Mascarpone- Mascarpone is a thickened cream (with a sweet note) that is on it’s way to turning into butter. It is made from only two ingredients, whole cream and citric or tartaric acid (to thicken the cream). The process is so simple you can even make your own at home.
Mascarpone should have a very smooth texture with no lumps or graininess. The flavor should be milky and lightly sweet. It tends to go bad quickly, so use an open container of mascarpone within a few days.
The closest cousins to mascarpone are probably English clotted cream and French creme fraiche. However, high-quality creamy ricotta or cream cheese can also be a substitute for mascarpone. (I would not substitute mascarpone but if you must I suppose you could use those ingredients.)
Besides tiramisu, what can mascarpone be used for? In both sweet and savory dishes, mascarpone can add a creamy, rich element. (Some people even use on their toasted or not toasted bagel!)
I use Belgioioso Mascarpone. Belgioioso is a northeast Wisconsin cheese company. Love their cheese!!