I don't encourage food snobbery but there are some things that I just cannot abide by and one of them is fake fruit flavour. When I was young, we'd get a tub of Neapolitan ice cream (and it was always Neopolitan, certainly none of this gorgeous gourmet ice cream you see these days) and despite my natural graviation towards anything pink, I'd always give the faux strawberry ice cream a definite miss. It seemed just not quite right to me and not strawberry like enough. Although I should just target faux strawberry - I've found the worst offenders for the faux fruit flavour banana and cherry which taste nothing like the actual food.
Rant over I'll get off my (pink) soapbox and explain how overjoyed I am that Summer fruits are coming back into season. This last weekend I filled my fruit bowl with Pomegranates, Mangoes, Strawberries, Nashis and Papaya. So I wanted to do something with some of this fruit but also combining it with mascarpone which I had made just before. The heat this week also convinced me that it needed to be an ice cream of some sort too.
If you had a quick glance at the ingredients list you'll see that I have balsamic vinegar and black pepper. Honestly, I haven't taken leave of my senses, they're both fantastic accompaniments to strawberries but of course you could leave these out or try one at a time but to me it just enhances the taste. I bought these mini cones a while back and miraculously they survived the move and I placed them in these adorable pastel mini tin pails I found at Pink Frosting, where I have been given the rather lovely title of "expert" and I pick my favourite products from their range once every 2 months!
The ice cream is smooth and cheesecake like because of the mascarpone. In fact with some of the cones, I crushed some biscuits and rolled the tops of them in them and then froze them for a later party which I think qualifies them as strawberry mascarpone cheesecake ice creams. The biscuit crumbs allowed them not to stick together - a practical measure you see and you had better believe that I pretended that they were supposed to be like that all along!
So tell me Dear Reader, what is your favourite Summer fruit and how do you like to eat it? On it's own, in a salad or in an ice cream or sorbet? If you missed out on listening to my interview on the ABC702 Food at Eleven program with Simon Marnie, here is a link! I'm there with Demis and Helen discussing our favourite events from the Sydney International Food Festival. Time really flies when you're having fun and before I knew it, the interview had finished (although will I ever get used to the sound of my own voice? :P ).
And because it's Wallpaper Wednesday, here is a Wallpaper to help you get through Hump Day! Chee Chong Fun Rice Noodles.
Strawberry Mascarpone Ice Cream
An Original Recipe by Not Quite Nigella
600ml carton thickened cream
150g icing sugar, sifted
250g punnet strawberries
3 tablespoons icing sugar extra
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Black pepper (optional)
Mini waffle cones or regular sized
Step 1 - In a food processor, whiz the washed and hulled strawberries, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and 3 tablespoons of icing sugar.
Step 2 - Whip cream and icing sugar until soft peaks form (watch to ensure that the firm peak stage is not reached). Add the mascarpone and beat until incorporated. Mix this with the strawberry liquid and put through the ice cream machine. Freeze until firm.
Step 3 - Scoop mini cones with a melon baller.
N.B. A litte note for those of you who asked about making it without an ice cream maker, you certainly can freeze it in a metal tray or plastic container but you will want to churn it in some way to make it less icey. You can pulse it in a food processor a couple of times once it's frozen and then refreeze it and then pulse it again and then refreeze.