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Newsletter - April 2015

Cheese of the Month
Mascarpone Torta with Pecan Pralines
Mascarpone is a luscious, rich cheese that we make by heating heavy cream and then curdling it with an acid. Subsequently it is drained in long, flat pans lined with muslin for 24 hours. Mascarpone is a first cousin to clotted cream. It has a thick, velvety texture and an unforgettable creamy richness. It is the essence of cream. One of our most popular creations is our Mascarpone Torta flavored with Pecan Pralines. I have always called this our Ode to the South because pecans and pralines remind me of the little shops that sell these delicacies in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I love them! I thought to combine them with Mascarpone would be the ultimate, and it is. To make this Torta, we stir crushed pecan pralines into the Mascarpone and layer it into round cups. It’s ready to invert, unmold and serve. And voilà … a ready-to-serve dessert that will impress even those who don’t eat sweets! It is fabulous when served with ginger snaps and strawberries. It is delicious layered between lace cookies. It is a wonderful stuffing for dried apricots. It makes a wonderful tart or cake filling, especially when topped with fresh berries and kiwis. And it is a fabulous accent for winepoached fruits such as apples, pears and peaches.

Recipe of the Month
Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Mascarpone
10-inch angel-food cake
1 6-ounce box raspberries
1 tablespoon Amaretto
½ pint (1 cup) heavy cream, cold
8 ounces (1 cup) Pecan Praline Mascarpone

Torta (or 1 cup Mascarpone sweetened with 2 tablespoons honey) 4 sprigs fresh mint

Slice the cake horizontally into three layers of even sizes and set aside. Place the raspberries in a flat bowl, drizzle with the Amaretto, and set aside. In a chilled bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Remove 1 heaping cup of whipped cream and place in refrigerator. Add the Mascarpone Torta to the remaining cream and, using a rubber spatula, gently fold the Mascarpone into the cream until well combined. Place the bottom cake layer on a cake plate. Spoon half the Mascarpone mixture onto the cake and spread it evenly on the cake. Using one third of the raspberries, create a circular row of raspberries on the Mascarpone. Then stack the middle slice of cake on the filling. Spoon the remaining Mascarpone onto the cake and spread it evenly on the cake. Place one third of the raspberries in a circular row on the Mascarpone. Stack the final slice of cake on the filling. Ice the cake with the refrigerated whipped cream, using a spatula to spread it over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate the top of the cake with the remaining raspberries and drizzle the amaretto/ raspberry juices onto the cake. Loosely cover the cake with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until serving time.

Serves 10-12.