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Newsletter - November 2015

Cheese of the Month
Mascarpone is not actually a cheese. It is clotted cream. In Italy, Mascarpone and other fresh cheeses such as ricotta are known as latticini (little milk products) rather than cheeses. Mascarpone is very rich. It is classified as a triple creme meaning that its butterfat is higher than 72%. It has a creamy, thick and velvety texture. It has the taste of cooked cream with a very, very faint hint of tartness.

We make our Mascarpone by heating cream in a bain marie. Once the temperature of the cream is about 200F we add an acid that causes the cream to curdle. After a few moments, we carefully and delicately ladle the curds into a cloth to drain overnight in a very cool place. The next morning we have Mascarpone. In Italy Mascarpone is typically used in desserts such as Tiramisu. It can also be sweetened with sugar or honey to serve with other desserts or added to savory sauces. Alone it can be melted on pasta for the ultimate cream sauce. And it is great on scones.

Care should be taken when using Mascarpone. If it is too warm, it can easily separate when it is whipped. This is because it is very high in butterfat.

Recipe of the Month
Angel Food Mascarpone Berry Trifle
3 cups milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 Tablespoon Marc Danielle (orange liqueur)
1 cup (8 ounces) Mascarpone, cold
1/2 10-inch angel-food cake
2 cups (1 pint) blueberries
2 cups (1 pint) strawberries
2 cups (1 pint) blackberries
Several sprigs fresh mint leaves

For the Orange Custard, pour the milk into a heavy stainless steel saucepan, place over medium heat and bring the milk to a simmer. In the meanwhile, break the eggs into a medium bowl, add the sugar, and beat using a whisk until light yellow in color. Slowly pour 1 cup of the hot milk into the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour the remaining milk into the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour the custard back into the stainless steel saucepan and place over low heat. Whisk the custard constantly until it begins to simmer and thickens slightly. Do not let it come to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat, and place in a large bowl full of ice and cold water to chill the Custard. Stir until the Custard is cold. Add the vanilla, orange peel, lemon peel and liqueur. Stir to incorporate the flavorings. Then remove the custard from the ice bath and stir in the Mascarpone until completely blended into the Custard.

Tear the angel food cake into pieces about 1 inch square and set aside. Place all the berries in a bowl and mix to distribute them evenly.

Cover the bottom of a glass serving bowl with one third of the torn pieces of cake. Pour one third of custard over the cake. Distribute one third of the berries over the custard. Repeat the layering process until all the ingredients are used. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

To serve, garnish with the fresh mint leaves. Serve chilled.

Serves 10 to 12.