THIS LAUGHABLY GOOD, ALMOST MOCKINGLY EASY MASCARPONE SOFT-SERVE… YEARNS FOR HER TRUE LOVE AT THE HEIGHT OF HER SOFTLY BLOOMING PRIME
AND HE AIN’T MR. SOFTEE
I’m in the middle of Jason’s long-awaited staycation, and promised to honour the unspoken codes of the work-free coalition…
But listen, to enjoy the most luscious… twirling… not to mention absurdly easy soft-serve ice cream at home, the kind that you previously believed to be the exclusive reward after chasing the ice-cream truck in a 95F crushing heatwave, is now, as we speak, no longer a fantasy. No churn, virtually zero ice-crystals or air-molecules, made possible by a good pinch of unflavoured gelatine and realised inside your humble food-processor, this laughably good… almost mockingly easy mascarpone soft-serve will very simply put, blow your mind. It tastes like a belated romance in August, sweet, voluptuous and satin-like on your tongue. It’s softly blooming, sensual and brief in nature, almost female-like. And she yearns, just as any other, to to be seen and had with her true love at the height of her prime, and to say the least, he ain’t Mr. Softee. Which, brings us to this. Go, and get yourself the fruitiest extra virgin olive oil you can manage, and then, a bottle of the best balsamic vinegar that you can spare (like these ones from Modena). Then grace her porcelain-like skin with a kiss of this twin-like liquid gold, and all together, it will taste lush and grinningly tart, fruity but complicated, with the occasional sharp punch. It will taste like… some kinda love. And perhaps, the best kind, simple and available.
The aged 12-years balsamic vinegar from Modena is a generous gift from www.balsamico.it, but I've also tried with a relatively affordable balsamic vinegar from my supermarket, and it works almost just as divine. Almost.
- 1 1/2 cup (340 grams) whole milk
- 1/2 cup (153 grams) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/4 cup (56 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 tsp unflavored powdered gelatine
- 1/8 heaping tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cup (275 grams) mascarpone cheese
- Fruity extra virgin olive oil
- Good quality balsamic vinegar
- MAKE THE MASCARPONE SOFT-SERVE: Evenly whisk whole milk, sweetened condensed milk and granulated sugar in a pot. Sprinkle powdered gelatine and salt evenly on top, then bring to a simmer. Cook and whisk for 1 min until the gelatine has fully dissolved, then remove from the heat. Whisk in the mascarpone cheese until completely smooth and lump-free (I used an immersion blender for this job and I recommend it). Pour the mixture into a shallow pan, then freeze for 4~6 hours until hardened. Score the mixture into small cubes with a knife, then freeze again for another 6 hours to overnight, or until needed. Can be made several days ahead.
- Add the cubed and frozen mixture into a food-processor (I wouldn't do more than 1/2 at a time). Pulse until the cubes are chopped into small pieces (it will tumble reluctantly in the beginning but don't worry, it'll break), then run the food-processor with long pulses, scraping and breaking up large lumps a couple times in between, until the mixture is smooth and thick but blended. You can now scoop the soft-serve into serving cups, or with a piping-bag with star-tip if you want the swirl effect (do it quickly before it melts).
- Drizzling generously with fruity (as fruity as you can get) extra virgin olive oil, and good quality aged balsamic vinegar (as aged as you can afford...)
The gelatine helps maintaining the form of the soft-serve, as well as bringing a velvety quality to the party.