Barbara’s Mascarpone

Barbara’s Mascarpone

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Having finally adjusted (more or less) to the shock of being back in Oakland after my wonderful sojourn in Bologna it is time to once again provide a recipe for the “cucina pigra” (lazy cooking). When I was in Bologna I went to great meal in the Apennine mountains west of Bologna with Barbara, Vittorio and several of their friends. At the end of the meal I chose the mascarpone dessert. It was simple and great and when I returned here I searched the web for a recipe. The only thing that came up was mascarpone as one of the ingredients in tiramisu. Mascarpone is a very spreadable cheese more like ricotta in texture than most of what we think of as cheese. In fact it’s not technically a cheese at all but is technically a curled cream. But let’s not get carried away with the cheesey specifications. It’s yummy stuff and I wanted to replicate it here. Since the web was no help I turned to Barbara who delivered her version and it is really quite easy to make. So you can impress your friends with something they’re unlikely to find on this side of the Atlantic. I had pictures of the whole process but unfortunately some scoundrel robbed my apartment and absconded with the camera which still had the pictures inside so you’ll just need to use your imagination.

The ingredients:

Note: You should do this preparation a day ahead – read on.

2 eggs

250 grams (about 9 oz) of mascarpone (it’s sold here in 8 oz. gram containers)

100 grams (about 3.5 oz. ) of powdered sugar


  1. Separate the eggs.
  2. Mix the yolks and powdered sugar with a whisk until creamy
  1. Whip the egg whites until they are stiff
  2. Blend everything together

The next step depends on the season. If summer you can serve the mascarpone with some nice ripe berries on top. If fall or winter soak one ladyfinger (also known as savoy biscuits) in coffee (expresso of course) and place in the bottom of whatever you’ll be using to serve the dessert (I used plastic drink glasses that I could discard) and then top with the mascarpone mixture. Put the containers in the freezer overnight and transfer them to the fridge an hour or two before serving. If the summer option, top with the berries just before serving.

It’s easy and foolproof, after all, I did it.

I did a double recipe and took them to an Italian potluck. They lived up to Barbara’s promise that it would be a success.




4 Responses to “Barbara’s Mascarpone”

  1. Brenda Buxton Says:

    So sorry to hear about the robbery! At least they didn’t get the recipe.

  2. Joe Says:

    Yes, mostly the loss was several months worth of emails. Now I know to back those up separately.


  3. Simona Says:

    This recipe is extremely similar(if not identical :-)) to the cream used for tiramisu. You put a layer of lady fingers dipped in espresso (you may add Cointreau) and then a layer of cream, another of lady fingers and you end with a layer of cream.

    I sometimes use panna montata (whipped cream) instead of mascarpone for two reasons: it is easier to blend with the egg whites and second it means less calories.

    But mascarpone is the real deal!

  4. Joe Says:

    Yes, I think so but I had never had it just by itself. Also I would never have thought to freeze it.


Leave a Reply