Tuesday 14 September 2010

Homemade mascarpone and sorry so slack!

Sorry team, I've been extremely slack at posting and replying to comments in the last wee bit.

It's been a real topsy turvy time and the week just went by in a blink.  Did a first aid course (fun!), sent off my applications for med school (exciting and also very very scary), my grandma was rushed to hospital (not so fun), my uncle passed away (not fun at all), and have been doing some mad organising for wedding.

Full. On.

I've missed you all though!  And to make up for my absence I thought I'd sweeten the deal with some pretty exciting news: I made cheese.

No no I didn't cut the cheese.  And I know I'm normally pretty cheesy as it is...but I actually, totally made cheese!

Yes y'all, I've delved into the mysterious world of cheese making by making homemade mascarpone.

It was so easy and the results so good...I'm totally hooked.  I'm determined to try and make other cheeses now like mozzarella and feta. 

Watch out Kapiti.

It really is super easy: all you need is cream, lemon juice (and/or cream of tartar) and a thermometer.  Easy peasey lemon squeezy even.

I used a recipe from this website run by a biochemistry professor.  I love the play by play photos and all the hardcore bio facts he puts in.  It appeals to my inner geekazoid.

The hardest part was juggling the temperature and trying to work out what the right consistency was supposed to look like.

I don't think I quite got the consistency perfect but I did get creamy velvety mascarpone cheese with a hint of lemon.  A little like a cross between thick whipped cream and cream cheese.

I used my batch in a brown sugar mascarpone frosting and was rather chuffed with myself.

It would also be scrummy in tiramisu or simply with scones and jam.   Or you could be uber flash and use it in pasta dishes and sauces.

Who would have known that making cheese could really be that easy right?  You could say that store-bought is gouda but home-made is feta.

Oh man, cheese jokes just never get old.  In fact, they only improve with age. 

Homemade mascarpone cheese

from David B. Fankhauser, PhD

makes around 250g

500 ml cream
1/8 tsp tartaric acid (cream of tartar) or 1 Tbsp lemon juice

optional: 1 tsp lemon juice (mine didn't really thicken with just the tartaric acid - could have been because my cream of tartar was old).

1. Gently warm the cream on a double boiler in a stainless steel bowl to 85oC.

2. Dissolve the tartaric acid in 1 Tablespoon of water.

3. When the cream reaches 85oC stir in the dissolved acid/lemon juice.  The cream should thicken slightly.

4. Cover the bowl with foil and hold the temperature for five minutes.  The mixture should coat the back of your spoon.

5. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge overnight to thicken more.

6. The mixture will have thickened and solidified more.

7. Place a clean handkerchief or 2 layers of cheese cloth over a sieve and scoop the mixture into the cloth.  Draw the corners of the cloth up into a bundle and twist.  Secure with a rubber band.  Place the sieve over a bowl to catch the whey and refrigerate overnight to drain completely.

8. Et Voila! You have just made cheese!  Well done old chap.

Ok ok just one more cheese joke and then I'll let you go...

What do you call cheese that isn't yours?

Nacho cheese!!!!!



  1. Good luck with your med school applications and glad you're back! The mascarpone looks fabulous! Never would have known it would be so simple and easy! Can't wait to try this out!

  2. Hi came across your blog on stumbleupon. So happy to know someone else who loves baking and medicine. I'm in med school now and I love baking but don't have time anymore. You have a wonderful happy blog! The mascarpone looks delish.

    All the best with your application process, I know how hard it is, but you'll get there!

  3. Wow cool I had never thought about making cheese, looks like nerdy fun, I love stuff like that and I love bad puns. Great post!

  4. Hey sorry to hear about all the drama and sadness. I hop eyou are feeling better now and getting ready and excited to start medical shcool. Who knew it was quite easy to make your own mascarpone .... Looks gorgeous. I think this definitely a keeper. I am always running out of it and now i can make it .... Nice one!

  5. Well, that IS some easy peasy cheesy! Thanks for the post - I had a fun time reading it and laughing at your corniness. I'm definitely going to try my hand at making some Mascarpone!

  6. Peggy: It's great to be back - I was getting blogger withdrawal. I couldn't believe how easy it was too! And only 2 ingredients. Ah-mazing.

    Mary L: Hiya Mary, thanks so much for stopping by! Yay another med baker! Hope it's all going well for ya at med school. It's been a dream of mine for a long time to be a doctor so I'm finally giving it a shot! Fingers and eyes and toes crossed!

    Linno: How cool is that guys site huh? Making cheese was just like doing an experiment but with yum results. What could be more fun than that right? :P Besides there is no such thing as a bad pun - they're hilarious, love them!

    Joudie: Thanks for your kind words, Joudie. You have to have some dark days to appreciate the bright ones so have my chin up and looking forward to big and exciting things! :)

    wannabake: Haha it was totally easy cheesy! I love all things pun: corny/lame = hilarity in my books :) Thanks for stopping by!

  7. that photo is incredible, i want to pop that spoon in my mouth !! you are so fancy :)

  8. wow i cannot believe you made cheese - after the week you've had! i popped over from Pod and Three Peas and i'm glad i did - your blog is divine!!!

  9. thank you so much for sharing this.. I just spent $15 on mascarpone cheese today.. $15!!! I definitely have to try this recipe!

  10. Hi Nessie

    that is awesome! how did you make sure you kept the cream at the right temperature at the first stage? Or was putting tin foil over it enough to do that?


  11. Paula: Aw thanks for the photo props! I confess, I did pop that spoonful into my mouth - mascarpone is just begging to be eaten right?! :)

    Brenda: Thanks for stopping by and for your nice as comment, Mira. Sometimes I find that cooking/baking calms me is almost meditative you know? down Maybe its something to do with having total control over your ingredients and turning them into something pretty and delicious :)

    Kiteride: I have to admit I was motivated to make my own when I saw how expensive mascarpone was at the supermarket! And then when I found out it is so darn easy to make, well there was no turning back! :)

    Tammy: Hey Tammy! It was actually really tricky - I had to do the stovetop jig with the pot, used a heavy based pot with a thermometer with a digital read out and popping it on and off the gas stove when it got too hot!

  12. WOW, this post is so cheesy, in the best way possible. You really had me cracking up out loud at all the cheese joke interjections, nice work. But the cheese itself, that's quite a feat, congrats on venturing into the unknown! You've inspired me to give this a try...since I'm trying to go all homemade now a days ;)

  13. Merci beaucoup Lola! The more cheese the better I say, be it in food or in jokes :) Thanks for stopping by!!

  14. that's such a cheesy post :-D in a good way! I think the texture is perfect!

  15. Hehe Thanks Kulsum! Nothing like a good bit of cheese yea?? :P

  16. found you through pinterest and LOVE that this looks so simple! will be trying it today~

  17. what type of cream is this ???

  18. Hi there, we only have one type of cream at the supermarkets. It's got 38g of fat per 100ml if that's helpful? Hope that helps! :)

  19. Making mozzarella is fun and pretty easy and ricotta is even easier-much like making the marscapone

    1. I really wanna try making mozzarella!! It def looks like a lot of fun - all that stretching! :)

  20. Hi Nessie,
    Your first attempt using cream of tartar didn't work because cream of tartar and tartaric acid are not the same thing - close, but not quite. Cream of tartar is essentially a mellowed out version of tartaric acid. Although a little harder to find and sometimes a little pricier, try the tartaric acid next time and it should work just fine. You'll also have no lemony aftertaste from using lemon juice - which doesn't mix well with the coffee flavor in tiramisu.

    1. Aaaaaaa that would make sense!! Will try and look out for tartaric acid next time I'm in a foodie store! Have got my eye on paneer next.... :) Thanks heaps for the tip!!

  21. Oh my god that looks amazing and I never thought about making it myself! I make everything myself because it brings me joy :) thanks for sharing the love! this is definitely my next project! Passports & Pamplemousse!

  22. Oooh - excellent blog. I am going to have to give this a go. Love mascarpone and then I can make cheesecake. Love cheesecake!



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