Last time I checked in, I was armpit deep in some of the best cheeses I'd ever tasted thanks to the nice guys at Castello Cheese who sent me their Alps Collection to experiment with.
It was way too much and too delicious to just squat and gobble on my own so... I threw a CheeseFest.
We busted out all sorts of goodies for CheeseFest and of course the centerpiece of the buffet was a stellar mac 'n' cheese made with a combo of their Weissbeir and Classic cheeses. But all good things must end and parties are no exception. Every good party needs to go out with a bang and so I cooked up a few desserts. I needed things that would match up well with the cheeses I was serving, and figs and walnuts are a great compliment to the Pecorino-like qualities of the Hirten Cheese I served. So, I baked a Gluten Free Fig and Walnut Tart and served it with ice cream, a Hirten Cheese Ice Cream to be exact.
Now, I've had a few go rounds with cheese ice creams. I made a Pecorino Cheese ice cream a few years back... don't ask. It wasn't my proudest moment. When I saw that the Hirten Cheese was very much like a great Pecorino or an aged Gouda, I thought, what the hell, time to try the old cheese ice cream trick again. Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, or so the saying goes. I don't think that applies to ice cream though because this time... it worked.
I did some research before I tossed this stuff in the ice cream machine, and it turns out that cheese ice cream is not something that just fell off the foodie fad truck, cheese ice cream is the oldest of old school. In fact this recipe goes back to 1760 and a book called The Compleat Confectioner. The original recipe uses Parmesan, but Hirten worked like it was made for it. Since one of our guests had a nut allergy and couldn't have any of the tart, I decided to make a caramel sauce for the ice cream, a stout caramel sauce, to be exact since every cheese genius said that nothing works with Hirten cheese like a good stout.
Hirten Cheese Ice Cream With Stout Caramel Sauce
Here's What You Need:
1 cup of milk
1 cup of whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
3 large beaten eggs
pinch of salt
3 oz grated Hirten cheese
1 12 oz bottle of stout
2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 and 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup of whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp of salt
Here's What To Do:
Whisk together 3 large eggs in a big bowl and set it aside.
Measure and weigh out 3 oz of Hirten cheese
Chop it finely and set aside.
Mix together the milk, cream and sugar until they're nearly at the boil.
Whisk a bit of the eggs into the hot milk, cream and sugar mixture SLOWLY, and a bit at a time.
This is so you don't wind up with Hirten cheese scrambled eggs. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it doesn't make for a great dessert if ice cream is what you're after.
Now it's time to stir the Hirten cheese into the egg, milk, cream and sugar mixture.
Whisk it until it's smooth. Do not let it boil.
Now, here's the twist. This is the time when most people take their cheese ice cream and pour it through a strainer to get our any crystals. However, when working with a fine cheese like Hirten or an aged Gouda, I find that the little bits of crystal in the cheese are just fine in the ice cream and in fact add to the flavor.
Chill the mixture for a bit in the fridge until it's nice and cold.
Pour it into your ice cream machine and churn for about 25 to 30 minutes or until it's nice and firm.
Put it into the freezer until you're ready to serve.
Now while that's chilling, time to make The Stout Caramel.
Start with a good bottle of Stout. I used Old Rasputin.
Pour the Stout into a pan and simmer it on the stove for about 10 minutes.
Stir it every once and a while while it's cooking down.
Add in the butter
Cook everything for about 12 minutes. Don't stir it!
When it reaches 225 degrees on the candy thermometer and turns syrupy, it's done.
Take the pot off the heat.
Add the whipping cream, salt and vanilla . Keep stirring as you do this so nothing curdles.
Put the pan back on the stove.
Turn down the heat to medium and cook for another few minutes until the caramel turns thick and creamy. Look for it to coat the back of a spoon.
Serve it up. Drizzle it over the Hirten cheese ice cream.
There it is. Your cheese course, your after dinner stout and dessert all in one bowl. This stout caramel is also great over vanilla ice cream and if you really want something special, try it over Chocolate Olive Oil Ice Cream made with Olive oil chocolate from CocoaPlanet.
Coming up next , some easy trick for Summer Parties and Indian Style Baby Turnips. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori
Win a Private Cheese Tasting in your own home - enter by clicking on the banner below. Castello Moments and this post is a collaboration between the blogger and Arla Foods USA.