1. I like to use a small 20cm/8in tin so I can get lots of height on my cake, I think it looks pretty like this but feel free to use a larger tin, it will work just as well or even a plain 20cm/8in cake tin if you don’t have a ring one.
2. I often buy my mascarpone in a little plastic bag so it is so easy to just snip of a corner with scissors and pipe away. If you are buying yours in a tub then you can always spoon it into a ziplock bag and snip off a corner and use this to pipe or alternatively use a piping bag if you have one.