Am I sorry?
Hell no. I’d do it again. In fact, I plan to. This Sunday I’ll be at the Mac and Cheeze Takedown at Shangri La from 2:00 to 4:00 pm sharing my cheesey masterpiece with the world. There are still tickets available, so if you are a cheese lover, you’d better get yourself one fast.
Tickets will grant you entrance to Mac n’ Cheese Heaven, where you’ll get to sample the best interpretations of this childhood favorite that local home cooks have to offer. Then, you can vote for the best entry, helping to crown some lucky someone the Mac and Cheese Champion.
So let’s get down to brass tacks. What’s this cheesey ice cream sundae all about? I started out with a milk, cream, and cheese based custard with a blend of sharp cheddar, havarti, and cream cheese melted in. The custard was churned to perfection, frozen solid, then scooped. Next, I boiled some elbow macaroni, deep-fried it until it was crispy brown, then dusted it with powdered sugar and cheese. I plopped a dollop of strawberry and jalapeno jam over the ice cream, then topped it with fried macaroni.
BEHOLD, the dessert of the Cheese Gods!!
Seriously, if you don’t show up on Sunday to eat this you might just regret it for the rest of your life. Buy your tickets in advance and BE THERE! The Mac and Cheeze Takedown is from 2pm to 4pm this Sunday, March 9 at Shangri La on East Sixth Street in Austin, Texas.
Here’s how to make it. (As usual, huge props go out to Jeni Britton of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams for creating the most versatile ice cream base ever. This recipe was adapted from the plain base she shares in her book.)
Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart
- 2 3/4 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 1/2 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
- 2 1/2 ounces havarti, shredded
- 2 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- Combine a few tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch and set aside.
- Combine the remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer. Simmer for four minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cornstarch. Return the pan to the heat and bring back to a boil. Reduce immediately to a simmer. Simmer for one minute.
- Continue to simmer as you slowly whisk in the shredded cheese. Make sure each handful of cheese melts completely before adding the next. When all of the cheese has melted completely, remove the pan from the heat.
- Place the softened cream cheese in a large, heat-proof mixing bowl. Slowly whisk in the hot custard from the saucepan. Add the custard slowly, making sure to melt the cream cheese into the mixture completely. The texture should be nice and smooth.
- Cool the finished custard as quickly as possible, using an ice bath if possible. Once it has reached room temperature, cover, and transfer to the fridge. Chill the custard for at least a few hours before churning.
- Churn the ice cream for 30-45 minutes, or until it becomes thick and creamy and pulls away from the sides of the barrel. Transfer the ice cream to a sealed container, and freeze for several hours until it becomes hard.
Fried Macaroni Crispies
Makes 1 pound
- 1 lb. elbow macaroni
- 2 – 3 ounces of white cheddar powder (you can also use cheddar flavored popcorn seasoning)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- vegetable oil for frying
- Boil the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and shock with cold water to stop it from over-cooking. Drain the cooked pasta well, shaking out any excess water.
- Fill a large cook pot about 1/3 of the way full with cooking oil. Heat over medium until the oil reaches about 350 degrees. You can test the temperature by throwing in one or two pieces of macaroni. If in three minutes the macaroni cooks into a crispy delight, the oil is ready. If the macaroni is still chewy, give the oil another minute or two to heat up.
- Carefully add about 1/4 of the macaroni to the hot oil. Be careful not to splash the oil on yourself or outside the pot. Let the macaroni fry for 2- 3 minutes, or until it browns slightly and becomes crispy. Scoop out the macaroni with a mesh strainer and transfer to a plate covered in a few layers of paper towel. Repeat with the remaining macaroni.
- Mix the cheese powder and powdered sugar together, then sprinkle over the macaroni. Toss to coat the macaroni evenly.
How to Build a Sundae
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