When you have a machine that makes ice cream, unexpected combinations are apt to happen. In addition to the standard chocolate, vanilla and fruit flavors, you're bound to want to experiment with other things in your kitchen.
One finds one's self enjoying rhubarb ice cream. Bacon Ice Cream. And even... cheese ice cream.
To be honest, J and I first encountered cheese gelato in the form of formatgelats at the Formatgeria La Seu cheese shop in Barcelona. The flavors there were enchanting. Musky blue cheese gelato, cabra gelato... they'd certainly be stellar with rich fig jams or dried apricots. Maybe even a nice dessert wine, like a Sauternes.
I did some experimenting of my own in the realm of frozen fromage on returning home. And, as you might expect, cheese ice cream is a bit tricky. Too much ruins the ice cream texture. The cheese must be creamy, not grainy. And the flavor really shouldn't be too bold.
Sweet, creamy blues were nice. Some of the fresher goat cheeses worked well in ice cream form. The ricotta ice cream was very nice. And then, there was the mascarpone ice cream.
Mascarpone Ice Cream on a Chocolate Brownie
Admittedly, using mascarpone for a cheese ice cream is almost cheating. Though it's referred to as a triple-cream cheese, I've never found mascarpone to be much more than a lush, silken dairy spread. It's creamy. It's rich. But is it really cheese?
No matter. It's a lovely spread for fruit breads and a great recipe additive for ice cream, as it turns out.
Thanks to its outrageous fat content, the texture of this one varies from standard ice creams. It's almost... fluffy. My boss actually said this was his favorite of the homemade ice creams he's tried, because while home freezers tend to make ice creams a bit icier, this recipe leaves no room for ice crystals.
Also: I know this will come as a big shock to you, but... yes, this ice cream is, indeed, stellar with berries and sweets such as the chocolate brownies in the photo (up the page a bit).
Keep in mind this is style of ice cream base that uses uncooked eggs, so be sure to use good, fresh eggs from a reliable farmer.
Mascarpone Ice Cream (Makes about 1 1/2 quarts)
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
16 oz mascarpone
1 cup cream or half & half
2 cups milk
1/2 tsp salt
1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs with the sugar until light.
2. Beat in the mascarpone until the mixture is smooth.
3. Blend in the cream, milk and salt with a whisk.
4. Freeze the mix using an ice cream machine or attachment, pack into pints, and harden in the freezer for at least 5 hours (or overnight).