The Tangy Whipped Topping For Fancier Desserts

Although most desserts taste good on their own, there are a few that always need toppings to complete them. While banana bread and blueberry muffins are typically served plain or lightly buttered, cakes usually require some form of frosting. The same applies to sweets where fruits are the centerpiece: Grilled figs, stewed berries, and caramelized bananas are not substantial desserts on their own.

But topping these sophisticated sweets with canned whipped cream or merely dusting them with some confectioner's sugar won't make them stand out and actually might downgrade them. While whipped cream is neutral in flavor and suits many dishes, it can be too light for rich fruits or cakes like sticky toffee pudding and wine-poached cherries.

If you're a host who wants to impress your guests after the main course of your dinner party, or if you're looking to bring a show-stopping dessert to a potluck, there is one tart addition guaranteed to make your treat elegant.

Upgrade your desserts with whipped mascarpone

Mascarpone should not only be reserved for tiramisu. Although the espresso-soaked dessert is a crowd favorite, mascarpone tastes just as good when paired with fruits, cakes, and pies. To utilize this special cheese in your desserts, you should whip it with heavy cream and sugar; this will yield a perfectly fluffy consistency and balance out the tang with some sweetness.

The resulting cream — a whipped mascarpone with slightly tart, nutty notes — is just as versatile as its more common counterparts — cream cheese and whipped cream — but adds more complexity to treats like strawberry shortcakes or frosted cupcakes. Its velvety texture and rich flavor profile can transform any humble berry cobbler or grilled peach into fancy desserts.

You can even decide whether you want to add extra sweetness to the whipped mascarpone with a drizzle of honey. The caramelized sugars in a grilled fruit will pair excellently with this cheesy take on whipped cream. And because mascarpone is usually considered a specialty ingredient for making tiramisu, using it in any other context will surely impress your guests. It could even work as the star of your dessert, like in a whipped honey mascarpone dip with stroopwafels and fruits as supporting cast members. So the next time you're scrambling to put together your dessert menu, use whipped mascarpone in place of whipped cream for a fancy treat.