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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.

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Serving Size: 4

The aged 12-years balsamic vinegar from Modena is a generous gift from, 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


  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.


  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    August 13, 2015 at 12:15 AM Reply

    Soft serve at home?? Total game changer right here. This looks SO good!

  • findash

    August 13, 2015 at 12:30 AM Reply

    Well, there’s the weekend.

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    August 13, 2015 at 12:36 AM Reply

    This is life-changing. Especially since my KitchenAid ice cream maker developed some kind of (apparently it happens quite often) leak, tinging any batch of ice cream I make with the slightest hint of blue. Yum, antifreezer.

    The food processor ice cream thing is great too because it works so well for frozen banana ice cream (commonly deemed ‘nice’ cream – have you heard of this? kind of loathe the name) so love seeing that it works for non-vegan ice cream iterations too! I might pass on the balsamic though because vanilla ice cream + olive oil + flaked sea salt is my jam.

  • Shanna

    August 13, 2015 at 12:54 AM Reply

    Oh my goodness – that looks AMAZING! I love love love balsamic on sweets, so delightful!

  • Jessica

    August 13, 2015 at 1:06 AM Reply

    The star-tipped piping came out so beautiful! And no churn is seriously the best.

  • Nas

    August 13, 2015 at 1:08 AM Reply

    I love how the balsamic is labelled precious :)

  • Eliza | Pen + Pan

    August 13, 2015 at 1:08 AM Reply

    You can’t go wrong with balsamic and ice cream. This looks stunning – and delicious!

  • Courtney | Fork to Belly

    August 13, 2015 at 1:31 AM Reply

    OMGLOB. This is so so so mouthwatering. I need soft serve in my life asap!!!!

  • Ursula @

    August 13, 2015 at 1:34 AM Reply

    I WANT THIS … RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • stephanie

    August 13, 2015 at 2:24 AM Reply

    heart eyes!

  • Rebecca@Figs and Pigs

    August 13, 2015 at 3:04 AM Reply

    Wow what an awesome idea I will most definitely be attempting my at home Mr Whippy. The balsamic looks soo good too.

  • Jen

    August 13, 2015 at 3:53 AM Reply

    Hi, I was wondering if this ice-cream keeps well? I would only be making it for myself and would love to be able to enjoy it over a week or two. Thank you, Jen

    • mandy@ladyandpups

      August 13, 2015 at 1:20 PM Reply

      Jen, you can keep the cubes frozen, and blend it whenever and however much you need :). It can be kept frozen as long as you wrap them well and they don’t absorb any “smell” of the freezer

  • June @ How to Philosophize with Cake

    August 13, 2015 at 6:15 AM Reply

    Balsamic on ice cream? I love it. This soft serve looks totally delicious, especially with all that rich marscapone :)

  • cynthia

    August 13, 2015 at 8:28 AM Reply

    Oh my gosh this is all kinds of beautiful. Words, photos, olive oil and balsamic, everything. Hope you guys have the most amazing staycation!!

  • Ashley Alexander

    August 13, 2015 at 10:45 AM Reply

    this looks DIVINE!

  • Maeve

    August 13, 2015 at 8:42 PM Reply

    This looks awesome. I’ve seen balsamic vinegar being used in ice cream before (for instance, it goes well with strawberries and actually makes strawberries sweeter) but I haven’t eaten olive oil with ice cream yet. I wonder what it’s like? I have to give it a try now!!

  • Heather Wischmann

    August 13, 2015 at 9:44 PM Reply

    Mind blown. Face melted. Thank you.

  • Kristina

    August 14, 2015 at 6:13 PM Reply

    OMG! This looks amazing. I want to take a spoon and scoop it right out of the screen!

  • Amber

    August 17, 2015 at 3:40 AM Reply

    oh my good, i love it !

  • Bec

    August 17, 2015 at 4:32 AM Reply

    So this is my ultimate dessert and a combination of all things I love in this world. YUM.

  • Hannah

    August 29, 2015 at 1:35 AM Reply

    Unbelievable. Now, I just need to move into my new apartment so I have a kitchen and eat this.

  • Liz

    September 7, 2015 at 8:17 PM Reply

    Done and done. Drizzled it with a white pear balsamic and a little lemon zest and had a truly memorable experience with every bite.

  • Cheri

    May 15, 2016 at 10:43 PM Reply

    I can’t wait to try this!! Thanks.

  • emee

    August 8, 2016 at 4:50 AM Reply

    it’s looks good

  • Andrea

    November 24, 2016 at 6:31 AM Reply

    That´s just great! Have you ever tried to make it with a ice cream machine instead of freezing/blender?

  • Ava

    April 16, 2017 at 1:34 AM Reply

    This was really great, and I appreciate that it wasn’t in a ice cream machine. I liked without the vinegar, but both were great. Thanks!

  • Winnie

    July 29, 2018 at 5:50 PM Reply

    Dear Mandy,
    I decided to try out this ice cream and made it in my small ice cream machine (just because I have it :) ) – the result was phenomenal! My bf, who is half-Italian, proclaimed that it was, quote, “the best ice cream I have tasted in my whole life”. Two weeks later, I got a big and expensive ice cream machine from him as a bday gift, with the explanation that he wants to fully support my ice cream making :D

    If anyone out there needs a new or bigger ice cream machine, now you know what to do!

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