I thought it would be fun to make my own Mascarpone cheese, so, armed with 500 ml (2 cups) of fresh, local cream, I did just that! I followed the instructions found here. I have to say, that I had some problems, but they weren't huge. I couldn’t get the cream to get to the right temp using the bowl in the skillet method, so after about 40 minutes, I transfered it to a heavy saucepan over low heat and it took about a minute to reach 190. Then, my cheesecloth wasn’t tightly woven enough, I think, because the cream just leaked through. So, I put a coffee filter under the cheesecloth and that held it in. In the end though, after draining, I had lovely, creamy, sweet mascarpone, it was very exciting! So, next time, I'd just use a heavy saucepan in the 1st place over very low heat. And then I'd just drain it through coffee filters and forget the cheesecloth.
Since I lost some of the cream due to the cheesecloth problems, I only had about 1 cup of mascarpone after all was said and done. I wanted a good recipe to use the mascarpone in, so I turned to Culinary Concoctions by Peabody and found a delish-looking strawberry mascarpone ice cream recipe. I cut the recipe in half (except for the whipping cream; I did 2/3 cup), and I don't have access to good strawberries (or any strawberries, really, except frozen) right now, so I left out those and added toffee bits and vanilla beans in. This recipe was fun to make, and very, very good. It worked perfectly in my ice cream maker, too. I only added in 1 cup of toffee bits, but wished I would have added more; next time I'd just throw in the whole package.
(BTW, please keep the people of the Portuguese island of Madeira in your thoughts and prayers. A terrible storm came through there Saturday, killing over 30 people, and more are missing, due to terrible flooding. The storm was heading straight for our island in the Azores, but veered south at the last minute, and missed us completely.)
Toffee & Vanilla Bean Mascarpone Ice Cream
adapted from Peabody
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream1/2 TBSP vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out
1/2 cup + 2 TBSP sugar
3 egg yolks
1 TBSP honey
1 cup Mascarpone cheese
1 cup (or more) toffee bits
Place milk, cream, vanilla, and vanilla bean seeds in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and bring just to a boil. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, sugar and 1 TBSP honey in a large bowl (I used my Kitchenaid). Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg yolk mixture to temper it, or bring it up to the same temperature as the milk mixture. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and again cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it has thickened s lightly and just barely coast the back of a spoon, 5-7 minutes; remove the pan from the heat. Pour through a tightly woven metal strainer into a clean bowl; add the Mascarpone cheese and mix well. Refrigerate until it cools to at least 40F. I like to cool it overnight in the fridge.
Begin freezing the ice cream in your ice cream maker. When the ice cream is very thick, but still soft(after 20 minutes, depending on your ice cream maker) add the toffee bits. Continue freezing to a soft consistency. Transfer the ice cream to a covered container and place in the freezer until completely frozen.
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