Creamy mascarpone and ricotta mousse! Sweet and beautiful strawberries! All topped with complex and intense balsamic vinegar. I really love this balsamic strawberry mascarpone recipe as a great, make ahead, no bake, summer dessert full of Italian flavors and local ingredients.
When it’s strawberry season around here I’m always thinking about new recipes to make with them which really celebrate the flavor of the fresh berries. I do love just eating them out of hand or going with classics like strawberry shortcake (though I also love my twist of a Strawberry Shortcake Dip), but it’s fun coming up with different combos to enjoy.
The inspiration for this dessert started with my recipe for Raspberry Parfaits with Ricotta Cream. I really enjoy that dessert and was just going to go with a strawberry version of it. (Because it would be so good!) But then I thought ‘mascarpone mousse!’ and my brain wouldn’t let it go, so here it is. 🙂
I knew that the mousse would have ricotta and mascarpone and whipped cream, and of course sweetener, and was just a matter of figuring out the amounts. It did take me a few tries – too much ricotta, too much cream, not enough lemon flavor – to get the balance right, but I think I have just right levels of cream and of cheese and of sweetness and of lemon. It turns out the secret of getting the lemon and sweetness levels right was to use lemon curd. It just mixes in so beautifully and provides the right balance to the mousse.
The other (and very important!) part of the dessert is the strawberries.
It wouldn’t be much of a strawberry mousse without them, would it?
When I decided on balsamic berries, I did a survey of how people generally did recipes for that and most recipes just macerate the berries in the sugar and then drizzle the balsamic over it. I tried that and I didn’t like it. I found that the berries had too much liquid after they macerated which diluted the balsamic. Macerating berries is great when they are served over a biscuit which soaks up the juice, but not so much over a mousse. So back to the drawing board! Which meant back to the stove top in this case to cook down the berries and concentrate the juices.
Once I cooked down the berries, I had it. A really excellent and yummy recipe for balsamic strawberry mascarpone mousse.
– Happy Eating, Annemarie
- 8 oz mascarpone
- 8 oz ricotta whole milk or part skim
- 3 tbsp lemon curd
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 oz heavy cream
- 1 tbsp powdered sugar
- 2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries divided
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Put mascarpone and ricotta in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Transfer the mascarpone mixture to a bowl. Mix in the lemon curd and lemon juice.
In a medium bowl, beat cream on medium until it's foamy, about 1 minute. Then add the powdered sugar, increase the speed to high, and continue beating until it holds stiff peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture until combined.
Refrigerate the mascarpone mousse until needed. The mousse is best eaten within one day of making it.
Combine 2 cups of the strawberries and sugar in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, or until the strawberries are soft and the liquid is syupy and will coat the back of a spoon. Let cool to room temperature.
When you are ready to assemble the desserts, portion 1/2 cup of the mousse into 6 bowls. Spoon over an equal portion of the cooked strawberries. Top with a portion of the reserved, uncooked strawberries. Then drizzle a teaspoon or two of the balsamic over and serve.
If you have a high quality, aged balsamic vinegar, use it directly from the bottle. If you do not, you will need to make a balsamic reduction. To make a balsamic reduction, take 1/2 cup of inexpensive balsamic and 1 tbsp of sugar and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until reduced by half. Let cool to room temperature before using.
You can also use the strawberries when they are still warm from the stove. Not hot, but a little warm is quite nice and provides a pleasant temperature difference between the strawberries and the mousse.