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This is my version of Mascarpone Cheese, flavored with French vanilla and a touch of confectionary sugar. Considering a tiny container of it costs upwards of $6, it is very handy to keep tartaric acid on hand for making Mascarpone (about the same price for a bag that has well over 10 teaspoons) and whip it up fresh when you need it. This is a very mildly flavored cheese, with slightly tart undertones, perfect for traditional desserts like Tiramisu, or to top fresh fruit for a decedent treat. Just ask my husband, you’re looking at a picture of his breakfast this morning!

Ingredients:

1 pint light cream

½ teaspoon tartaric acid

1 ½ teaspoons confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1)      Set up a double boiler, or if you don’t have one, set a metal or glass bowl that conducts heat very well into a saucepan of water. Pour cream into bowl, and set flame on medium/high. As cream begins to warm, whisk in sugar & vanilla.

2)      Bring cream up to 185 degrees and whisk tartaric acid in thoroughly, keeping mixture at 185 degrees for about 5 minutes, stirring gently & occasionally throughout.  Cream will begin to thicken noticeably, resembling eggnog, and may start to separate slightly.

3)        Remove from double boiler, and once pan/bowl has cooled to the touch, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

4)      Once cooled, pour into a sieve lined with cheesecloth, cover tightly again, and refrigerate 12 hours. The whey will drain out, leaving a thick, creamy, slightly grainy sweet cheese. You can keep it in an airtight container for several days, using it to top fresh fruits, spread on a bagel, or just enjoy it straight off the spoon!

*In this recipe, you can also omit the sugar and vanilla, making the traditional mascarpone cheese, which is just as delicious!

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