Self panettone And Pandoro are protagonists among the Christmas sweets, there is no doubt that the prima donna is her: the mascarpone cream. So simple in the ingredients: very fresh eggs, sugar and a fresh dairy product – that's the Lombard dairy specialties. Yet, so irresistible on the palate, incredibly soft and voluptuous. The combination with i leavened cakes creates a perfect balance between the rich dough of one and the silky texture of the other. In short, it is difficult to give it up! Easier … double it! Preparing it with the classic recipe and in one (or more!) Delicious variations.
The recipe for mascarpone cream
So let's start from here. For a “basic” mascarpone cream, shell 3 eggs by separating the yolks and whites in two bowls. In a third bowl, work with a spatula from 250 to 350 g of mascarpone (depending on whether you want a more or less full-bodied cream) to make it smooth and creamy. Whip the egg yolks with 60 g of sugar with an electric whisk until they become light, almost white, and very fluffy, then gently mix the mascarpone with the spatula. Also whip the egg whites and add them to the cream. Keep in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or in any case until ready to serve.
The enriched mascarpone cream
Just add small touches of taste to renew the cream in ways that will amaze your taste buds! The simplest is to combine the mascarpone with the grated zest of half a lemon, half an orange, a lime or a mandarin, with the recommendation to take only the colored part, so as not to give a bitter taste to the cream. For a more intense flavor, instead of the zest you can add to the mixture of egg yolks and mascarpone, before the egg whites, a tablespoon of marmalade of lemons or oranges. The use of nut creams, for instance with pistachio, at the hazelnut or at almonds: they are easily found in natural food stores and are already sweetened, so it will be necessary to reduce the amount of sugar a little when it comes to whipping the egg yolks. The doses are about 50 g for 250-350 g of mascarpone. The dried fruit cream must be combined with the latter, before incorporating the egg yolks.
Crunchy or alcoholic?
To give a touch of crunch, add 4-5 on the surface of the cream when serving Amaretti biscuits, crumbled not too finely, to be stirred just before serving the cream. In the same way you can sprinkle the serving cup with grain of toasted almonds or hazelnuts. Always welcome (if there are no children!) A light touch of alcohol: just add to the basic recipe, once ready, 2 tablespoons of dark rum, amaretto or orange liqueur (Grand Marnier type), also to be combined with the corresponding variants (amaretto, dried fruit, citrus). Speaking of liquid additions: also try 2 tablespoons of coffee restricted, naturally cold and unsweetened.
Unusual fruit, colors and flavors
The elegance of the mascarpone cream, in its delicate very light yellow, is beyond question. However, a lively touch makes it even more Christmas. To get it, you just need a handful of candied fruit diced: the green of the cedar, the yellow of the lemon, the orange of pumpkin and orange, the red of the cherries. Which, moreover, will marry with the candied fruit of the panettone. To give the cream a boost, try it ginger, always candied. A "strong" touch, to be reserved for lovers of strong tastes? Add a few pieces of fruit mustard, perhaps choosing it in a not too "mustard" version. The addition of currant or blueberries fresh, but also that of dehydrated fruit, such as chopped apricots or cranberries, i cranberries of the American tradition that can be found in specialty food stores. Less suitable is the fresh cut fruit which, with its juices, would make the cream “disassemble”.
The chocolate mascarpone cream
The simplest way to combine chocolate with mascarpone cream is to use it in drops: 3-4 tablespoons will be enough for our doses. The richer version is prepared with 200 g of dark chocolate, melted in a bain-marie, warmed and incorporated into the cream prepared with 2 egg yolks, 4 tablespoons of sugar and 250 g of mascarpone. The preparation is completed with 300 g of fresh whipped cream (instead of egg whites). And it will be perfect if, in the end, you "correct" it with a drizzle of rum, whiskey cream or tiramisu liqueur.
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