GIULIANO BUGIALLI'S MASCARPONE
- 1 quart (1 liter) fresh heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp. tartaric acid (available from pharmacies and some grocers)
Place cream in a glass casserole or bowl, and place casserole into a larger flameproof pan. Add cold water to a larger pan. Place the pan over medium heat and bring the cream to a temperature of 180 degrees (75-80 Celsius). Use a candy thermometer), stirring every so often with a wooden spoon. As soon as the cream reaches the EXACT temperature, remove from the heat, add tartaric acid, and stir with a wooden spoon for 30 seconds. Remove glass casserole or bowl from the larger pan, and stir another 2 minutes.
Line a fine-mesh basket or strainer with thick cheesecloth and pour in cream mixture. Allow to stand for 12 hours in a cool place or on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
Prepare four 9-inch squares of cheesecloth. Divide mascarpone in four. Place a quarter of it on each square of cheesecloth and fold like a package, without tying it. Place packages on a plate and refrigerate for another 12 hours before using.
Note: Tartaric acid is a white crystalline organic acid. It occurs naturally in many plants, particularly grapes, bananas, and tamarinds, and is one of the main acids found in wine. And is used as an antioxidant.It is used as a flavoring agent in foods to make them taste sour. The potassium salt of tartaric acid (potassium bitartrate or potassium hydrogen tartrate) is weakly acidic, and is known as "cream of tartar". Since it is a dry acid, cream of tartar is used in baking powders (along with sodium bicarbonate) to produce carbon dioxide gas when water is added.