But I discovered something amazing last year: it's actually quite easy to make your own mascarpone. Yes, really! All you need are cream, lemon juice, and some time, and you can make this gourmet cheese for half the cost of what it sells for. Here's the recipe I use, from one of my favorite baking blogs.
Once you have your trusty mascarpone, either purchased or homemade, I hope you'll use it to make these White Chocolate Mascarpone Truffles. They're a perfect showcase for the soft and subtle cheese. White chocolate is mild enough that it doesn't overwhelm the mascarpone, and the hint of orange zest in the truffles is the icing on the cake...or the chocolate on the truffle, if you will.
If you want to go a little more traditional with your mascarpone, you can't go wrong with Tiramisu Truffles. Tiramisu means "pick-me-up," and one bite of these truffles will certainly give you a lift! Traditional tiramisu uses mascarpone cheese in the dessert layers, and these truffles do likewise. They also have a heft dose of coffee, and can be optionally made with brandy to really give you a boost. The truffles are finished with a heavy dusting of cocoa powder, just like tiramisu itself.
Truffle Photos ©2011 Elizabeth LaBau, licensed to About.com, Inc.