Gloria wrote:Does anyone knows where I could find ricotta, mascarpone, cannoli shells? also would be appreciated a name of an italian importer in Stgo where I could contact. Thanks.
You will probably be able to find mascarpone if you search enough in the shops. But I imagine you will pay an arm and maybe 3 legs. Mascarpone and ricotta readily available here but before they were I used to make my own. Reasonable substitutes:
What you do with making mascarpone is merely lightly fermenting and altering the consistency of the cream.
From a website where I got recipes from:
"I enclose the two recipes I use, both authentic, both delicious, and as easy as falling off a log. You don't need a kit, or fancy ingredients, or even much time. Mascarpone takes 12-24 hours to set, but the actual work time is a matter of minutes."
Recipe #1 (Source unknown)
You'll need 1 pint (600ml) of fresh cream, and 1/2 teaspoon of tartaric acid (available from pharmacies and some grocers).
1. Pour the cream into the top of a double boiler and place over simmering water.
2. When the cream is warm, add the tartaric acid, and stir until cream reaches a temperature of 180 degrees (75-80 Celsius). Use a candy thermometer.
3. Remove from heat and allow to cool, stirring occasionally.
4. Pour the mixture into a bowl lined with thick cheesecloth or a doubled-over tea towel, and leave in a cool place for at least 12 hours, preferably 24.
5. Consume within 48 hours.
Giuliano Bugialli's Mascarpone
This is a sweeter recipe than the one above.
Ingredients: 1 quart (1 liter) fresh heavy cream, 1/4 tsp. tartaric acid (available from pharmacies and some grocers)
1. Place cream in a glass casserole or bowl, and place casserole into a larger flameproof pan.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Remove glass casserole or bowl from the larger pan, and stir another 2 minutes.
5. Line a fine-mesh basket or strainer with thick cheesecloth and pour in cream mixture.
6. Allow to stand for 12 hours in a cool place or on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.
7. Prepare four 9-inch squares of cheesecloth.
8. Divide mascarpone in four.
9. Place a quarter of it on each square of cheesecloth and fold like a package, without tying it.
10. Place packages on a plate and refrigerate for another 12 hours before using.
How To Substitute For Mascarpone
Sometimes, it's a lot easier just to substitute. Tiramisu creators have used ricotta or cottage cheese as successful substitutes by whipping the cheese until it is smooth.
Other sources have created their own substitutions. In the Epicurean Chef's Forum, "Kim" posted the following: "I found a substitution that worked okay is 8 ounces of softened cream cheese, plus 3 tablespoons of sour cream, plus 2 tablespoons of heavy cream (liquid, not whipped).
In "The Cook's Thesaurus," the following are suggested: (1) Blend 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup whipping cream, or (2) blend 8 ounces softened cream cheese with 1 tablespoon cream or butter or milk, or (3) Blend 6 ounces softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup cream (or Montrachet).
Ricotta is very easy to make at home as well.....
I prefer a bechamel for lasagne but if rushed I will pick ricotta over cottage cheese every time:
http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/ ... tta-234282