Three Luscious Mascarpone Desserts

Sometimes all a pre-made dessert needs is a little something extra. We’ve taken three traditional Italian desserts and added our own little twist (which happens to be mascarpone cheese). The result? Three luscious desserts that will please everyone — including the most discriminating Italian mother.

Panettone, originally from Milan, is a type of sweet loaf bread served for Christmas and New Year in Italy and other countries. In our recipe, panettone is even sweeter, thanks to heavenly layers of mascarpone filling.

And, no, pandoro is not a brand of jewelry. It’s a traditional Italian sweet yeast bread that’s popular around Christmastime. Pandoro is usually shaped with a pointed-star section. Our pandoro with mascarpone will be the star of any holiday meal. The secret to this recipe is the wine-cherry juice mixture that’s brushed over the inside of the hollowed-out pandoro. The bread absorbs the liquid, which infuses it with rich flavor.

Tiramisu is a trendy Italian dessert made of ladyfingers dipped in coffee, layered with a whipped mascarpone cream. We’ve said arrividerci to the ladyfingers, and ciao to yellow cake in this easy recipe. You and your guests will say delizioso!

All three recipes are simple to make, and all three will win raves from family and friends. You’ll enjoy them so much, you’ll want to make them all year round, not just at holiday time.

Panettone with Mascarpone

Ingredients:
⋅ 1 Christmas panettone

⋅ 33 Tbsp. Il Villaggio® mascarpone
⋅ 4 eggs, separated
⋅ 10 Tbsp. sugar
⋅ 3 Tbsp. brandy (optional)
⋅ powdered sugar or cocoa powder

Instructions
Prepare the cream: Whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy. Then add the mascarpone and mix well. Add the brandy, if desired.

Using an electric mixer, whip the egg whites until clear and add them to the mixture, gently stirring with a spatula from the bottom upward. Let stand in the refrigerator for about two hours.

Cut the panettone into horizontal slices, and just before serving spread the mascarpone cream over the slices. Then recompose the panettone, alternating slices to form a star with 16 points instead of 8.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar or cocoa powder.

Pandoro + Mascarpone

Ingredients:
⋅ 1 pre-made pandoro
⋅ 1 jar maraschino cherries with juice
⋅ 1/4 cup white wine
⋅ 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
⋅ 2/3 cup granulated sugar
⋅ 8 oz. Il Villaggio® mascarpone cheese
⋅ 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
⋅ 2 tablespoons Chambord (optional)
⋅ confectioners’ sugar for garnish

Instructions
Using a serrated knife, slice the pandoro horizontally 1″ from the bottom. Set the bottom aside and turn the pandoro on its side. Using your fingers or a spoon, make the pandoro shell by scooping out the center of the pandoro, leaving about a 1″ border all the way around. Set the pandoro shell aside.

Drain the maraschino cherries and reserve the juice. Transfer the juice to a small bowl and set the cherries aside. Add the white wine to the maraschino juice and mix well. Brush the inside of the pandoro with the maraschino-wine mixture. Set the pandoro aside.

For the filling, beat the whipping cream and 1/3 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, cream the mascarpone cheese and remaining 1/3 cup sugar, vanilla and Chambord until creamy. Add the cheese mixture to the whipped cream mixture. Carefully transfer the mixture into the pandoro shell, gently pressing it against the walls of the pandoro. Repeat until it is completely filled.

Replace the bottom slice to cover the filling. Carefully turn the pandoro over so it is right side up and chill in the refrigerator. When the pandoro is firm and ready to serve, dust with confectioners’ sugar and slice into wedges.

Tiramisu Cake

Ingredients:
Cake
⋅ 1 box yellow cake mix
⋅ Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box

Coffee syrup
⋅ 3/4 cup hot brewed espresso coffee or very strong coffee
⋅ 2 Tbsp. cognac
⋅ 2 Tbsp. powdered sugar

Filling
⋅ 3 cups Il Villaggio® mascarpone cheese
⋅ 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
⋅ 2 Tbsp. cognac
⋅ 3 tsp. vanilla
⋅ 1 cup cold whipping cream

Garnish
⋅ 3 Tbsp. Dutch processed or regular unsweetened baking cocoa
⋅ Chocolate-covered coffee beans
⋅ 3 oz. dark baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

Instructions
Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pans). Grease two 9″ round cake pans with shortening; line pans with cooking parchment paper. Make cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs. Pour batter into pans.

Bake 25 to 29 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely.

In small bowl, mix coffee syrup ingredients. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat mascarpone cheese, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp. cognac and the vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. In small bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until combined.

To assemble, cut each cake horizontally to make two layers. Place one layer on plate; moisten generously with coffee syrup, then spread with about 1 cup of the filling. Repeat with remaining three cake layers. Spread remaining filling over top and side of cake.

Sprinkle cocoa over cake. Arrange coffee beans around top edge of cake. Sprinkle chopped chocolate around bottom edge of cake. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.

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