandy Budini. If I may say so, I think my version is even better.

The fruit is marinated in boozy goodness, in my case a Kittling Ridge Ice Wine and Brandy blend, a Canadian award winner and very tasty!
I used cherries and blueberries that I had in the freezer and marinated them at room temperature so that they would continue to thaw.
The pudding is adult and smooth and totally delicious without being overly sweet. This would be excellent for guests and lend itself well to many variations.
Strawberry, Mascarpone, and Marsala Budini
Bon App├ętit March 2003

These parfaits (or budini — Italian for "puddings") of ultra-creamy mascarpone layered with Marsala-soaked strawberries perfectly illustrate the way of dessert in Italy: utterly simple, not too sweet, and delicious.
Yield: Makes 6 servings

1 8-ounce container mascarpone cheese (I used homemade)
6 tablespoons sweet Marsala (preferably imported) (I used an ice wine/brandy blend)
3 tablespoons whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
3 cups sliced hulled strawberries (about 15 ounces) (I used cherries and blueberries)

2 1/4 cups coarsely crumbled amaretti cookies (Italian macaroons; about 4 1/2 ounces)*

Combine mascarpone, 3 tablespoons Marsala, cream, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Stir gently until well blended. Combine strawberries, remaining 3 tablespoons Marsala, and 1 tablespoon sugar in another medium bowl; toss to blend. Cover mascarpone and berry mixtures; refrigerate 30 minutes.

Place 2 tablespoons crumbled cookies in each of 6 goblets. Divide strawberry mixture with juices among goblets. Top berries with mascarpone mixture, then remaining cookies. Cover and chill at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

*Mascarpone (Italian cream cheese) and amaretti cookies are available at Italian markets and many supermarkets.