Mascarpone Cream with Sweetened Marsala Berries

I love desserts so rich, that a little goes a long way.

A couple of years ago I had a holiday party and after dinner was over, served seven different mini desserts. There were Various Mini Pies, Creamy Frozen Mini Fruit Cups, Single Serving Tiramisu, Nutella Cheesecake Trifles, Peanut Butter Pie Shooters, and Layered Jello Cups. Although mini desserts have been around for some time, this was my first foray into serving them at a dinner party. Needless to say, they were a huge hit and ever since I have been keeping a running list of desserts that would be perfect served in mini dessert cups/glasses, so next time I decide to serve mini desserts, I’ll have all new ones to try.

Anything served with mascarpone cheese in it would definitely be something I’d consider adding to my mini dessert list. Note that tiramisu already made that list! So when I made a whipped mascarpone cream and topped it with sweetened Marsala fresh fruit, there was no doubt this recipe would make it to the top of the list.

This dessert came together in just about half an hour and could easily be made one to two days before serving. The list of ingredients is simple: heavy cream, sugar, mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, mixed berries, Marsala wine and if you like, a little honey for drizzling.

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First you want to whip 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a very cold mixing bowl with cold beaters. Be sure to add the sugar right at the beginning so as to give it the best chance for dissolving and not leaving the cream gritty.

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Beat for 30 seconds on low and then increase speed to medium.

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Beat until the beaters begin to leave a trail, about 30 -45 seconds.

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Increase speed to high and continue beating another 30 -45 seconds until stiff peaks form. Do not over-beat or the cream my fall.

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Transfer the cream to a clean bowl.

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In the same bowl used for the whipped cream, add 8 ounces mascarpone cheese. No need to clean the bowl.

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Beat at medium speed until aerated and light, 30 -45 seconds.

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Add the whipped cream back into the bowl and beat at medium speed until completely incorporated.

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Add 1/2 tsp lemon zest and beat 10 seconds more. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

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While the cream chills, clean 2 pints blackberries and 1/2 pound strawberries (or any combination of berries you choose). Slice and hull strawberries if you use.

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Add 3 heaping tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons Marsala wine to the fruit. Let stand 5 – 10 minutes until sugar dissolves.

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To serve, place a small amount of cream in serving dish and top with berry/wine mixture. Drizzle with honey.

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I served this for dessert the other night and used custard dishes. When I serve this along with other mini desserts I will probably use small square plates. First I’ll pipe a dollop of cream (about 2-3 tablespoons, this is extremely rich) onto each plate, place a few berries on the side, and then drizzle the cream and berries with honey. I think it will be an impressive presentation.

Mini desserts are fun because it gives me a chance to make a lot of different desserts to serve at one time as well as offering my guests many choices in how they wish to end their meal. This cream and berry dessert is sure to be a hit, and for this I am — Simply Grateful.

Mascarpone Cream with Sweetened Marsala Berries

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Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar, plus 3 heaping tablespoons
  • 8 ounces Mascarpone Cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. Lemon Zest
  • About 3 Pints Mixed Berries (blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, or strawberries)
  • 2 tablespoons Marsala Wine
  • Honey for drizzling (optional)

Directions

  1. Whip 1 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup granulated sugar in a very cold mixing bowl with cold beaters. Be sure to add the sugar right at the beginning so as to give it the best chance for dissolving and not leaving the cream gritty.
  2. Beat 30 seconds on low and then increase speed to medium. Beat until the beaters begin to leave a trail, about 30 -45 seconds.
  3. Increase speed to high and continue beating another 30 -45 seconds until stiff peaks form. Do not over-beat or the cream my fall.  Transfer the cream to a clean bowl.
  4. In the same bowl used for the whipped cream, add 8 ounces mascarpone cheese. No need to clean the bowl.  Beat at medium speed until aerated and light, 30 -45 seconds.
  5. Add the whipped cream back into the bowl and beat at medium speed until completely incorporated. Add 1/2 tsp lemon zest and beat 10 seconds more. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  6. While the cream chills, clean 3 pints of mixed berries, slicing and hulling strawberries if you use. Add 3 heaping tablespoons of sugar and 2 tablespoons Marsala wine to the fruit. Let stand 5 – 10 minutes until sugar dissolves.
  7. To serve, place a small amount of cream in serving dish and top with berry/wine mixture. Drizzle with honey.

Cook’s Note

Although I have not tried this, ricotta cheese might be able to be substituted for the mascarpone, as it can be rather pricey. Be sure to use a dry ricotta, such as impastata, though otherwise the cream my not be firm enough.

Other fruit that could be used in this include fresh peaches or nectarines, mandarin oranges, or very ripe pineapple, mango and/or papaya. Another alternative would be to serve the cream with cherries jubilee.

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