Ersatz marscapone

Commonly referred to around here as fake marscapone, this tastes almost as good as the real thing and can be used in all situations I can think of that require marscapone: as a topping, as a stuffing, as a filling, in tiramasu. And it is much cheaper. I was given this recipe, or rather method, by a woman I admired as a top notch Italian cook about 15 years ago. It's been part of my repertoire ever since.

You basically whip cream and cream cheese together. I use pure or pouring cream (the kind without vegetarian offending gelatine) and philly cheese. The key is in the mixing. It helps to chop the philly into pieces and microwave for 30 seconds. Beat the cream cheese on its own with electric beaters on high until all the lumps disappear. This can take a while (if the cream was mixed in at this stage you might end up with butter and cream cheese). Then add the whipped cream cheese to the cream and beat with electric beaters until you have a smooth consistency. And voila, ersatz marscapone.

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