One of the challenges of having a food blog—or any blog—is coming up with new content relevant to the blog’s focus. With the site being nearly 2 years old, I’ve kind of used up most of the recipes that I have been making for a decade or longer (I’ve still got a couple left for a rainy day). On the plus side, this is real incentive to try new things. I experimented with a couple nut caramel recipes last month that I hope to have ready for this year’s holiday candymaking run. I didn’t even bother taking pictures since I was just experimenting. Getting the camera involved—playing with white balance, exposure and other camera settings—really slows down the process, so it’s nice when I do bother to take photos and it pays off.
Looking for inspiration
I was watching Everyday Italian on the food network about a week ago when I noticed a rarely seen, cleavage-free Giada using mascarpone cheese in a dessert. I have never tasted mascarpone outside of tiramisu, so I was eager to try this ingredient in a dessert. I thought it would make a great addition to an ice cream, and my wife agreed that a raspberry ice cream would be yummy.
I poked around to see if there were any existing mascarpone ice cream recipes and found the same strawberry mascarpone ice cream on numerous sites, but it was really just a vanilla mascarpone ice cream with sliced strawberries folded in. I noted the amount of mascarpone used and then went to study my strawberry ice cream and raspberry sorbet recipes for guidance. The resulting recipe turned out great.
The mascarpone and raspberry really balance each other out nicely. The zing of the raspberry and the cheese flavors of the mascarpone battle each other to produce a delightfully smooth, creamy tasting ice cream. What’s really surprising is how the mascarpone almost makes the raspberries (which there are 3 pints of) taste a little like strawberry. It’s nice when you take a chance and it works out; we’re really enjoying this ice cream.
Return this mixture to the stove and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches about 165° F. Place in ice bath to cool.
Use a chinois or sieve to remove the seeds from the raspberry purée. Blend strained raspberries into custard base.
The recipe pictured above, with detailed instructions and photo gallery can be found on the Raspberry Mascarpone Ice Cream recipe page.