Star anise, orange zest, and cinnamon infuse
roasted plums and the vibrant liquid they exude with a panoply of flavors. The tender fruit is juxtaposed against a cloud of whipped mascarpone and shards of honey brittle that shine like jewels.
To get a nice log shape, lay the cake on a kitchen towel, fill it, roll it, then clip the towel's ends together with clothespins until the cake sets. We used frozen currants as a garnish, but frozen grapes work just as well. You may substitute cream cheese for the mascarpone; add two more tablespoons sugar and a half teaspoon vanilla.
These rich, creamy savory coeurs a la creme--made from mascarpone, ricotta, and Parmesan--take their form from cheesecloth-lined molds. You can serve these cheese hearts alone or as part of a cheese board including other varieties and crackers or bread.