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Mascarpone Instead Of Cream Cheese

Asked by philippam79. Answered on 15th June 2017

Full question

I would like to make the Chocolate Lime Cheesecake, but my husband bought mascarpone instead of normal cream cheese. Would I be able to use it instead?

Chocolate Lime Cheesecake
Photo by Francesca Yorke
Chocolate Lime Cheesecake
By Nigella
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Our answer

Nigella's Chocolate Lime Cheesecake (from NIGELLA BITES) is a baked cheesecake made with cream cheese (such as Philadelphia). Cream cheese has a fat content of at least 33% and it has a slight acidic taste. It is this acid tang that helps cheesecakes to be rich but not too cloying. Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese that has a fat content of at least 40% and although acid is involved in the production of the cheese, mascarpone has a much richer, creamier taste.

It is possible to use mascarpone in the cheesecake, but it is not ideal and you may find that the cheesecake is richer and slightly heavier due to the higher fat content. Some Italian cheesecakes are made with mascarpone, but they are often lightened with whisked egg whites folded into the cheesecake batter. Mascarpone may be better as a substitute for cream cheese in unbaked cheesecakes, such as Nigella's Cherry Cheesecake. You can add some extra lemon juice to cut the richness of the mascarpone. Also when using mascarpone bear in mind that the higher fat content means that it is easier to overbeat, causing it to curdle slightly. So when making the cheesecake stir the mascarpone gently by hand to loosen it, then carefully beat in the remaining ingredients until just combined. Mascarpone is also perfect for tiramisu, so you may like to try Nigella's Irish Cream Tiramisu or individual Tiramisini.

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