Forget French Toast, Mascarpone Will Serve Your Breakfast Sweet Tooth

If you're in the mood for something a little more decadent in the morning but you also need it quick and easy, this assemble-and-go breakfast option may be just the thing — toast and mascarpone. The spreadable creamy Italian cheese is perfect for when you have a sweet tooth but don't have the time to make more labor-intensive dishes such as French toast or pancakes typically reserved for weekend mornings.

If you've never had mascarpone, this is a great excuse to familiarize yourself with this delightfully decadent and rich treat from Italy. An acid-set cheese like cottage cheese and chevre, mascarpone is made from whole cow's milk cream. Though often referred to as Italian cream cheese (and sometimes subbed for one another), mascarpone (the stuff they use in tiramisu) has about double the amount of fat of its American counterpart, resulting in a richer, creamier experience that is decidedly less tart than cream cheese. Much closer to clotted cream or crème fraîche (though not quite as tangy), and created during the Italian Renaissance in Northern Italy's Lombardy region, mascarpone has a subtly sweet intensity and light nuttiness reminiscent of the finest butter.

An important element in Italian cooking, mascarpone can be found in a wide array of sweet and savory dishes such as tiramisu, pastries, cheesecake, truffles, gnocchi, and even risotto. Often purchased as an ingredient with a single meal in mind, this hack is also great for ensuring leftover mascarpone doesn't go to waste because, well, that's just sad.

How to make mascarpone toast

Because mascarpone rides the line between sweet and savory, the possibilities for mascarpone toast variations are nearly endless. Of course, how delicious the end result is depends a lot on the bread you use for the toast. Some great options include French baguette, sourdough, ciabatta, hearty seeded and nutty loaves, cinnamon-raisin bread, and don't forget a lightly toasted everything bagel.

On the sweet side, perhaps the simplest preparation is to simply spread the mascarpone liberally onto the toast, and add a bit of jam, or fresh berries — but you could also infuse some bright citrus zest or mint by whipping it into your mascarpone. Alternatively, try your mascarpone toast topped with sliced ripened peaches or nectarines and a sprinkling of crushed pistachios or marcona almonds and a drizzle of honey.

If you have just a little more time and a savory inclination, you can top your buttery mascarpone with a poached or sunny soft-scrambled egg, a little Maldon sea salt, fresh ground pepper, and chives. Marry trendy avocado toast and mascarpone, schmearing your toast with mashed avocado or guacamole before adding mascarpone and a few slices of fresh tomato or stirring in some caramelized onions.  And finally, mix and match roasted garlic, olive tapenade, anchovies, or pickled veggies, and sprinkle on fresh herbs like basil, rosemary, and chives, or drape a few slices of prosciutto on top, adding thin-sliced cantaloupe, fresh fig, or a dribble of date caramel for an on-the-go breakfast that's pure bliss.