Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mascarpone Madness

The clock read 4:15 and I was wearing whipped cream spatters.  I had left a fine dusting of confectioner’s sugar across the countertops and the gears in my head had begun to screech with effort.  How could I fix it before 5:00?  The “it” was a lumpy excuse for cake topping.  “It” was resting in the refrigerator.  I had hoped that cooler temperatures could coax something edible, or SPREADABLE, out of it.  And while frantic, horrified, and angry, I was not delusional.  I knew that the damage was irreparable.  But hope glimmers without reason- and so I began my resuscitation attempts.

What if I were to beat more cream and then fold in the curdled mixture?  I got out my immersion blender, attached the whisk, and got the biggest metal bowl I own, that doesn’t belong to the stand-mixer, because that was in the fridge.  I knew the risks. The bowl was small; the throwing range of the immersion whisk was great; and voila, whipped cream spattered everywhere!  The dogs were dancing below my feet.

“Yea!  Mom has gone crazy! She is throwing whipped topping for us.”  It was like the sprinkler in summer, but inside and tasty.

The cream formed soft peaks so I folded in my curdled mixture of Mascarpone and cream.  The cream softened further and the entire mixture took on the consistency of weeping cottage cheese.  The puddle of liquid grew quickly.  Now what?  But I didn’t give up!  Even though the topping had flat-lined, I grabbed the next life-saving device.  “Don’t go to the light!”  I dumped in powdered sugar, thinking it would absorb the liquid and the topping would take on the consistency of creamed cheese frosting- not far-fetched since it consisted of Mascarpone, sugar, and vanilla.  “And a cup and a half of cream, you moron!”  shouted the not-so-master chef in my head.

The addition of powdered sugar created a lovely fruit dip.

Now the clock read 4:20.  Upstairs I heard my houseguest stirring.  Christine has known me since I was 14 years old.  I don’t need to impress her.  In fact, I had no intentions of trying to impress her.  But I had hoped to pass myself off as relatively intelligent, unlike the scatterbrained imbecile I found standing in my kitchen.  I needed to go to the store to fix the cake.  But, I have been to the grocery store everyday she has been here, which simply confirms my weak organizational and planning skills.  Twice in one day seemed remarkably excessive.

I was also expecting my mother-in-law for dinner.

I grabbed my keys, let the kids know I was going to the grocery store, peeled out of my driveway right into 4:30 traffic.  I made record time, returning home with two new cartons of Mascarpone and a pint of whipping cream.  I was pretty sure I could use a pint of something else about this time, but I had to keep a clear head.  The life of dessert was on the line.

I threw more hazelnuts in the oven to toast, prepped the sugar water for the brittle, put the cream in the freezer to chill thoroughly (I was not taking any chances, I threw the whisk attachment in the freezer too.)  Before you knew it I was slinging Mascarpone through the air and scattering hazelnut brittle dust across the floor, and Carter and Django beat out happy prayers with their tails as they cleaned the cabinet doors and mopped the floor.

Shortly after 5:00 I heard the garage door go up; Matt was home.  I was slopping on the last of the topping as he came through the door.  I had done it. I saved dessert, never mind the grocery bill or the piles of dishes in the sink.

I hope your Easter meals don’t throw you any curve balls. 

Happy Easter!

While this is NOT the most beautiful cake anyone ever created, and definitely not the best photograph, it tastes great!  I like the mixture on the top:  chocolate, orange zest, and some sugar.  Yum.


  1. Yum! Wish I was there to have a bite!

  2. This is always been one of your favorite cakes... I'm sure it turned out deliciously!

  3. Oh, man. I really want a piece of that. Good job on saving the cake!


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