Citrus, Blueberries and Lavender is a flavour combination that sings of a warm summers day (or at least keeps us dreaming of them). Neither the circus or the lavender are the stars of this cake though, they simply work as a support act for the blueberries which get given an extra POP of flavour. It’s this blueberry tang that works perfectly with Mascarpone which I would say is the real star ingredient.Jump to Recipe
What is Mascarpone Cheese?
Mascarpone Cheese is an Italian double or triple creamed cheese made from cows milk and is best known for its use in Tiramisu and baked cheesecakes.
Why is Mascarpone Cheese a great baking ingredient?
Mascarpone has a really high concentration of saturated fat giving it a silky rich, buttery texture perfect for adding to sweet dishes. It’s also less tangy than regular cream cheese which means it doesn’t immediately overpower any other ingredient it’s used alongside.
Mascarpone Cheese vs Cream Cheese
Fat Content | The biggest difference is the amount of fat content between the two. A cream cheese typically wouldnt have much more than 33% fat content but a Mascarpone has 50%+ fat content which is what makes it much richer and creamier.
Taste| When you compare their taste, cream cheese contains a lactic acid which gives it a much tangier, salty and sour taste compared to mascarpone which uses citric acid like lemon. Because of this Mascarpone has a more neutral milky, sweet taste with a hint of tang which makes it is so versatile as a sweet or savoury ingredient.
Mascarpone Cheese substitutions
The closest ingredient to Mascarpone Cheese is creme fraise or ricotta. Creme Fraise is more sour but has the same texture making it a fine alternative in baking. If you want to maintain the flavour Ricotta is a great alternative, however is much drier and doesn’t have the same buttery feel that Mascarpone does so it’s better suited for savoury recipes such as lasagna or pasta than it would be a tiramisu.
If neither of these alternatives work you could try making your own variation by blending 230g cream cheese with 30g whipping cream and 30g soft butter.
Blueberry, Orange and Lavender Mascarpone Cake
- 130 g plain flour
- 120 g caster sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 230 g mascarpone cheese room temperature
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 85 g unsalted butter melted
- 1 tsp orange zest
- 1/4 tsp vanilla extract (1 g)
- 2-3 drops lavender extract
- 100 g fresh blueberries
- 25 g flaked almonds
- Preheat oven to 180C and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder with a wooden spoon
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the mascarpone cheese, egg, melted butter, orange extract and vanilla and lavender extract until smooth.
- Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and then fold them together carefully until just combined.
- Coat the blueberries in flour and gently fold in 2/3 of the berries.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then top with the remaining berries and the flaked almonds.
- Bake for 45 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean then leave to cool on a wire rack before dusting with icing sugar and serving.