Celebrate with Bubbly and Soft Cheeses


by Wisconsin Cheese



Rich and creamy,soft cheeses,such as RicottaandMascarpone, are the perfect pleasures to pair with sparkling wine, champagne, or red wine, while ringing in the new year. Often served as an appetizer, spread or dip, soft cheeses are also delicious when incorporated into desserts.

Celebrate with friends, family and one of these delectable dessert recipes, paired with your favorite bubbly libation. Looking for more pairings? Don’t forget about Cheese Cupid this season. Happy New Year!

Wisconsin Mascarpone Flan Cake with Marinated Berriesby Chef Debbie Gold

Serves 8

2 1/4 cups (10 ounces) pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 cup (4 ounces) walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
6 ounces butter, melted

Flan Cake
1 envelope (.25 ounce) unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
1 cup heavy cream
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) Wisconsin Mascarpone cheese
1 1/3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 egg yolks, preferably pasteurized
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Marinated Berries
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup blueberries
1 cup raspberries
1 cup strawberries

In a large bowl, combine nuts and brown sugar. With a wooden spoon, stir in butter. Cut an 8-inch circle of parchment paper and place in bottom of 8″ spring form pan with removable bottom. Press nut mixture over bottom of pan. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Soften gelatin in the cold water; set aside. In a small, stainless steel pot, slightly warm the cream; set aside.

In large bowl with electric mixer on low speed, beat Mascarpone briefly until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar. Add egg yolks, beating until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Slowly stir in warm cream. In a small pot, warm the softened gelatin over low heat until dissolved. Stir in 1/4 cup of cheese mixture. Stir the gelatin mixture back into cheese mixture. Pour filling into crust and refrigerate overnight.

In a small stainless steel pot, combine sugar and wine. Bring to boil; reduce heat to simmer and simmer until reduced by half. Add 1/4-cup berries. Bring mixture back to boil. Remove from heat, cool 10 minutes and add remaining berries. Cool completely. To unmold flan cake, warm a thin knife under hot water. Place the knife in between the pan and the flan and slide the knife around the flan. Remove the ring. Serve cake with marinated berries.

Chocolate Hazelnut Wisconsin Ricotta Pie
by Chefs Frank Randazzo and Andrea Curto-Randazzo
Serves 12Crust*
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup hazelnuts, finely ground
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in chunks
7 to 8 tablespoons cold water

4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk, divided
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 ounces (approximately 1/4 cup) bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Frangelico™ hazelnut liqueur
1 cup (8 ounces) Wisconsin Ricotta cheese
Pinch of salt
1 egg white, beaten stiff
Whipped cream for garnish, optional

*You may substitute prepared pie crusts, but they will lack the rich, nutty flavor that gives this recipes its name.

Combine 2 1/2 cups flour, hazelnuts, 3 egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, butter and water in bowl or food processor. Pulse (or, alternatively, mix with paddle attachment of mixer) until dough forms a ball. Shape into disk, wrap and refrigerate.

Beat 3 egg yolks with 1/3-cup sugar until light in color. Add 2 tablespoons flour, 3/4 cup milk and cream. Cook mixture in double boiler, stirring constantly until thick.

Stir chocolate with Frangelico into the mixture in double boiler until chocolate melts. Cool.

Combine with Ricotta and pinch of salt. Fold in the beaten egg white. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.Preheat oven to 350ºF.

Butter and flour a 10-inch pie pan. Roll out 3/4 of the dough into a circle and line the pie pan with an overlap. Pour in filling.

Roll out remaining dough and cover pie. Press overlap of bottom and top crusts together. Crimp edges with fingers or fork. Beat remaining egg yolk with 1 tablespoon of milk and brush top of pie with mixture.

Bake until golden brown, approximately 35 to 45 minutes.

Cool pie and cut in 12 wedges to serve. Top wedges with whipped cream, if desired.

Chocolate Wisconsin Mascarpone Fondueby Chef Trey Foshee

Serves 8

1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 pound milk chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups cream
1/3 cup sugar
8 ounces Wisconsin Mascarpone cheese
2 ounces bourbon, orange liqueur or another favorite liqueur
1 cinnamon stick

Pound cake, cubed
Assorted fresh fruits, such as strawberries, apple chunks or banana chunks

Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl (or the top of a double boiler). Place over a pot of simmering water on the stove burner. Do not allow the bowl to the touch water. Heat until melted, smooth and warm, stirring often. Remove from the heat.

Pour into a fondue or other pot and keep warm. Serve immediately, dipping the accompaniments of your choice.