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Raw Mascarpone Cheese

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Raw-Mascarpone-Cheese45The correct pronunciation is mas-car-POH-neh.  Mascarpone has a texture very similar to cream cheese.  In terms of taste, mascarpone is pretty different.  At its creamiest, it will taste like thick, cream-cheese-textured whipping cream and is kind of sweet and dessert like.  It will be buttery, rich, but also fresh tasting.  Some fresh mascarpones can have a slight tang to them, but it’s very subtle.  In making raw mascarpone cheese,  the key ingredient to obtaining that “tang” is the use of probiotics.  The mesquite powder adds that little extra creamy caramel flavor to the mascarpone giving it that robust flavor.

Mascarpone is a lot more sour than cream cheese and it is often referred to as “Italian cream cheese.”  It is most often associated with desserts, especially the classic tiramisu, but it can be used in savory recipes as well; it will add to the creaminess and flavor of a dish without overwhelming the taste.  Recently, I use this recipe as a topping on strawberries.  Check out the recipe for Balsamic Strawberries topped with Raw Mascarpone Cheese.

You can use this cheese on crackers, breads, fruit dip, and I am sure there are many other ways that it can be enjoyed.  The key is to have a high-powered blender so you can get a really smooth and creamy mouth feel.

Raw-Mascarpone-Cheese3Ingredients: yields 3 cups

  • 2 cups cashews, soaked 2+ hours
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup + 1 tsp raw light agave nectar
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp light chickpea miso
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp raw mesquite powder
  • 1 tsp probiotics (7 capsules emptied)

Preparation:

  1. In a high-speed blender combine the cashews, water, lemon juice, agave, nutritional yeast, miso, salt, mesquite powder and probotics. Blend until completely smooth. This may take 3-5 minutes.  It depends on the blender you use.  You want to make sure that you don’t feel any grit from the cashews.  We are aiming for a smooth and wonderful mouth feel!
  2. Pour the mixture in a glass bowl and allow it to sit with a towel covering it,  in a warm place for 14 – 16 hours to culture.
  3. When finished culturing transfer to an airtight glass container  and refrigerate for 4 hours or until set.
  4. This should keep for at least 5 days.
  5. This cheese is great on breads, crackers, as a veggie dip, as a spread on sandwiches, or it can be used as the cream base in cheesecakes and ice creams!

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28 thoughts on “Raw Mascarpone Cheese

  1. kate says:

    Hi, this looks great. a couple of things,,, to keep the vinegar raw, couldn’t one just put some in a bowl and stick it in the dehydrator at, say, 110, and I would imagine
    it would thicken up nicely. It would take longer, but at least it wouldn’t be simmered. And one more thing. In the cheese recipe here, do you measure out the 2 cups of unsoaked cashews, and then soak them, or iis the recipe calling for 2 cups that you have soaked. It does make a little bit of a difference, as when you soak the 2 cups dried ones, they will swell to be more than 2 cups.
    I’d love to know….thanks, kate

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Kate,

      Your first question…”to keep the vinegar raw, couldn’t one just put some in a bowl and stick it in the dehydrator at, say, 110, and I would imagine
      it would thicken up nicely. It would take longer, but at least it wouldn’t be simmered” must be referring to the other post ” http://nouveauraw.com/specialty-sweet-treats/balsamic-strawberries-topped-with-raw-mascarpone-cheese/” I just wanted to point that out to we don’t confuse others if they read this. Maybe wondering where the heck are you using vinegar in this recipe. :) Now to answer that question…balsamic vinegar is not raw to begin with so putting it in the dehydrator wouldn’t change that fact. The process of making balsamic vinegar begins by boiling the grape juice until it becomes a thick syrup. It is then transferred to the wooden barrels to start the aging process. The bacteria is added, which oxidizes the juice and turns it into vinegar. This can take from six months to several years.

      Your second question regarding the measurement on the cashews. It is 2 cups of unsoaked cashews. After they soak they do swell in size a bit, but start with a dry measurement.

      I hope this helps. Have a happy day! amie sue

  2. Catherine says:

    What is a good mesquite substitute? This looks delicious, as always Amie Sue ;)

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Catherine. :) Mesquite flour has a sweet, nutty taste. It is a low-glycemic flour that’s rich in protein and micronutrients. So in time I encourage you to locate some and try…but for now I would grind some raw cashews into a fine powder as a replacement. Cashews have a hint of sweetness, they are light in texture when powdered and will add to the body of the “cheese.” Please let me know if you make the recipe and what you think. Have a blessed evening Catherine. amie sue

  3. Piper says:

    Sorry, but when exactly should the probiotics go in?
    Step One says they go in with the nuts and the water; Step Two indicates they go in last. Is Step One a typo? Should it be cashews, water & something-else together?

    What about adding coconut kefir, or the juice from cultured vegetables, instead of probiotic capsules? I could see that this would change the moisture content/balance…. Any other considerations (eg., necessary strains missing, not-the-flavor/texture/tang-we’re-looking-for, etc) that would not make this advisable?

    I take it a food processor wouldn’t take this to the level of creaminess one is looking for?

    Thanks much!

    • amie-sue says:

      Good day Piper,

      Thanks for catching my typo! Oy-vey. :) I fixed it. I put the probiotics in as the last ingredients. It should reflect that now.

      I understand what you asking about adding the other forms of probiotics such as the kefir, cultured veggies, etc. I haven’t used those items in such a way but I would think it would affect the end flavor and consistency. It would all depend on the amount used. I would lean towards using the coconut kefir more than the veggie one due to flavor. You will need to taste test and make adjustments. As far as the health benefit in these methods… they are all great.. fermented/cultured products all offer great nutrients!

      I don’t recommend a food processor unless it a really high powered one. I never get that really creamy mouth-feel unless I use a high-speed blender. In the processor a person would end of over processing it trying to achieve that texture. That is my opinion from experience.

      Hope this helps, amie sue

  4. Catherine says:

    Thanks Amie Sue. I’ll wait until I pick some up from the health food store :)

  5. Stephanie says:

    Are cashews the only nut this will work with?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Stephanie, they are the only ones that I have tried but I am guessing the macadamia nuts would be good too cause they can cream really well and have a slight sweet taste to them. I fear that other nuts wouldn’t get creamy enough.

  6. Naomi says:

    One word. Amazing!!!
    Now I have some cream cheese!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Naomi!
      One word. Fantastic!! hehe Have a wonderful day Naomi… I got your emails and look forward to some quiet time to respond. amie sue

  7. Amyah says:

    Hello Amy-Sue

    I really don’t like sweet in my food… could I omit the agave nectar from this recipe?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Amyah,

      Yes, you can leave the sweet out. This recipe doesn’t have a really sweet flavor but just enough to make it similar to mascarpone cheese. But you can fine tune it to fit your taste buds. :) Enjoy! amie sue

  8. Michelle says:

    Is the bread in the photo raw? Is the recipe listed somewhere on this site? The cheese, and bread together looks wonderful.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hi Michelle, no that bread is not raw…it was a gluten-free bread that some of our friends gifted to us. :)

  9. Susan says:

    Hi,
    Can kefir whey be substituted for the probiotic capsule? And if so, how much? Does it have to culture longer?
    Thanks

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Susan, I haven’t made kefir myself so I don’t have experience tinkering with it. Have a great day, amie sue

  10. rhonda says:

    Amie sue what is the bread called in the photo and how do your make it?

  11. Meg Latham says:

    What raw cheese can I use to replace ricotta ??
    Regards Meg

  12. Dawn Arthur says:

    Hello Amie Sue: I will be having a raw foods class targeting children in a week from now and want to use the Raw Mascarpone Cheese recipe. What can I use instead of chickpea miso? Will it alter the taste significantly if I leave it out? Love your work! :)

    • amie-sue says:

      You can just omit it Dawn… it adds to the sweet saltiness. I am so excited about your raw food children’s class. You are such a blessing! Have a wonderful weekend, amie sue

  13. Andy says:

    is there any sweetener you can sub for agave? would maple syrup or coconut sugar work?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Andy,

      Yes you can use maple syrup, even honey or raw coconut nectar… keep it a wet sweetener. Blessings, amie sue

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