Baking – like reading and blogging – is an activity I enjoy immensely, and one of my goals for the year is to bake my way through The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum, an infamous (U.S.) dessert recipe book and baking guide. I thought it would be fun to incorporate my love for baking into my blog, so the idea for Reviewing The Cake Bible was born. The following review, as the title of this post indicates, is for the Mascarpone Frosting and Filling recipe.
In the past year I have made a lot of American buttercream for cakes. And between the sweetness and the repetitiveness, I feel like it’s beyond time to start experimenting with other frostings and fillings. I chose the Mascarpone Frosting and Filling recipe from The Cake Bible because it’s perfect to serve with the Perfect Pound Cake – which I made a few weeks ago – and because it’s one of the easiest frostings in terms of ingredients and instructions.
Mascarpone is not an ingredient I had ever used in anything (I have eaten it in Tiramisu a number of times), but fortunately for me it is something my local grocery store keeps in stock (the particular brand makes it in Wisconsin). In Rose Levy Beranbaum’s introduction to this recipe, she talks about when her local grocery store (Balducci’s in New York City) announced “‘Mascarpone Has Arrived from Italy!'” – when she tried it she was reminded of cream cheese, albeit “more flavorful” cream cheese. If you are a dessert or food connoisseur, you can probably guess [correctly] that the richer, more flavorful profile is due to the high fat content. Now that I have made this Mascarpone frosting, I’m not sure if I can ever enjoy the less fatty American cream cheese frosting as much as I used to…😉
In addition to the Mascarpone cheese, sugar and heavy cream are used to make this frosting. Rose Levy Beranbaum talks about how the first time she made it, she was disappointed to see the mixture curdle “drastically” – but patience is needed for this frosting, because after she kept beating it, the mixture “emulsified and gained the perfect consistency for frosting or piping.” I’m happy to say that I arrived at the same end result. The Mascarpone cheese I used had a mild tangy flavor, but Rose Levy Beranbaum notes that it can vary in flavor, so if it is too tangy for your liking, just add some more sugar.
I don’t think I would frost a 9 or 10-inch multi-layer cake with the Mascarpone Frosting and Filling, just because it is so rich. But as I said previously, it is perfect for Pound Cake (in my opinion), and it would be great on a smaller dessert like red velvet cupcakes or a miniature double layer cake. I think the next thing I will use Mascarpone in is cheesecake – I love making American cheesecake as much as I love eating it (the baked kind), but like in the case of American buttercream, I’m beyond ready to branch out and try new varieties.