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Entries in ice cream (36)

Sunday
May092010

What's That? An Introduction to the It's-It Ice Cream Treat

Photo used via Creative Commons License from Flickr user frozenfoodjournalCC BY-NC 2.0File under "How On Earth Did I Not Know About This": The It's-It. I am sad to say that I had no idea it existed before this week.

Have you heard of it? Well, shame on you for never having bought me one. But if you haven't, let me introduce you to my newest friend:

The glorious It's-It is comprised of vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two oatmeal cookies, and then the whole delicious mass is enrobed in dark chocolate. I know, awesome, right?

Per the It's-It site, it was invented in 1928, when

George Whitney began what is now a San Francisco tradition. He placed a scoop of vanilla ice cream between two large old-fashioned oatmeal cookies and then dipped the sandwich into dark chocolate. On that very day, the It's It Ice Cream Sandwich was born. George Whitney sold the It's It exclusively in San Francisco's Playland-at-the-Beach for over four decades. 

As for the name? Well, as I learned from this great article on SFGate.com by Matt Villano, apparently upon concocting aforementioned masterpiece, inventor George Whitney knew he had a good thing:

"It's-It!" he exclaimed for all to hear, and a legend was born instantly.

Sadly, the Playland was demolished in the 1970s. While the It's-It disappeared for several years at this point, the public's appetite for the treat certainly did not decline, and in 1974 the treat was reborn in a small storefront. Business boomed, and the company grew into a wholesale operation with distribution first throughout California, and then stretching to 15 other states (apparently Washington is one of them, but I've never seen one in my local grocery store).

It's-It also has a roster of other frozen treats, including the "Big Daddy" (ice cream between two chocolate wafers), the "Super Sundae" (a fat chunk of ice cream dipped in chocolate and rolled in peanuts), and the "Super Cone" (basically, a bigger, badder and far awesomer-looking version of a Drumstick)--but the It's-It bar is their flagship and most beloved product.

My current goal? To get my hands on one of these sweeties ASAP, because in spite of what Rice A Roni might claim, I vote that these bars are a far sweeter San Francisco Treat!

It's-It Bars can be found at various locations, mostly on the west coast; however, they will also express ship their treats. 

Friday
Apr232010

Cake Byte: Molly Moon's to Debut Ice Cream Truck This Summer (Via Capitol Hill Seattle Blog)

Photo as seen on Capitol Hill SeattleThe other night, I had a dream that an ice cream truck crashed into a cupcake truck and that a scene of delicious destruction unfolded.

Now, I'm not saying that I wish harm upon anyone, but if my dream were to be a reality, I think it would be super delicious if the ice cream in question were from Seattle ice cream icon Molly Moon's.

And guess what? As I learned from my friends at Capitol Hill Seattle, they're debuting an ice cream truck this summer. As they report it, 

 While we're lucky to have the brick and mortar MM already in the 'hood, the idea of having the truck cruise over to serve the crowds of kiddies in the Volunteer Park wading pool on a hot August afternoon is almost as tasty as a scoop of salted caramel with hot fudge.

Yup--looks like Seattle's about to get even sweeter. For more information on Molly Moon's Ice Cream, visit their website.

Monday
Mar012010

Sweet Liaisons at Maison Berthillon, Paris


So, in Paris there is this famous old ice cream shop called Berthillon on the Rue Saint Louise en L'ile, which, if you've never been there, is pretty much center-city and just about the Frenchiest little street you'll ever walk down. 

This place is hardly a secret--it's mentioned in all manner of guidebook and website--but that's ok, because awesome like this needs to be shared with the world.

Oh, Berthillon. 

On Dorie Greenspan's list of "The Paris Ten: Must-Tastes", she says

I know ice cream isn't the first food that jumps to mind when you think of Paris, but it would be a true pity if you went all the way to Paris and missed a scoop from Berthillon (31 rue Saint-Louis-en-l'Ile, Paris 4).  No one knows how Berthillon does it (and they're not telling), but they make ice cream with the deepest, truest flavors ever churned.  Getting ice cream from the shop is a pleasure - when the shop is open: for reasons unfathomable, Berthillon closes in August, the peak of ice-cream season.  Luckily, many shops sell Berthillon and they're so proud to do so that they post signs on their doors saying it's their scoop of choice.

And after having visited, it's a delight to say that they're not just coasting on their reputation: they get the job (that being making ice cream) done, and they get it done right. The ice creams are unbelievably creamy, and full of rich, deep flavor that is assertively, but not excessively, sweet. The attention to detail is phenomenal--the salted caramel ice cream is flecked with red sea salt; the pistachio is redolent with a rich nuttiness, and studded with actual pistachios; the coconut is an absolute knockout of rich creaminess. The cones even taste good! 

The ice cream may have been cold, but it certainly warmed this spy team's hearts and appetites.

Berthillon, 31 Rue Saint-Louis en l'Ile, 75004 Paris, France; online at berthillon.fr.

Friday
Jan082010

Hopeless Quandary: A Quest for the Elusive Peppermint Bark Ice Cream

There are probably worse things than having a craving for a particular sweet which you cannot satisfy.

Unfortunately, nothing comes to mind at the moment.

This is why, when CakeSpy reader Stephanie sent a plaintive plea a few weeks ago inquiring about Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, I couldn't help but feel her pain.

Peppermint Bark Ice Cream, you say? Yes, friends. It exists. It's a rare holiday treat produced by Haagen Daz which includes delicious swirls of the beloved holiday confection. It's so much more than just peppermint--and don't you dare confuse them.

But with such deliciousness as this, why was it so hard to locate?

As Stephanie reported, she visited several retail outlets (grocery stores, big box stores, etc) which advertised the dear dairy stuff--some of which even had it specifically advertised in their freezer aisle--but nary a pint was to be found.

On her urging, I too took up the cause, but to no avail--the sweet stuff seemed to be impossible to find in Seattle (although I did discover this--Take The Cake ice cream!).

But just when she was about to start drafting a strongly worded letter to Haagen Daz, a little lightbulb went off. After all...doesn't Seattle happen to be the home of the only Haagen-Dazs store in the Northwest? As Stephanie reported, "I googled "Haagen-Dazs ice cream" and the store was the first thing on the list, so I called and she said she had it. The pictures show the freezer case at Fred Meyer and the absence of the ice cream, despite the huge picture; the ice cream store owner who packed it for me and the cute thing she wrote on top.

So after all that, how was the ice cream? "It's a lovely ice cream, pepperminty, for sure. The white chocolate flavor is very subtle. I think if snow had a flavor it would be peppermint bark ice cream." Though she notes that one could "probably make an excellent substitute with any good vanilla ice cream and pieces of peppermint bark", ultimately it was worth the quest--"I always look forward to the Ghirardelli peppermint bark that is everywhere this time of year, that's why I was so obsessed with finding the ice cream."

Sunday
Nov082009

Mint Condition: Strawberry Raspberry Peppermint Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Frozen Yogurt!
CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post from Cake Gumshoe Bonnie, a 25 year old graduate student who finds sanity in the kitchen. If it doesn't turn out the first time, try again, and add some cinnamon; it always spices things up. She's on twitter too! Take it away, Bonnie:

That title reveals it all: I wanted to make frozen yogurt but I had random ingredients and just threw them all together. Maybe a better title would be "Mint Fruit Surprise." No. No one likes to be eating a "surprise" because who knows what is in there. It is better, if you can't in your title, to tell your guests what they are eating. Then there is no picking around in the food and leaving a small pile of ingredients on the side of the plate.

Anyway, this frozen yogurt turned out great. My husband ate tons of it, and finished it off last night. It was a huge hit, and it was so pretty. I also used all organic ingredients, and substitututed the sugar for Agave Nectar, so it was Jillian Michaels-approved. I like to pretend sometimes that she is going to come to my house and check up on me in my workout routines or in my eating habits, and frankly if I was caught eating this one, I think she would not only give me a high five, but would ask for a few scoops herself.
Frozen Yogurt

Strawberry-Raspberry Mint Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of non-fat organic frozen yogurt
  • 1 cup of strawberry Keifer {You caught me. I ran out of non-fat yogurt, so I used this Strawberry Keifer. Sometimes my best decisions come out of my mistakes. This added texture and TONS of delicious, natural, flavor.}
  • 1/4 cup of Agave Nectar
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • Raspberries {However many you have. Eat some while you make it, cause why not?}
  • 1 package of Newman's Own Organic Dark Chocolate Mint cups

Procedure
  1. Place the yogurt (and Keifer), Agave Nectar, milk, and raspberries into a blender. If you want to have raspberry chunks in your yogurt, then wait on the raspberries. I chose to blend them so that the mint chips were the only thing that stuck out in the yogurt. (Note: Agave Nectar is a sugar substitute that is all natural. You can get it at any Whole Food, Trader Joes, or any store of the like. It is 4 times as sweet as regular white sugar, so you only have to use 25% of what you normally would use.)
  2. Pour all the ingredients into your ice cream maker and begin the churching process. Make sure that you freeze the bowl to the full amount. I have messed this up, and the ice cream churns, it's just in liquid form. It will freeze later, and taste the same, but if you are serving it right away then you are at a loss. So make sure you follow the directions. Chop the Mint cups into small pieces, you be the judge here. How much do you want in each scoop? Decide this way, and then proceed. (Note: These are seriously so good. I got them at Whole Foods, and was surprised to find that they have milk chocolate, and peanut butter too. My husband is lucky that we had Peppermint in the pantry, otherwise I would have put the peanut butter ones in here. Don't test me, I would have.)
  3. Like the Pecans in the Carrot Cake Ice Cream, I put the Peppermint pieces in last so that they would not get mashed in the churning process. With any frozen yogurt, the less fat you use, the more icy the yogurt will be. That's ok. Just remember to leave the container out for a few minutes before you scoop it, and shape the scoop on the side of the container so you look like the chef you are! If not, just fake it and cover it in chocolate sauce.

Friday
Oct302009

Salty Sweet: Bacon Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

Chocolate Bacon Ice Cream
CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post from Cake Gumshoe Bonnie, a 25 year old graduate student who finds sanity in the kitchen. If it doesn't turn out the first time, try again, and add some cinnamon; it always spices things up. She's on twitter too! Take it away, Bonnie:

I know it sounds disgusting. But you have to get past it and think of it like a chef: the perfect combination of salty and sweet will keep your guests wanting more. Did you know that the Lays potato chip people have this mixture down to a science? Those chips aren't that good, they just keep you wanting more sugar or more salt so you reach in handful after handful. So think of this creation as that: a perfect blend of salt and sugar that really does leave you wanting more.

Now, I must say that if I did this again I would use full fat ice cream. It is much better to have one scoop of full fat ice cream that is mouth-waterinlg good and has natural ingredients than have two scoops of non-fat ice cream that is so-so in taste.

Also, per my friend Julia's suggestion, I would make the bacon bits larger. I was so nervous about having bacon in ice cream that I cut them very small. The truth is they were very good, and thus we learn a lesson: if you are going to do something, be bold about it, and do it with gumption. Anyway, here we have it:
Chocolate Bacon Ice Cream

Chocolate Bacon Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole milk (I used Organic Rice Milk, pick your variation, but the less fat, the less creamy)
  • 6 ounces of bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 2 cups low-fat vanilla yogurt (I used Organic Greek Yogurt to make up for the thin Rice Milk)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (Organic)
  • 6 strips of organic bacon
  • 6 tablespoons organic brown sugar

Note: It's all about what you have. You don't have the exact ingredients? Make a variation. You don't want to use whole milk? Don't. Try it out and if you hate it, then you learned for the next batch. No harm done.


Directions:
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 F. Cover a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, shiny side facing up. Place the bacon strips evenly on the cookie sheet and sprinkle about a tablespoon of brown sugar on the side facing up. Be generous, and if you need more, just use more. Don't be too uptight about measurements here.
  2. Once the oven is pre-heated, place the bacon inside the oven and set the timer for 12-14 minutes. Half way into the baking process, open to oven and use tongs to rub the bacon in the melted brown sugar and flip it over. This way, both sides are coated. Let it cook for the remaining time. You will know the bacon is ready because the brown sugar on and around the bacon will have turned a dark, maple brown. Remove from oven and set on a cooling rack to allow to cool. Once it has cooled, chop into small pieces, you can determine the size based on how prominent you want the bacon to be. Set aside.
  3. Now it's time for the ice cream/frozen yogurt part. Most ice cream makers call for the container to be frozen at least 24 hours before use, please check with the manual on this one. Combine the milk and chocolate in a blender or food processor, until smooth, about 20-30 seconds. Add the yogurt and sugar and process until smooth, about 15 seconds.
  4. Turn the Ice Cream machine ON and pour mixture into freezer bowl through the "pour spout" and let thicken which is about 25-35 minutes. You can watch the thickness here, and you can tell how it's turning out. In the last 5 minutes or so of mixing, pour the bacon into the mixture as it churns. Add the bacon in segments so that it gets all throughout the ice cream.
  5. Once the ice cream is all churned up, turn the machine to the OFF position and remove pouring spout and plastic "blade." Some ice cream will have stuck to the blade, just be patient and remove it with a spoon. Now you are ready to enjoy your treat. The freezer bowl should still be cold, so either scoop and enjoy immediately, or put into an air tight container and place into the freezer. If you are making the ice cream ahead of time, I would suggest the latter, and then placing it at room temp about 5-10 minutes before you are serving it. This will allow for it to soften just a bit.
  6. This dessert is so rich and flavorful, I would suggest serving as is. Some ice creams may need a bit of sauce or syrup, but that will overpower the flavor here, and take away from the combination of sweet and salty. Plus, the point is to taste the bacon. Oink, oink...enjoy!

 

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