I FINALLY found Mascarpone cheese in Dubai! Can I get a Hallelujah?!
All thanks to Wajiha (@wajihasaid) who pointed out that she always found some in Carrefour. I searched and asked around and surely, I found tubs full of them. Unfortunately they only had one brand available but thankfully, it tastes pretty good!
I had initially used Tyler Florence's recipe for The Ultimate Cheesecake. I used mascarpone cheese instead of cream cheese and omitted the sour cream. That was a big mistake. It might seem obvious but I had no previous experience with mascarpone and never realized what a big difference it had in texture compared to cream cheese.
The recipe should yield a good thick, creamy batter that will bake nice and fluffy in the oven after 45 minutes. But all I got was a liquid mixture. I decided to ignore it and just go for it. 45 minutes later, all I see is the same liquid mixture which is just slightly baked on the sides. I thought, "Alrighty... Maybe it's because the cheese is different. Another 10 minutes" So ten minutes later, still nothing. Then mom decided to save the day and suggest that I scoop out the mixture and cook it in a large saucepan with some corn starch. It turned out to have more of a pudding texture which explains why it looks a bit droopy.
I also made fresh strawberry drizzle for the topping. My first time, too. Watched a few baking shows and saw how easy it was to make so decided to give it a shot.
I was surprised at how good it turned out, I really didn't expect that kick that it had in it. The lemon zest went really well with the mascarpone cheese. I suggest you don't try making it the way I did with this recipe, search for some good mascarpone cheesecake recipes and give it a shot, it's worth it!