mascarpone heaven

HORRAY - it worked! i got a bowl full of super-creamy mascarpone. the secret was to use fresh full fat cream, since the ultra-pasteurized one gives the mascarpone a terrible off-taste. my friend simone (www.herbarella.ch) is the lucky one. she will come over for dinner tomorrow and i will make sure i will put loads and loads of creamy mascarpone on top of the pizza (together with parma ham and ruccola - YUM!).

RECIPE
700ml full fat cream
6 tablespoons buttermilk

place cream in a saucepan and heat to lukewarm (about 35 C for those of you who have a thermometer in the kitchen). pour into a clean bowl and stir in the buttermilk. cover with a plate and set aside for 24 hours (or until a thick curd forms - happens quicker the warmer it is).
line a colander with a damp muslin and place over a bowl. pour curd into colander and let drain for 15 minutes. fold muslin over curd and wrap colander & bowl with clingfilm. put in the fridge for about 2 days. - ready!
mascarpone keeps in an airtight container or glass for about 4-5 days.

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HOMEMADE CRèME FRAICHE

here is another one (the last one that has anything to do with fresh cheese, promise!) its a dead-easy recipe for homemade crème fraiche from susan spungens book "recipes for the modern cook". the homemade stuff has so much more flavour than the one you get at the supermarket. its creamy and nutty and buttery. just the way i love it!

500ml full fat cream
2 tablespoons buttermilk

combine cream and buttermilk and put into a clean glass jar. put a saucepan with barely simmering water on stove. place glass in saucepan and when the cream is just warm, remove it and cover with plastic wrap. you might want to use a rubber band to secure the wrap tightly. put jar in a warm spot (tumbler, spot with floor-heating etc) for about 12-24 hours (depending how warm it is). once thickened, stir once, re-cover and place in the fridge where it will thicken even further. keeps for about 2 weeks!!