Thursday, December 31, 2009

Haagen-Dazs Guilty of Delicious Accidental Racism in India

When opening the first outlet of your chain of ice cream stores in India here is a hint: Do not use a catch-phrase in advertisements which specifically bars Indians from entering the store. Haagen-Dazs did, and they are in trouble.

According to AdAge, Haagen Dazs hung unfortunate posters in a Delhi mall outside of the company's first Indian outlet. The posters tried to strike a cosmopolitan note with a reference to the French Riviera and the words "Exclusive Preview for International Travellers. Access restricted only to holders of international passports."

Whoops! No Indians allowed! After an angry blogger picked up the story, complete with an anecdote of a friend being turned away from the store, Haagen-Dazs was forced to issue an apology: The message was intended to suggest that you can enjoy, for instance, a taste of the French Riviera without traveling to France — by enjoying Haagen-Dazs.

Unfortunately, the reference to the international-passport holder on the poster may have led to a significant miscommunication." To be fair, Haagen-Dazs is in the ice cream business—not the not-being-accidental-racists-business. Ice cream. Delicious, delicious ice cream.
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Sunday, December 27, 2009

The best scoop

I don’t know about a storm in a tea-cup, but there is one brewing in your ice cream cone, particularly if the cone is from Häagen-Dazs, thanks to their disastrous advertising campaign.

But I am not here to discuss the controversy surrounding the ice cream major’s store launch in India. We are here to tell you whether ice cream heaven is within your reach or not.

Nothing can beat the headiness of the mix of ice cream, coffee and freshly baked waffles, which envelops you a few feet outside the store in South Delhi, which is packed on a weekday afternoon.

We start with our old favourites (vanilla for one and Belgian chocolate for the other). Häagen-Dazs’s claim to fame is that they source the finest ingredients from across the world. So the vanilla comes from Madagascar, the chocolate from Belgium and, hey, India plays its part, too. It sends Alphonso mangoes.

The rich creamy taste of vanilla explodes on your taste buds and, remember, this is just vanilla we are talking about. The Belgian chocolate, their best-seller worldwide, makes its presence felt on your tongue ten times more. Slightly bitter, slightly sweet, the creamy texture rolls itself on your tongue and makes you want to fight for the next bite.

The flavours vary from coffee to cookies and cream to mango to cappuccino truffle to sorbets to limited edition flavours like cherries and cream. However, more than the scoops it is the sundaes—Brownie Explosion and Flower Petal—and the thick shakes which are a big draw. And the must-try is the fondue.

A bowl of the richest, thickest chocolate sauce accompanied by 16 mini-scoops of ice cream along with seasonal fruits, cookies, brownies and waffle bits… this is ice cream heaven. Miss out on this only at your peril. A piece of advice: please try this only on an empty stomach and a full pocket, priced as this is at Rs 1,500. Häagen-Dazs Ice Cream outlet is at Select Citywalk in Saket, New Delhi. One scoop is priced at Rs 165.
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vanilla ice cream, baby!

If nature’s bounty inspires an artist to create beautiful works of art, then the finest ingredients arouse a chef’s creativity to whip up the most exquisite of dishes. Well, in chef Ariel Manuel’s case to come up with an ice cream flavor that’s sure to change the world of ice cream lovers one pint at a time.

For this award-winning chef, nothing is more challenging than creating his own version of an ice cream flavor that Filipinos are so familiar with vanilla almond. In fact, when Selecta asked him to come up with his signature blend for its Gold Series, chef Ariel knew that he was in for a difficult challenge.

“How can you go wrong with that combination? Vanilla is such a versatile ingredient. You can pair it with almost anything. The hardest part was how to make the taste stand out from what’s already available on the market. What I did was focus on the flavor and texture. And when I say flavor, one should not scrimp on the ingredients,” explains Manuel.

Needless to say, chef Ariel’s version doesn’t disappoint. This new indulgence, Selecta Gold Series Vanilla Almond, is hale and hearty with generous amounts of almonds, lavished with swirls of golden caramel fudge against a backdrop of extra creamy and velvety vanilla ice cream. It’s perfect for foodies who appreciate big, bold flavors and larger-than-life textures.

For its Gold Series, Selecta uses only the finest ingredients. The almond is imported from the land of nuts — Great Valley, California.
“They definitely mastered the art of roasting nuts. The vanilla base, on the other hand, melts in the mouth because it has a higher cream content,” adds the amiable chef.

It took chef Ariel and a team from Selecta almost six months to come up with the perfect ice cream blend. They conducted meetings almost every day to be sure that even the tiniest detail was taken care of.

Simply Delectable

Selecta’s humble beginnings can be traced to the Arce family’s ice cream parlor in A. Bonifacio, Manila in 1948. Well known for its creaminess and its unusual and exciting flavors, Selecta also became famous for its unique gold can packaging, qualities which remained throughout the years.

Did you know that the name Selecta is a misnomer? The Arce family originally commissioned an artist to design the logo of their company named “Delecta.” However, the artist crafted the logo with such passion that the letter “D” looked like an “S.” Soon, people started calling the ice cream brand Selecta.

In 1999, to complement its frozen novelty category and strengthen itself for competition, RFM teamed up with Unilever, the largest ice cream company in the world, to form Selecta Walls Incorporated. The joint venture proved to be a success and by the year 2000, Selecta had become “the national ice cream leader.”

With its passion to satisfy sophisticated urbanites’ deepest dessert cravings, Selecta gives its clients another reason to indulge with the new Vanilla Almond ice cream. Chef Ariel’s delectable creation is a perfect complement to the other premium flavors meticulously co-created by Manila’s finest chefs: Berry Strawberry by chef J. Gamboa; Chocolate Truffles by chef Rolando Laudico; and Hazelnut Brownie by chef Sau del Rosario.

Meet The Chef-Of-Staff

Chef Ariel is undoubtedly one of the most respected figures in foodlandia, having worked at the finest hotels in the country such as The Peninsula, Makati Shangri-La, Heritage Hotel, Mandarin Oriental Manila, and The Westin Philippine Plaza.

His fine-dining resto, Lolo Dad’s Café which he runs with wife Mia, is touted as one of the most expensive and exquisite food establishments in the metro. Surprisingly, his regular clients and food critics aren’t complaining because, as they say, “there’s a great reason for and value behind such exorbitance.” Predominantly French, the menu changes depending on what’s in season and what the diners like. In fact, a group of foodies dined recently at Lolo Dad’s. Since it was their first time, they wanted to try the resto’s best sellers. To their surprise, the chef treated them to a six-course meal — using Selecta’s Vanilla Almond from appetizer to dessert — which isn’t part of the resto’s regular menu. “I don’t endorse a product that I don’t believe in. Vanilla ice cream is such a versatile product. You can actually incorporate it in any food item,” enthuses chef Ariel.

For appetizer, chef Ariel whipped up a terrine of foie gras with Selecta’s Vanilla Almond ice cream, which he used as a garnish. It was followed by scallops and a scoop of ice cream for the hot appetizer. “Again, scallops and vanilla ice cream is a match made in culinary heaven,” he enthuses.

Chef Ariel served sea bass with Vanilla Almond ice cream as the cream base, and rack of lamb for the main course to the delight of the diners. “I incorporated the ice cream in a bread pudding which goes well with the lamb,” he explains. The hearty meal was capped with scoops of the luscious and velvety Vanilla Almond Ice Cream.

Selecta Gold Series Vanilla Almond is now part of the menu of Lolo Dad’s Café and Lolo Dad’s Brasserie at 6750 Makati City. When asked if that was part of his contract with Selecta, the chef hastily replied: “No, it’s not. I just believe in the product. It has so much potential. This ice cream flavor is so versatile that you can use it to enhance the flavor of any dish.”

Every Friday to Sunday until Dec. 20, moviegoers at Greenbelt, Glorietta, Shangri-La Cineplex, Alabang Town Center, Theater Mall and MovieWorld Galleria can indulge in a free scoop of Selecta Gold Series Vanilla Almond. Just present your movie tickets at the Selecta booth.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Spiced Orange Ice Cream

This ice cream flavor is an ode to sticking cloves in oranges around Christmastime. They turn out looking a little funny, and it feels a little bit voodoo doll-like doing it.

But it’s one of those wholesome childhood traditions, and it makes the room smell good. Like orange and spice, and everything nice. This tastes good, too.

My boyfriend tells me that I’m going to have to take my ice cream-making to new levels after a trip to his home state of Wisconsin for Christmas.

There, I’ll get to try Kopp’s Frozen Custard, the fabled foodie destination that I have never visited. Heck, I’ve never been to Wisconsin, or anywhere in the Midwest, either (except for a wee little wedding excursion way back, in Cincinnati. Remember that?). Apparently, in Wisconsin more eggs is more when it comes to making ice cream — I mean, custard. The dairy state? The stuff might have more yolks than cream.

So until then, I’m churning out a few batches with my favorite formula. After so many different recipes, so many trials and tribulations, I’ve pinned down my own recipe for an ice cream base. I use it for every flavor, with some adaptation (if it seems necessary, for instance, to amp up the egg or cream if carrots are steeped in it, which will lend liquid, or to lessen these if something like peanut butter is going in). I’m not sure when it all came together, there was no Eureka moment or stroke of lightning, just lots and lots of experimentation (and saturated fat grams). A milestone was made, I think, with an anise and chocolate flavor, and from then on I’ve always used more yolks than previously. Which is to say that my current recipe is egg-heavy to begin with:

It’s five egg yolks, and one egg white. So that’s one whole egg, and four yolks. And only good eggs, cage-free eggs that are fresh, fresh, fresh from the Greenmarket, so the yolks are plump and deep orange like a tangerine. One cup of cream, one and a half cups of whole milk, and likewise, this is the best organic milk you can find. Then, two-thirds to three-quarters of a cup of sugar, depending on how sweet you want it, or if there’s something else sweet going in. That’s it. What’s your way?

The next part of this recipe is for a little garnish or optional add-in to your ice cream, if you don’t mind a chunky texture. It’s candied orange peel, and it’s simply delightful — like an orange Fruit-Roll-Up. It’s also a great way to use up orange peel instead of tossing it in the can or compost (if you haven’t stabbed it with a million cloves, that is). Free candy! Well, almost. Now, making candied orange peel is tedious, but it isn’t hard. It involves changing boiling water five times, peeling pith away carefully, and getting stickiness on your surfaces. If you’d like to bow out now, I accept. But it’s a fun project and well worth the effort once in a while.

I actually meant to finely slice the candied orange peel when it was finished and sprinkle it into the ice cream as it was churning in the machine. But I forgot to when that was happening. So here it’s used as a garnish, and you can use these shreds as garnish in many other things: toss them in salads for a chewy-sweet touch, or put them in homemade granola or trail mixes. I’ll probably be doing many of these things in the aftermath, thanks to my oversight. That, and eating lots of egg whites (reserved from the yolk-separating task). I’ve been dropping them into hot soup a lot lately.
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Gelato for the whole family

There's ice cream and then there's gelato. While there are franchised gelato parlors, there is also Papa's Gelato, an Indonesian gelato parlor opened this November at Ancol Beach.

Papa's Gelato, located near the bayside-view seafood restaurant Bandar Djakarta, offers various flavors, including Rum Raisin, Malaga, Kopyor, Strawberry, Bubble Gum, Blue Cura*ao, Coffee Crunch, Vanilla Oreo, Mocha, Durian and Double Chocolate.

Served in a cup, cone, with brownies, waffle, pancake or none, the premium-quality gelato's rich taste and texture is great for family occasions.

Family is definitely the gelato bar's target market, as the logo of Papa's Gelato is a mustached smiling father holding an ice-cream cone topped with melting goodness.

Operational manager Caroline Bumiarti points out that as the logo shows, Papa's Gelato aims to serve customers with warmth and friendly smiles.

"Since Papa's Gelato targets families as customers, we decided to open our first outlet at Ancol Beach, a holiday destination for families in Jakarta," she says.

"We plan to open other outlets in shopping malls, but we're still searching for the right malls that also have the family concept."

Caroline adds her gelato parlor sells only homemade ice cream - fresh, natural and with no additives. She says the milk for the gelato is pasteurized (heated to 85 degrees Celsius) to kill any bacteria.

After pasteurization, it's stored in a refrigerated room at between 1 and 5 degree to prevent the milk curdling. Under this process, the milk can last around two weeks.

The difference between gelato and ice cream, Caroline explains, lies in the content, as gelato uses pure milk and has a lower fat percentage (around 3-4 percent) compared to ice cream (10-18 percent), which uses cream.

"However, customers shouldn't worry about consuming either, because both contain milk, which is good for the health," she adds.

"Besides tasting good and being healthy, we also give our gelato an authentic Italian look to make it look yummy and attract customers."

Apart from gelato, the parlor also sells specialty products such as Frozen Hot Chocolate, made from chocolate ice cream; Papa's Booster Drink, consisting of Oreos and ice cream; Honey Peach Blend; Omelet Ice Cream; Coconut Blend and Papa's Coconut, a mix of coconut ice cream and coconut milk.

Prices range from Rp 16,500 to Rp 44,000 (US$1.70 to $4.50). Papa's Gelato also offers an all-you-can-eat promotion for the month of December. For only Rp 50,000, customers can have all the gelato they can handle; add Rp 25,000, and it's all-you-can-eat gelato and food; add another Rp 25,000, and there's also free-flow drinks.
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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Recipe - Ruby Blackburn Lambert's persimmon pudding

Ruby Blackburn Lambert's persimmon pudding

Total time: About 1 hour

Servings: Makes 3 puddings, with 6 to 8 servings each

Note: Cornelia Lambert called the "Hidden Kitchens" hotline to share how her grandmother, Ruby, turned her legendary cooking into a local fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity.

Ruby grew up in the early 1900s at the foot of the mountain in Carroll County in southern Virginia, where her parents had a huge vegetable garden and grew everything they ate.

During the Depression, Ruby's family moved to the town of Mt. Airy, N.C., where they settled on the land where the family still lives. Mt. Airy was the inspiration for the town of Mayberry in "The Andy Griffith Show." Ruby later married Fred Lambert, who was, in fact, a very distant cousin of Andy Griffith's.

1 cup butter or shortening or butter-flavored Crisco

2 scant cups sugar

4 eggs

1 quart ripe Hachiya persimmons (about 6 fruits), hulled and put through a food mill or ricer to remove seeds to make about 2 cups purée

1 cup whole milk

2 cups (8.5 ounces) flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups fine breadcrumbs

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Whipped cream, chopped pecans, ice cream or other toppings, for garnish

1. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease 3 standard loaf pans or pie dishes.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, then the persimmons and milk. Beat in the flour, baking powder, salt, breadcrumbs and cinnamon. Divide the mixture evenly between the prepared dishes.

3. Bake the puddings until each has puffed, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes; rotate each pudding halfway through baking for even coloring. (Pudding baked in a pie plate will take less time to bake because of the increased surface area.) The puddings will settle as they cool.

4. Serve hot from the oven topped with whipped cream, chopped pecans or -- better yet -- butter pecan ice cream.

Each of 24 servings: 208 calories; 3 grams protein; 30 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 9 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 57 mg. cholesterol; 18 grams sugar; 200 mg. sodium.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Vanilla ice-cream puffs with berry coulis

IngredientsFor the choux buns:

60g (2oz) butter
75g (2½oz) plain flour
2 medium eggs
For the filling:

500ml carton vanilla ice cream
For the coulis:

380g packet/carton summer berry frozen fruitsFinely zested rind of 1 orange
50g (1¾oz) caster sugar

Large piping bag, fitted with 1cm (½in)-diameter piping tube Baking sheet, lined with silicone liner or baking parchment

Method To make the choux buns:

1.Set the oven to Gas Mark 7 or 220°C.

2.Pour 150ml (¼ pint) water into a pan and add the butter. Place the pan over a medium heat and stir until the butter melts. Increase the heat and bring the mixture to a rapid boil. Remove from the heat and tip in the flour. Beat the mixture until it forms a ball and comes away from the sides of the pan.

3.Leave the mixture to cool for at least 10 minutes, then beat in the eggs. Fill the piping bag with the mixture and pipe about 16-20 balls, about the size of walnuts on to the lined baking sheet. Place above the centre of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes until the buns have risen and are a pale-golden colour.

4.Remove from the oven and pierce each bun with a skewer, or fine knife, to allow team to escape, then return to the oven to bake for a further 5 minutes until the buns are crisp. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

5.Cut each bun almost fully in half. Remove any soft mixture from the centres, using a teaspoon. Fill the buns with the ice cream, then place them in freezer container. They will freeze for up to 1 month.

6.To serve: Make the coulis by heating the frozen fruits with the orange zest and caster sugar over a low heat, stirring occasionally until the fruit defrosts. Increase heat and bring mixture to the boil. Cover pan and simmer for 10 minutes. Press the fruit through a fine sieve. Scrape the mixture underneath the sieve into the pulp to thicken it. Stir until evenly mixed, then allow it to cool completely.

7.Remove choux balls from the freezer and allow them to soften for about 10 minutes, then stack them in serving dishes and spoon some coulis over.
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Monday, December 7, 2009

Jo Pratt recipes - Summerberry crumble sundae

INGREDIENTS For the summerberry ice-cream...
1 x vanilla ice-cream recipe
500g (1lb 2oz) fresh or frozen summer berries: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries
100g (3 1/2oz) caster sugar
For the raspberry sauce...
250g (9oz) fresh or defrosted raspberries
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3tbsp caster sugar
To make the sundae...
Handful of fresh summer berries
2-3tbsp whipped cream
2-3 hob-nob or digestive biscuits, crumbled

METHOD to make the ice-cream, follow the instructions for the vanilla ice-cream given left, until the stage at which it is ready to churn. If you are using fresh berries, remove any stalks and rinse under the tap. Frozen ones just need to be defrosted before using.

Puree the berries and sugar in a food processor or blender, or mash well with a potato masher. Push the puree through a sieve to remove any pips or seeds. Taste the puree and add more sugar if it isn't sweet enough. Add the puree fruit to the vanilla custard and pour into an ice-cream machine and churn for about 20-30 minutes, until the icecream is thick and scoopable.

To make the sauce, blend together the raspberries, lemon and sugar until smooth and then push through a sieve. now layer the ice-cream, raspberry sauce, some fresh berries, whipped cream and crumbled biscuits in a sundae glass.
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Saturday, December 5, 2009

British winter warmers - Recipes from the northeast

Scarborough woof, or seawolf, is a much-loved speciality of the North Sea coast. It's an ugly looking critter that belongs to the marine catfish family, which is odd because it does not have the whiskers of a catfish, and has teeth like a dog's (maybe that's where the name "woof" comes from).

We get our kippers from Fortune's of Whitby. At the Star, we serve this with a hollandaise mixed with the classic tartare ingredients of chopped gherkin, capers, parsley, shallots and lemon juice; a good ready-made hollandaise or tartare would do the job, too. Serves four.

For the beer batter
15g fresh yeast
300ml dark beer
225g flour
1 tsp salt
1 dash vinegar
Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
12 50g pieces woof (or cod or lemon sole fillets)
Seasoned flour

For the scallops
A little olive oil
8 king scallops, cleaned and removed from shells
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Friday, December 4, 2009

Recipe - Cherry-almond-coconut granola

Total time: About 1 hour

Servings: Makes about 6 cups

Note: This granola is not as sweet as you might be used to. It would be nice sprinkled over vanilla ice cream for dessert, or over Greek yogurt for an afternoon snack.

1 cup shredded or shaved unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter

1/4 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 cup slivered or sliced almonds, your choice

1/4 cup sesame seeds

2 tablespoons brown sugar

About 1 cup dried cherries (a 5- to 6-ounce bag)

1. Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Sprinkle the coconut in a single layer on the parchment paper and toast just until some of the edges of the coconut begin to color but the coconut is still mostly white, 3 to 7 minutes (timing will vary depending on how finely the coconut is shredded). Remove and set aside to cool (leave the parchment paper on the baking sheet).

2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pot over low heat. Stir in the honey, vanilla and salt, then stir in the oats, almonds and sesame seeds. Add the brown sugar and stir gently until everything is completely combined. Transfer the granola to the parchment-lined baking sheet, breaking up any clumps so the granola is spread out in a single layer.

3. Toast the granola, stirring every 15 to 20 minutes, until the mixture is golden brown, about 40 to 60 minutes. Remove the tray and set aside to cool, then transfer the granola to a large bowl. Add the toasted coconut and cherries, stirring well to combine.

Each one-fourth cup: 158 calories; 4 grams protein; 19 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 8 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 5 mg. cholesterol; 51 mg. sodium.
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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Goat's milk ice cream 'almost killed woman'

Rachel Devine, 24, went into anaphylactic shock and had a heart attack minutes after eating the ice cream, which contained goats' milk. She was in Turkey with her boyfriend when the incident happened in August. Her father said she was undergoing rehabilitation to learn how to walk and talk again at Musgrave Park Hospital.

"Rachel has asked for all the details of what happened, but regarding her memory and her personality, everything remains intact," Stephen Devine said. "She is a determined girl and wants to return to her job, she works for a law firm in Manchester where she studied.

"She had just been given her training contract to train as a solicitor before she left on holiday." Mr Devine said his daughter, who was flown back to Belfast 10 days after she collapsed, was aware that she was allergic to goats' milk, but did not know it was an ingredient in the ice cream.
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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Apple crisp with Manchego cheese ice cream

Apple Crisp with Manchego Cheese Ice Cream
Serves 6
Shortcake Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
5 tablespoons sugar
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved and bean discarded
1/2 teaspoon salt
Zest of half an orange
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes and chilled

1/2 to 3/4 cup cold heavy cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon water
1/4 cup coarse sugar
Apple Filling
1 1/2 pounds crisp apples, such as Fuji or Braeburn
3/4 cup sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Calvados (apple brandy)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
Crumble Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup shredded coconut
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
Manchego Cheese Ice Cream
8 egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
3 cups half-and-half
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
1/2 pound Manchego cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
For shortcake biscuits:
Preheat oven to 350º. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.

Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, salt, and orange zest in a large bowl. Stir to combine.

Add butter, and use fingers to crumble butter into flour mixture until mixture resembles coarse meal.

Pour in 1/2 cup cream, and stir with a fork until a loose dough forms, slowly adding remaining 1/4 cup cream as necessary (dough should be sticky but not wet).

Transfer dough to a floured surface. Knead gently with floured hands until dough comes together, 3 to 5 turns. Pat the dough into a 1/2-inch-thick round, and cut out 6 biscuits with a 3-inch round cutter, re-rolling dough once.

Place biscuits on the prepared baking sheet. Whisk together beaten egg and water in a small bowl; brush each biscuit lightly with egg wash, and sprinkle each with coarse sugar.

Bake until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on pans for 5 minutes; serve warm.
For apple filling:
Peel apples and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Set aside.

Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat; add sugar, and stir about 2 minutes or until sugar melts,.

Add diced apples, and cook about 3 minutes or until apples just begin to soften. Combine lemon juice, Calvados, and cornstarch in a small bowl; stir until cornstarch is dissolved.

Add lemon juice mixture to the pan, and cook about 4 minutes, stirring, until juices thicken. Serve warm.
For crumble topping:
Preheat oven to 350º.

Combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, oats, pecans, and coconut in a large bowl; stir until well combined. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Slowly add melted butter to the bowl, stirring to incorporate.

Pour mixture onto an un-greased cookie sheet, breaking up large clumps with your fingers. Bake 10 to 14 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool slightly; break up any remaining big pieces to achieve a crumbly consistency.
For Manchego cheese ice cream:
Whisk together egg yolks and sugar in a large bowl until pale and fluffy; set aside.

Combine cream, half-and-half, and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat; bring to a simmer. Slowly ladle 1 cup hot cream mixture into egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour egg-cream mixture back into the saucepan, and cook about 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. Pour mixture into a large bowl.

Add cheese cubes and stir. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Once cooled, pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Discard cheese and vanilla bean. Refrigerate custard until cold, then freeze in an ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
To serve:

Place 1 shortcake biscuit on each serving plate.

Spoon apple filling over biscuit, then sprinkle with crumble topping.

Serve with a scoop of Manchego cheese ice cream on the side.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Carvel Ice Cream Rolls Out Holiday Cakes

When it comes to Carvel Ice Cream's $9.99 holiday cakes, the only thing better than the price is the taste. Like all Carvel Ice Cream cakes the holiday cakes are handmade daily using premium Carvel ice cream, signature crunchies and memorable designs.

Joining classics like Tom the Turkey, Snowman and Santa, the $9.99 Lil' Square Holiday Cakes feature fall leaves, the Star of David or a Poinsettia design. Carvel's signature holiday cakes have been the centerpiece of family gatherings for 75 years," says Lori Peterson, vice president of marketing for Carvel. "This year, we wanted to provide the same handmade, high quality Carvel taste at a great value so everyone can experience the joy of Carvel this holiday season."

The $9.99 Holiday Cakes are available from now until December 31 at participating locations. About Carvel Ice Cream The United States' first retail ice cream franchise, Carvel Ice Cream has become one of the best-loved and most recognized names in its industry. The company is a leading provider of premium soft serve and hand dipped ice cream products, as well as the leading manufacturer of uniquely shaped ice cream cakes, including its signature Fudgie the Whale and Cookie Puss cakes.

Carvel currently operates over 500 franchised and food service locations, and sells its famous ice cream cakes in over 10,000 supermarket outlets. Atlanta based Carvel is a part of FOCUS Brands, Inc. the franchisor of Carvel(r) Ice Cream, Cinnabon(r), Schlotzsky's(r), Moe's Southwest Grill(r), and of Seattle's Best Coffee(r) on military bases and in certain international markets.
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Monday, November 23, 2009

Frozen Custard Ice Cream

Makes 1 1/2 to 2 quarts.

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Crushed ice
  • Rock salt

In medium saucepan, beat together eggs, milk, sugar, honey and salt. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thick enough to coat.

A metal spoon with a thin film and reaches at least 160 degrees F. Cool quickly by setting pan in ice or cold water and stirring for a few minutes. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled, at least 1 hour.

When ready to freeze, pour chilled custard, whipping cream and vanilla into 1-gallon ice cream freezer can. Freeze according to manufacturer's directions using 6 parts ice to 1 part rock salt. Transfer to freezer containers and freeze until firm.


Banana Nut: Reduce vanilla extract to 1 1/2 teaspoons. Cook and cool as above. Stir 3 large ripe bananas, mashed and 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans into custard mixture. Freeze as above.

Cherry: Reduce vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon. Add 2 tablespoons almond extract. Cook and cool as above. Partially freeze. Add 2 pounds pitted pureed dark sweet fresh cherries OR 1 can (16 to 17 ounces) pitted dark sweet cherries, drained and chopped. Complete freezing.

Chocolate: Add 3 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate to egg mixture. Cook, cool and freeze as above.

Plum: Reduce vanilla extract to 1 teaspoon. Cook and cool as above. Partially freeze. Add 1 1/2 pounds pitted pureed ripe fresh plums. Complete freezing.

Strawberry: Omit vanilla extract. Cook and cool as above. Partially freeze. Add 2 cups sweetened crushed fresh strawberries. Complete freezing.
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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Healthy Ice Cream- Isnt That an Oxymoron?

Healthy- I really don’t even know what it means anymore. Sugary cereals are labeled as healthy and popcorn packaged in solid butter from a bag is touted as being “whole grain!” Sure these things contain healthy ingredients, but the outstanding amount of unhealthy ingredients negate any benefits you would get from them.

This brings me to this little nugget: scientists are on a mission to create ‘healthy ice cream’. No, they aren’t making delicious creamy, fat free, sugar free ice cream- researchers are going to add dietary fiber, antioxidants and probiotics, bacteria that aids in healthy digestion, to the calorie and fat- filled dessert. If successful, the healthy ice cream will be considered a “functional food,” one that contains ingredients proven to benefit health above and beyond normal nutrition.

We don’t need nutrients above and beyond normal nutrition- we need help with eating normal healthy nutrients, like vitamins, and minerals, and lean proteins and NON FAT dairy- not ice cream with a sprinkling of digestion helper.

I don’t need help with healthy digestion- my body digests just fine, because I eat a healthy diet including full yogurt with probiotics. Antioxidants are thought to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals which are linked to causing diseases, which is fine, but you know what really helps preventing disease? Not eating a diet high in saturated fat.

“The intent is that instead of feeling guilty because you are eating this ice cream, which has received a bad rap because it is so high-fat, to really say that ‘Yeah I treated myself to a full-fat ice cream, but I did contribute to my nutritional needs in regard to my gut health, my antioxidant needs and my dietary fiber,’” said ice-cream researcher Ingolf Gruen, a professor of food chemistry at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

So basically, its a way to justify eating fattening ice cream. Great, that’s just what America needs. Why do people talk about food guilt like it is a necessary evil? I’m not knocking ice cream. I love ice cream, the real stuff, and I love a good little bowl every now and again for a snack before bed- after I have eaten a good, healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can have this nice indulgence guilt-free because I know I am doing what I need to do to take care of my body, not fooling myself into thinking its okay to eat junk food because there is some fiber in it.

What we really need to work on is helping Americans develop a healthy relationship with food. Food is not something to be feared or cause you guilt. The last thing we need is to further confuse and delude people into buying an unhealthy product by shouting from the rooftops about its health benefits, and mumbling under our breaths the fact that it is full of fat, sugar, calories and will cause you to gain weight if you eat too much of it.

If it tasted the same, and didn’t cost anymore money, I would buy this ‘healthy’ ice cream. Extra nutrients added to something I eat occasionally anyway is never a bad thing. Its those people who can’t or won’t control how much ice cream they eat, and will now think that it’s ok, instead of trying to get a handle on it that I’m worried about, which is about 90% of my personal training clients. The product is supposed to be launched in the next two years.
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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I screamfor Ice Cream!

The other day, I heard the D’Onofrio ice cream bugle or “corneta” blaring in my quiet neighborhood.

I suddenly realized that here in Peru it is springtime. A few days earlier I arrived from Canada, where winter has already made an appearance, so the thought of spring and ice cream made me very happy.

The ice cream sold by the traveling vendors on their tricycles may be fine for a quick fix, but I prefer to go to a heladeria, gelateria in Italian or ice cream parlor in English.

My passion with frozen treats started long ago when I lived in Italy. In the summer, I remember my grandmother and I going to the nearby gelateria to treat ourselves to a cold refreshing Italian ice cream better known as gelato. The gelato is a delightful experience and a driving force in the Italian culture!

As a matter of fact, the first big ice cream company here in Peru was D’Onofrio which was operated by Italian immigrant, Pedro d’Onofrio. He founded and developed the company at the start of the twentieth century. With its temperate climate and abundance of fresh fruits, it’s no wonder the market for ice cream in Peru increased by 11.9% between 2001- 2006

If you are wondering how ice cream is different than gelato, here are some basic facts. The word gelato means ice cream in Italian, but it directly translates as “frozen.” The main difference between the two desserts lies in the percentage of fats and the production process. Gelato contains less butterfat and less air than ice cream, making gelato smoother, more flavorful, and less caloric than ice cream. But one thing is for sure, whether you choose ice cream or gelato, one scoop is never enough.

Fortunately, ice cream parlors or heladerias abound in Lima. On any given day, you will find that the popular ice cream parlors are brimming with people who enjoy a long chat while savoring a frozen dessert. The most prominent gelaterias such as 4D and LaritzaD present mounds of ice creams that are impossible to resist.

But if you are anything like me, you may want to enjoy ice cream made from fresh, delicious exotic Peruvian fruits. For purity and freshest exotic ice cream flavors nobody does it better than the tiny Cafeteria Suarez on the streets of General Suarez and Junin.

This place is not a posh ice cream parlor, but you will find an abundance of unique flavors from the jungle such as Taperiba, Coca, Sachainji, aguaje to name a few. Lucuma is one of the country’s top exotic ice cream flavors, and it happens to be my number one choice at Cafeteria Suarez. Another one of my favorite ice cream is made from the tiny fruit camu camu. It is a sophisticated and incredibly tasty cold delight.

It is a lot of fun seeking out the best place in Lima to savor ice cream or gelato. While the choices of exotic flavors like guanabana will make you feel opulent, you may just crave a plainer, classic flavor such as vanilla or strawberry.

Did you know that these traditional ice cream flavors reveal something about your personality type? I am not kidding! Dr. Alan Hirsch wrote a book entitled “What Flavor Is Your Personality?” In the book, Dr. Hirsch shows how your ice cream flavor can speak volumes about your personality type.

To find out more about your personality based on your choice of ice cream preference, click here. After having fun with the test, let me know which heladeria you will go visit for your favorite decadent ice cream!
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Sunday, November 15, 2009

Vanilla ice cream

Over the years I have tried many recipes for homemade ice cream, which I have enjoyed making and without exception enjoyed eating.

Anything rich and cold gets my vote. In the last few years, thanks to modern technology, ice cream machines are readily available and have come down in price.

They are not a new invention by any means but I cannot recall anyone in my childhood who owned one. Regarded as a luxury item, they were generally found in hotels and grand houses.

As cooking programmes have taken centre stage on television, most home cooks are now aware of how ice cream machines work. But you don't need a machine to make an excellent quality product. I have never owned one and, with my ghastly gadget track record, it would probably just gather dust at the back of a cupboard.

I have two rules for making ice cream. The first is to have the bowls and the storage container as cold as possible and two trays of ice cubes in the freezer. The second is to enjoy the whole experience. Homemade ice cream is more about technique and less about ingredients, which tend to be few. But, as with most food, the better the ingredients, the better the end result.

Today's recipe is simple and, because there is a little custard power in the mix, the chance of splitting is minimised. I like to use vanilla paste for the "little black seed effect", not to mention the flavour, but vanilla extract or essence is fine.


600ml cream
5 egg yolks
3 Tbsp caster sugar
1 Tbsp custard powder
1 tsp vanilla paste or essence

Method: Place a suitable plastic or polythene container with lid in the freezer. Check that you have ice cubes.

Beat 300ml of the cream until soft peaks form. Do not over-whip.

Set beaten cream aside in the fridge.wPlace ice cubes in a large bowl then add about 300ml of water to make an icy slush.

Pour the remaining cream into a heavy-based pan. Heat slowly and gently.

Whisk together egg yolks, vanilla, custard powder and caster sugar. When cream is almost at boiling point, pour into the egg yolk mixture and whisk thoroughly until blended.

Return the resulting custard to the pan and reheat until the mixture thickens slightly, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat just before boiling point, pour into a clean bowl and sit bowl in the iced water. Stir until custard is cold and smooth.

Add cold custard to the whipped cream and stir gently until completely combined.

Fill chilled container and place in freezer for about two hours. wRemove then beat ice cream to break up any ice crystals.

Cover and refreeze.

Cook's tip: Use hard ice cream if serving with a hot sauce. If serving as an accompaniment, remove from freezer and let it stand for about 20 minutes.
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Monday, November 9, 2009

Redesigned ice cream packaging serves up nostalgia

When Anthem worked with Unilever on reinvigorating the packaging for Unilever's Good Humor ice cream treats, the design company looked at what it states is the "magic, fun and taste" that is central to the Good Humor brand.The confections known fondly by many Americans as Good Humor ice cream treats are actually part of a worldwide product line. In markets outside of the U.S., the confections are sold under the Heart brand.

Evidence of the worldwide product line can be found in Good Humor's previous logo, which comprises a double-heart shape with the Good Humor brand name set in capital letters. While incorporating the Heart icon in the Good Humor brandmark helped reinforce the identity of the worldwide Heart brand, it was preventing full capitalization of Good Humor's brand equity.

"Unilever realized that walking away from the heritage and the history of the Good Humor man, the truck, the bells, the blue coloration and so forth, was not doing much to increase sales, but, in fact, was potentially disengaging consumers because it didn't feel like their Good Humor," remarks Janice Jaworski, managing director at Anthem Worldwide - New York. "This iconic American ice cream brand was not doing justice to itself by being part of that [Heart branding] execution."

Anthem worked with the Unilever's Visual Branding team on an extensive identity exploratory. Some of the ideas that were bandied about included creating a hybrid branding element that would keep the Heart icon but replace the Good Humor font with lettering that would be more in keeping what was used on the Good Humor truck or the Copperplate styled fonts used for the in-home packaging. They also looked at branding that included a visual representation of a Good Humor truck, which many of the brand's adult consumers associate with happy childhood memories.

Remarking on her impressions when first viewing the ice cream truck-inspired branding, Jaworski says, "You could almost look at the logo and picture the truck coming down the road and all the kids running out with their change." After discussing how much freedom Anthem had in leaving the Heart branding aside, Unilever decided to move forward with the ice cream truck-inspired branding in blue versus Heart's trademark red.

Given the long history of the Good Humor brand, it's no surprise that a wide range of Good Humor confections are sold individually through outlets such as ice cream trucks and C-stores. Unfortunately, package design wasn't consistent throughout the extensive product line. For example, Good Humor's Strawberry Shortcake and Giant bars previously had very different looks.

The redesigned packaging for both products now prominently feature a swirl pattern that ensconce the new Good Humor logo in addition to each confections' flavor/variety designation, which also happens to sport consistent type treatment across brands. Other products such as Good Humor's filled cone confections also have the same look.

Anthem was originally commissioned to update the packaging for Good Humor's out-of-home products only. "Unilever's brand team was really enjoying how we were taking the out-of-home look that they decided to award us the in-home," recalls Jaworski. The in-home packaging did not have the same design challenges that the packaging for the individually wrapped products did.

Because the in-home packaging does not use decorated wrappers, Anthem and Unilever did not have to worry about how the wrappers would be printed. Anthem had to design the out-of-home wrappers to look consistent whether they were printed random repeat or registered. "In effect, we had to create a design that was flexible enough to be centered and cut at the various increments for each wrapper length but also one that worked and still looked the same in essence as a registered one," Jaworski explains.

Anthem designed the in-home packaging to take full advantage of the better billboarding offered by the carton and advantages afforded from printing on paper. "Printing on paperboard is a better canvas to showcase nice graphics, color and so forth," Jaworski comments.
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Apple and blackberry crumble ice-cream

Ingredients (serves 6)
600ml thickened cream
2 cups (500ml) milk
1 vanilla bean, split
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup (155g) caster sugar
20g butter

1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, finely chopped
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

100g blackberries
Crumble topping
1/2 cup (70g) plain flour
1/2 cup (50g) rolled oats
1/4 cup (55g) brown sugar
50g butter, softened
Place a shallow metal container in the freezer. Combine the cream, milk and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer (do not boil). Remove from heat and set aside for 15 minutes to infuse.

Whisk the egg yolks and caster sugar together in a large bowl until thick and pale. Gradually whisk in the cream mixture until well combined. Transfer to a clean saucepan and place over low heat. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for 5-7 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat. Remove and discard the vanilla bean.
Retrieve metal container from the freezer. Pour mixture into the container and cover with foil. Place in the freezer for 6 hours or until firm.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the apple, sugar and cinnamon and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until apple is tender. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Remove container from freezer and use a metal spoon to break up the ice-cream. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Fold in the apple mixture and blackberries until just combined. Spoon evenly among serving glasses and place in the freezer for 4 hours or until firm.

Meanwhile, to make the crumble topping, preheat an oven to 180°C. Combine the flour, oats and sugar in a medium bowl. Add the butter and use your fingers to rub into the flour mixture. Sprinkle onto an oven tray. Bake in oven, turning occasionally, for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Sprinkle the crumble mixture over the ice-cream and serve immediately.
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3 Questions - Dick Campana, Swensen's Ice Cream

Q: What is the secret for great ice cream?

A: There's no such thing as perfect ice cream, but it should taste natural and the flavors will hopefully come through. If you're having the Swiss orange chip, which is an orange-flavored chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips in it, the orange comes through after the chocolate. Then you bite on the chocolate chips to finish it off. That's what makes good ice cream - when people taste it and the aftertaste stays in their mouth.

And it should melt well. You want it to look like cream; you don't want it to look chunky on top and watery on the bottom. Q: Which are some flavors you don't use anymore?A: There are a lot of them. We had dill pickle and chardonnay. There were things that we made when we first started franchising. You would open a new Swensen's ice cream store and you wanted people to go home and say "this new store, you know what flavor it has? Dill pickle ice cream."

Who would ever buy that? No one, but you just told someone else about the store that opened down the block.

Q: What was the most important thing you learned from Earle Swensen, the company's founder, when it comes to ice cream?

A: He always said "never cheat a customer because you'll lose him." There are ways to cheat in ice cream. You can put more air in the product, for example. When you scoop ice cream, there are ways to scoop it so that's hollow. It looks great stacked on the cone but there's nothing in the middle.

He was for the customer. He listened to the customer. I can't say the customer is always right, but you listen to them. Especially if they have a complaint - if they take the time to tell you or write you a letter, you better address it.
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Fonterra develops medical ice-cream to lick side-effects

An innovative new medical ice cream developed by Fonterra and The University of Auckland has shown early promise for combating some of the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy. The ice cream, known as ReCharge, has started Phase 2 clinical trials in New Zealand to assess its effectiveness against Chemotherapy Induced Diarrhoea (CID) and anaemia, but the ‘dessert with a difference’ could also reduce weight loss and damage to the immune system during chemotherapy.

Oncology Centres in seven New Zealand cities are taking part in the trial, with recruitment of the 200 patients in the trial already underway. Volunteers in the trial will undergo a daily regime that includes eating a 100 gram tub of strawberry ice cream containing two active dairy ingredients that combine to address the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy. Cancer Trials New Zealand (CTNZ) is currently seeking further volunteers for the trial.

The trial’s manager, Dr David Perez of CTNZ says ReCharge ice cream has been welcomed by medical professionals for its tasty and palatable format, as chemotherapy patients can often lose their appetite. “There is always a lot of interest in how food affects the treatment of cancer, and we’re expecting strong interest in the trial. While ReCharge has shown early promise in the laboratory, it’s also important to be aware that a high proportion of Phase 2 trials do not subsequently work out,” Dr Perez said.

Dr Jeremy Hill, Chief Technology Officer at Fonterra, said the development of ReCharge was the result of linking Fonterra’s team of 350 world-class dairy researchers in Palmerston North with the experts at Fonterra’s ice cream company, Tip Top, and the medical expertise of the University of Auckland. “It was a tremendous technical challenge to develop this ice cream. We drew on many years of research into the health-promoting properties of milk and worked with Tip Top to incorporate a specific type of interacting milk fat and dairy protein, into a great tasting, easily palatable ice cream for people who find it difficult to consume food,” said Dr Hill.

“We worked through our LactoPharma partnership with The University of Auckland to screen the dairy components for health effects. The two bio-active milk components developed for ReCharge have the unique potential to assist the body in coping with the side effects of chemotherapy,” Dr Hill said. LactoPharma is a joint venture between Fonterra and The University of Auckland. It is funded by Fonterra and the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology which jointly invested NZ$2 million to develop ReCharge in a project led by LactoPharma’s Associate Professor Geoff Krissansen. “Earlier trials in the laboratory found that weight loss and damage to the gut lining were significantly reduced by the active ingredients in ReCharge. There were also marked improvements to the immune system and blood markers,” said Associate Professor Krissansen.

The patient trials have been approved by the Ministry of Health and the New Zealand Health and Disability Ethics Committee, with outcomes of the trial expected to be known in about a year.
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Futuristic ice cream may treat chemotherapy's side effects

Cancer patients may soon be able to lick their side effects in more ways than one. Scientists in New Zealand are developing an ice cream that may help ease the miserable symptoms people develop during chemotherapy, according to Reuters.

The "medical dessert," called ReCharge, shows promising signs in the treatment of diarrhea, lack of appetite and anemia in chemotherapy patients, Reuters says.

University of Auckland researchers are working with dairy company Fonterra on the frozen onfection, according to Reuters. The dessert uses active ingredients from dairy products. In the trial, participants have been consuming a 100-gram (3.53-ounce) tub of strawberry flavored ReCharge each day.

"The two bio-active milk components developed for ReCharge have the unique potential to assist the body in coping with the side effects of chemotherapy," Fonterra’s Jeremy Hill told Reuters. When ReCharge goes on the market, it may be the first ice cream ever that you need a prescription to buy.
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6 innovative ice creams

It's not just you. There really is an explosion of new places to get sweet, cold, creamy treats in the Bay Area. But why the new interest in this classic American dessert?

Neil Gottlieb, founder of Three Twins in the Lower Haight, considers the trend the newest place the slow food movement is having an impact.

"There's a renaissance of making ice cream the way it should be made with fresh ingredients." Jake Godby, chef/owner of Humphry Slocombe, agrees.

"Ice cream is the new cupcake," he said. But does that mean the market will become oversaturated soon? Mitchell's manager Linda Mitchell doubts it, explaining that people simply love ice cream and have a seeming insatiable desire for new and interesting flavors. Plus, Godby adds, each specialty ice cream shop has its own niche. "We're all kind of different from each other, and we all get along," he said. After extensive testing (and just a few ice cream headaches), we've discovered six of our favorite flavors from both new and long-beloved creameries. Pinkberry who?


You may scream for ice cream, but the yelling in my house came from my mother when I tried to nibble a block of Mexican baking chocolate: "That's not candy!" Bouncing off the walls, I begged to differ.

Now Mitchell's, the family-run parlor that's been open more than 50 years, has turned the spiced chocolate of my childhood dreams into a bona fide creamy dessert, rich in flavor and accented with blasts of cinnamon. Not even Mom can argue.SALTED CARAMEL

This orgasmic flavor is what inspires people to wait in tangled lines, even in the middle of a rainstorm. Is it the first lick, when salt puckers your taste buds, that's so enticing? Or the luscious sweetness of caramel that kicks in next? Or the pleasant surprise at the way the two meld into one perfect after-experience? It doesn't matter. Thanks to flavor combinations like these, Bi-Rite's ice cream, always made with organic dairy products from Straus Family Creamery, already feels like a San Francisco classic after only three years.


Three Twins carries only eight flavors of its organic ice creams and sorbets at its tiny shop on Fillmore and Haight (and its several other locations, including one in Napa), so you never know what special flavors will be available. But if you can get the Domaine Carneros sorbet, made from unfermented pinot noir grapes, you won't want to miss it. The delicate hint of wine mixes with ripe bursts of tangy, tart berries for an unexpectedly balanced flavor, pleasing your child-like and 21+ palate alike. (If the sorbet's not available, you also can't go wrong with Lemon Cookie, a Three Twins staple flavor.)
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Some Breyers-brand ice cream recalled

Unilever United States Inc. says it is recalling some tubs of Breyers ice cream because they contain undeclared wheat. The Englewood Cliffs, N.J., company said the recalled ice cream is contained in tubs which have mismatched lids. The lid describes the product as "Breyers All Natural Cookies & Cream" and the tub portion of the package describes the product as "Breyers All Natural Mint Chocolate Chip" ice cream.

The product inside of the tub is "All Natural Cookies & Cream," but the ingredient statement does not declare wheat, which is an ingredient of that product, thereby posing a health hazard for people with an allergy to wheat.

The recalled ice cream was distributed in Alabama, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Carolina, Tennessee, Trinidad and Virginia in 1.5-quart tubs carrying "Best If Used By" dates of "FEB1711GH," "FEB1811GH" and "FEB1911GH. The dates are located on the bottom of the tub.
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Ice Cream Pulled From Local Grocery Stores Shelves

If you've purchased ice cream from a local grocer recently you'll want to check the label. Martin's Food Markets and Giant Food Stores have issued a voluntary recall for cartons of Breyer's All Natural Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.

Both of those chains have already removed any remaining cartons from store shelves. Officials say the ice cream was mispackaged and could contain wheat, posing an allergy issue for certain consumers. Company officials say anyone without food allergies shouldn't be affected by the mistake. Returns will be accepted at the place of purchase.
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In Season - Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

(Cue the low-lying fog, pipe organ music and howls of distant wolves.) Late last night, while quaking beneath quilted blankets and listening to the heater breathing disjunctively in deep gulps and groans.

I began to believe my old dark house was speaking to me in an angry language of creaks and moans.Suddenly I was startled by the sound of hysterical sobbing - or was it laughing?

Frantically peeking through my bedroom window, I suffered an electric shock when I saw shadows scattering through my open-gated backyard underneath the blood-red moon.

Must be the season of the witch. Oh the heck with that, it must be the season of "three treats and a trick," the new collection of confections from Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams.

Ice cream is always seasonal at Jeni's, as this superlative company embraces the use of local produce and thematically timely ingredients for its spectacular desserts. So naturally, during this Halloween party period, it offers limited-time specials that are very October-appropriate.

Jeni's describes the recently released harvest-season three treats thusly: "Pumpkin Five Spice ice cream - roasted Ohio-grown heirloom pumpkins seasoned with five-spice; Red Hot Apple Cider sorbet - fresh pressed Ohio apple cider spiced with lots of red-hot cinnamon; Smoked Chocolate with Handmade Marshmallows - Lapsang Souchong tea infuses this rich chocolate ice cream with a smoky flavor."

As for the trick, it's a delicious "reversed root beer float" made with great freshly whipped cream on top of vanilla soda poured over Jeni's rockin' root beer ice cream (get it?).

Well, considering the aforementioned sobbing and shadow-scattering turned out to be my neighbor coming over to borrow a cup of Jeni's Salty Caramel because he'd just run out (and knows I'm always holding), I decided to check out the new, enticing tricks and treats and report back to him - as well as to you hungry hobgoblins.

• Pumpkin Five Spice One bite of this great pumpkin might have you asking "is grandma turning her pies into ice cream?" It's pale creamsicle-colored, speckled with goodies and tastes of pumpkins and cream with a restrained amount of spicing (check it out in sundae form paired with warm toffee pecan sauce, whipped cream and a shortbread cookie "witch's finger").

• Red Hot Apple Cider sorbet This cider house rules! It's bubble-gum-colored, really fun and, like all of Jeni's sorbets, surprisingly smooth in texture. The sharp Hot Tamales-like red-hot cinnamon candy flavor is rounded off by a tangy, genuine-tasting, juicy apple cider rush.

• Smoked Chocolate with Handmade Marshmallows Here, the super-satisfying and comforting milk chocolate base finishes with a highly unexpected mouthful of smoky essence (from the tea). The excellent homemade marshmallows provide a color and textural contrast and even evoke puffs of smoke trapped in the light brown ice cream - as well as hanging around a ghost-story-telling campfire.
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Chocolate Mallow Ice Cream

Chocolate Mallow Ice Cream

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup plus 2/3 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup water

8 marshmallows, cut up

Combine chocolate chips, the 1/2 cup cream, water and marshmallows in a 2-quart saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until the chocolate and marshmallows melt. Remove from heat; chill thoroughly.

Whip the 2/3 cup cream until stiff. Fold into cold chocolate mixture until well blended. Freeze in ice cube tray; do not stir.
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Gifford's Ice Cream takes first place

I scream. You scream. We all scream for the world's best ice cream.Right? Well, locally owned and operated Gifford's Ice Cream is rising to the top nationally with a recent first-place showing in competition and the designation as having the "World's Best Chocolate Ice Cream."

Gifford's earned a perfect score in the World Dairy Expo 2009 contest last month in Madison, Wis. "We're ecstatic -- we actually received our award, a trophy, just yesterday and that just reenergized us again," said Lindsay Gifford, vice president of sales and marketing, and daughter of co-owner John Gifford. "It's an honor, we're kind of speechless, because we always try to make the best quality product and it's apparently paying off, all of our hard work and dedication. We're thrilled."

Submissions to the Expo are reviewed by dairy-science professionals in a blind-taste test, based on flavor, body and texture, melting quality, color, and appearance, according to publicist Ann Ewing at Front Burner PR LLC of Portland.

"The perfect 100 percent rating is extremely rare at the annual event; none of the other winners at this year's event received a perfect score," Ewing said. The World Dairy Expo attracts more than 65,000 attendees from 80 countries. It is the only international judging contest of its kind and is considered today's most important dairy industry competition, Ewing said.

The award is the second "World's Best" win for Gifford's chocolate ice cream. The company also earned the award at the 2007 competition.

The first-place win for Gifford's was announced the same week that The Griffin Report of Food Marketing, a regional trade publication, named Gifford's Ice Cream to its 2009 "Best Places to Work" list, according to Ewing.

Gifford's Ice Cream, a third-generation family business, has long been committed to making all of its flavors using fresh, pasteurized, growth-hormone-free milk from local Maine dairy farms, Gifford said.

The trick to making the best chocolate ice cream?

"I would say it's the ingredients, the cocoa that we use, as well as how we make our product," she said. "We use 1940s Cherry Burrell freezers that makes the product smoother, so there's less ice crystals; it's not the fastest process, I will tell you that, but it does, we feel, give the best quality.

"Our employees are critical to our success, and we're honored by their dedication to Gifford's. We share our win at the World Dairy Expo with all our employees."

Lindsay's father, John Gifford, 54, with his brother Roger, 57, now run the business. The family originally hailed from Bristol, Conn. They moved to Farmington in 1971, where his parents purchased Titcomb's Dairy, according to John Gifford.

"In 1974 we bought this facility in Skowhegan, which was Hunt's Dairy," he said of his parents Randall and Audry Gifford. "We merged the two dairies together about six months later."

In 1980, Gifford said, the diary had a surplus of cream because of the craze for low-fat milk -- that's where the ice cream came in.

The family bought an existing ice cream stand on Madison Avenue in Skowhegan, which was run by John and his wife Cathy, where it remains today.

In 1983 they sold the milk portion of the business to Oakhurst Dairy and concentrated exclusively on ice cream making and sales.

Today there are eight Gifford family members who work for the company. Ice creams sales topped $10 million last year.

John Gifford said all of the operation's milk comes from local daily farms, is blended for ice cream in Portland and returned to the Hathaway Street plant for the ice cream-making process. The mix for the Gifford's flavor is done on site, in Skowhegan, he said.

Gifford's Ice Cream has been added to food-service offerings at Colby College in Waterville, and the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Lewiston.

Gifford's Ice Cream is available throughout northern New England at Hannaford's, Shaw's Supermarkets, and Roche Bros. locations. The product line also is offered in several hundred ice cream stands throughout New England, New York and New Jersey, Ewing said. There are Gifford's Ice Cream stands in Skowhegan, Farmington, Bangor, Waterville and in Lewiston.

Additionally, Gifford's is served at a growing number of high-profile account locations, including The Meadowbrook U.S. Cellular Pavilion in New Hampshire, Rutgers University, and the University of Connecticut.
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Store Churns Out Sweets for 20 Years

Buck's Ice Cream Place has been scooping tasty treats for quite a few years. Twenty, to be exact. Despite the low temperatures and drizzle Thursday, hundreds of people showed up to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Buck's Ice Cream Place. The party brought several people in the ice cream industry to the MU campus as well.

Dr. Robert Marshall, the inventor of Buck's Ice Cream's signature flavor, Tiger Stripe, was one of the speakers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"There were so many possibilities to what the stripe could be," Marshall said. "We tried orange and licorice, but that was just bad."

Marshall wasn't the only ice cream celebrity present at the party. Truman the Tiger helped entertain and J. Arbuckle was also on hand. He's the grandson of the shop's founders, Ruth and Wendell Arbuckle. Wendell Arbuckle, who died in 1987, never got to see Buck's grand opening, which came two years after his death.

But J. Arbuckle said one of his grandfather's proudest moments was seeing the freshmen eating Tiger Stripe ice cream after Tiger Walk, their introduction into MU through the columns on the David R. Francis Quadrangle.

"It's amazing to see how important it's become to Mizzou over the years," Arbuckle said. Even though the weather wasn't ideal, J. Arbuckle said that ice cream is a necessity. "Even on a cold day like this. It just warms you up!" he said. Buck's Ice Cream Place is located in Eckles Hall on MU's campus. Thursday's celebration included Tiger Stripe ice cream and brats for $1 apiece.
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Warming to a thrifty dessert

Somehow, the joys of bread pudding escaped us for decades. Our moms didn't make it, and the plain-sounding name of this dessert never enticed us to experiment.

But as comfort foods have made their comeback, we've gained appreciation for this budget-friendly dessert.

As we have tinkered with our bread puddings over the years, we've noticed a phenomenon: People who like bread pudding don't simply like it -- they're passionate about it.

Bread pudding is indeed wonderful -- something that still surprises us because it's so utterly simple. Just stir together cream, milk, sugar and eggs, and dump the whole shebang over bread cubes. Today's recipe for Banana Bread Pudding is a delicious combination of traditional bread pudding and another traditional dessert hot banana pudding.

it warm with vanilla ice cream and fudge sauce. Sign up for the free e-newsletter to have the recipe for our Amazing Fudge Sauce sent to you. Then you'll be all set for an easy, elegant and economical dessert that's guaranteed to elicit ecstasy.
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Buck's Ice Cream Place celebrates 20 years at MU

Rick Linhardt, who manages Buck's Ice Cream Place at MU, seldom sees an unhappy customer. "Ice cream is a happy food," Linhardt said. "People almost always have a smile on their face when they walk into the store."

On Thursday, Buck's celebrates its 20th anniversary, and the public is invited to come over for ice cream samples starting at 3:30. But ice cream making at MU has a much longer history. The space now occupied by Buck's, on the south side of Eckles Hall, used to be Eckles Hall Ice Cream.

From the 1920s until 1972, it doubled as a student-training laboratory and an income stream for the dairy program. Housing the dairy science department as well, Eckles Hall had a retail store that sold butter, milk and cheese, according to information compiled by Robert Marshall, an Arbuckle professor emeritus at MU. The department also supplied MU cafeterias with dairy products.

Eckles was closed in 1972 because of financial reasons. Then, in 1989, a donation from Ruth and Wendell Arbuckle brought ice cream and ice cream research back to MU. The store was named in honor of Wendell Arbuckle, who went by the nickname of "Buck."

Over the years, Buck’s has contributed to researching and creating ice cream. The signature flavor is Tiger Stripe — French vanilla ice cream with a dark chocolate stripe. First made in 1992, it's now served at Tiger Walk, at which incoming freshman walk through the columns on Francis Quadrangle to signify the start of their university careers. Several times a year, the flavor is shipped to Washington, D.C., to Congress, Linhardt said.

An ice-cream highlight in Marshall's life was taking Buck’s products on the road to the Missouri State Fair in the early 1990s and showcasing them at Union Station in St. Louis.

As Buck’s has continued to expand, so has its technology. A few years after Buck’s opened, Ruth Arbuckle donated $35,000 for a new walk-in freezer and refrigerator, which prevented the growth of ice crystals that occur when temperatures are too high or low. Marshall said that has improved the quality of the ice cream. Last year, a new continuous freezer was purchased for more than $50,000; it produces up to 100 gallons per hour versus the old model, which produced 30 gallons an hour.

The only thing that announces the shop's presence is a yellow awning above the entrance with "Buck's Ice Cream Place" scrawled across it. Just bigger than a dorm room, Buck's has four tables and a counter where customers buy their ice cream. A black and white photo of Wendell Arbuckle hangs on the wall next to a vintage cream separator from the early 1900s. The curious can peek through a large window into the back to see where the ice cream is made.

Flavors recently offered include butter pecan, pumpkin pie and rocky road. A single scoop costs $1.50, with two scoops for $2. A quart is $3, but Tiger Stripe is 50 cents more. A three-gallon tub of Tiger Stripe costs $35, and all other three-gallon tubs cost $33.

Students from the food science department at MU make ice cream at Buck’s. Among them is junior Jessica Roland. Her aunt used to work at Buck's, so her family has been involved with the store and Tiger Stripe ice cream for quite some time.

"I really enjoy working here," Roland said. "I had always been around Tiger Stripe, and now I get to make it in the back."

It's her favorite flavor. "I really like it when it is fresh out of the machine — it's super good," she said.

Weekdays bring in the most customers, while weekends and football game days are slowest, Roland said. An ESPN camera crew was there last Thursday to get footage for the nationally televised Missouri-Nebraska game; a few seconds were used.

For Linhardt, who has been at Buck's for 19 years, 18 of them as manager, the Buck's anniversary prompts memories of and appreciation for the many people who've worked in the shop or had a hand in supporting it.

“Thinking about all the students that have worked for me over the years is quite a reflection for me," he said.
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