Thursday, December 30, 2010

Gianduja Chocolate ice cream

Gianduja Chocolate ice creamMakes 3-4 servings


* 1 & 1/2 cup full cream
* 1/2 cup milk
* 1/4 cup caster sugar
* 50g dark chocolate, chopped
* 3 tbsp Gianduja crème
* 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
* 1/2 tsp vanilla essence


1. Put the Stainless steel bowl in the freezer at least an hour in advance.

2. Make a water bath: in a pan, bring some water to boil and then keep it simmering at medium heat. Place sugar, cream, milk and chocolate into a heatproof bowl and place in the water bath. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon until the sugar and chocolate are melted. Remove the bowl from heat and let it cool down slightly.

3. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly and add in the vanilla essence. Use a whisker or electric mixer, whisk in the yolk mixture into the cream mixture gradually, keep the mixer on for about a minute or so.

4. Turn the mixture into a saucepan and heat it at medium heat, keep stirring and do not bring to to boil. You will see the mixture gets thicker and foamy quickly. You can stop when the mixture can coat your wooden spoon. This step should only take a minute or two maximum.

5. Now take the stainless steel bowl out of the freezer and pour in the ice cream mixture into the bowl. Return the bowl back to the freezer and allow to chill for about 45 minutes.

6. Take the bowl out from the freezer, you should see the mixture around the edges become solid. Use the wooden spoon stir to mix. Put back to the freezer and repeat this for about 4 times. By this time, you see the creamy ice cream mixture is getting close to ready.

7. You can transfer this to a plastic container, covered and leave it for another 2 hours or until firm.

8. Scoop and enjoy!
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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hemp ice cream anyone?

Australians may have consumed a lot of food over the Christmas weekend but it's unlikely many thought about eating hemp. Products like hemp chocolate and hemp ice cream are available in other countries but they're banned in Australia Now a group of Tasmanian farmers is renewing a push to overturn the ban. The farmers say that industrial hemp won't make you high and has many health benefits.

In Hobart, Jacqueline Street reports. JACQUELINE STREET: The farmers who grow hemp say its similarity to cannabis ends at the leaves. PHIL READER: There's absolutely no drug in it; it's below 0.35 per cent THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), so it cannot be confused with marijuana.

JACQUELINE STREET: Phil Reader has been growing industrial hemp in northern Tasmania for five years and says the state has the ideal climate for growing hemp seeds. But his crop is very tightly controlled because under Tasmanian law, hemp is classified as a poison.

PHIL READER: The reason it hasn't taken off is the legislation. In Tasmania we come under the Poisons Act. It's not a poison; there's no reason for that to be called a poison, because of no THC anywhere else in the world it's not regarded as a drug crop, it's only in Tasmania that we have this problem and that means a whole host of issues with regards to licensing, administration and where we can sell the crop.

JACQUELINE STREET: A hemp producer in Hobart, Brandt Teale, says he's frustrated because he believes hemp could be a profitable food product in Tasmania and other states.

BRANDT TEALE: The products being made from it include chocolate bars, food drinks, granola bars, like sesame-seed type bars. It's proven scientifically to have the highest omega-3 and omega-6 levels of any of the oils, leaving fish oil for dead, leaving flax oil for dead.

JACQUELINE STREET: The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association is taking the issue to the State Government next year.

NICK STEELE: So it's very small at the moment but those farmers certainly want to see it grow and put in within their rotation. So the TFGA are discussing are discussing that with the State Government, to look at changes within the Poisons Act to see if we can assist farmers to grow the hemp industry in Tasmania.

JACQUELINE STREET: A Tasmanian Government spokeswoman says the Government is happy to have those discussions but wouldn't comment further.

The hemp producers are also fighting Federal laws. Food Standards Australia and New Zealand ruled in 2002 that hemp was safe for human consumption, but that ruling was overturned by state and federal health ministers. The health ministers were concerned hemp could be confused with cannabis.

BRANDT TEALE: The strange thing for Australia is that the Food Standards Australia and New Zealand allows New Zealand to produce hemp food for consumption and we're not allowed to do it in Australia. It is really holding back the industry; it's really holding back jobs.

JACQUELINE STREET: Phil Warner operates a hemp production business in Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania and is part of a new application before Food Standards to repeal the ban on hemp foods.

PHIL WARNER: Everybody knows there's a significant difference between marijuana and hemp; it's just very lazy politicking and they couldn't be bothered; there's not a big enough lobby out there from an industrial hemp perspective to be able to do anything about it. You know, there's not enough votes in it.

JACQUELINE STREET: Food Standards will put the idea out for public comment next April with a final decision due in July
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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Time to Bail on Baileys? This Season's Irish Cream Alternatives

Time to Bail on Baileys? This Season's Irish Cream AlternativesEvery holiday has its drink. Cinco de Mayo has tequila. St. Patty's day features Irish whiskey and green beer. And around Christmas time, Baileys Irish Cream starts flying off the shelves, destined to be poured over ice or into sinfully rich coffee or hot chocolate and sipped in front of a roaring fire as stockings are hung by the chimney with care.

Originally introduced in 1971 as the first-ever Irish cream liqueur, Baileys combines cream and whiskey, as well as a fortifying shot of alcohol that brings the mix up to 17 percent alcohol by volume. It's rich and sweet, with chocolaty flavors and a gentle whiskey bite that cuts through the heavy cream to make it far more warming and refreshing than the simple combination would seem to be at first glance. It's an addictive and versatile bottle that's perfect for a cold holiday night when a little indulgence seems in order.

Not surprisingly, Baileys success has helped spawn a host of other cream liqueurs that compete for space in liquor cabinets everywhere come holiday time. These range from other Irish creams that switch up the flavor profile, to bottles that expand on the concept by adding different liquors and spices to the mix to make something entirely different and often just as tasty. So here are a few that could add some variety to the holiday season, or at least make the morning coffee something well worth waking up for:

Voyant Chai Cream – A bit thinner than is typical for cream liqueurs, Voyant uses a dark rum base and stands out pretty clearly on shelves with a blazing orange and red bottle. The contents live up to the colors, with warming black and green tea combined with vanilla and the spices found in a typical mug of chai, such as cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves. It's rich and smooth over ice, though not as heavy as Baileys or other bottles like it. While it doesn't fit in coffee nearly as well as Irish cream, it's a versatile cocktail ingredient, making for a White Russian variant that even The Dude might be able to get behind.

Carolans Irish Cream – Launched not too long after Baileys, Carolans differentiates itself with the addition of honey and what the distiller calls “Irish spirits.” Whatever those spirits are, they make for a tasty bottle. Featuring the same chocolate overtones as Baileys but adding the sweet tang of honey, this is a holiday indulgence. Accentuated by the honey, the whiskey notes come through more clearly, as well. It's best sipped on its own over ice, but a wee dram dropped into a mug of coffee or mixed in equal parts with Kahlua is a sweet way to cap off an evening. Or, if you want to go over the top, blending it into ice cream in a milkshake is a surefire way to get your loved ones of legal drinking age to declare their undying devotion to you.

Dooley's Toffee Cream – A cream liqueur from Germany, Dooley's uses a vodka base and adds buttery toffee to the party. It pours a pale gold, just slightly thinner than Baileys, but coating the palate with deep caramel flavors and a faint burn from what seems to be premium vodka. The sweetest of the bunch, it seems to find its way to a martini glass filled with vanilla vodka and chocolate syrup quite easily, but takes on a little more holiday sophistication when paired up with brandy and maraschino liqueur. Oddly, it's not nearly as filling as other bottles in the tasting, which also makes it the one most likely to inspire Christmas mornings that start off with the phrase “dear Lord, what happened last night?”

Bols Advocaat – Advocaat is a liqueur made throughout Europe by a variety of distillers. It's created from a mixture of brandy, eggs and sugar and is far richer than any of the other cream liqueurs in the tasting. Advocaat is almost custard-like in consistency, pouring languidly out of the bottle like some sinfully delicious boozy dessert topping – in fact, it's even used to top waffles in Holland. It's a striking golden color, primarily due to the egg yolks used to make it, and is similar in flavor to the most perfectly balanced eggnog imaginable. With just enough sweetness to offset the rich warmth of the brandy, it's one of life's little luxuries. Advocaat is traditionally quaffed from a wide-mouthed glass with whipped cream, but in combination with coffee and whiskey it'd be a better part of waking up on Christmas morning than Folgers could ever dream of being.
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Ice cream company takes on Christmas flavour

Ice cream company takes on Christmas flavourIce cream might be a New Zealand dessert staple, but Wanaka manufacturer Richard Bullock has found there is always appetite for more. A year ago, he and wife Tracey launched their artisan brand, Pure New Zealand Ice Cream, and they are now happily up to their eyeballs in sweet frozen goods. Mr Bullock has just released two new flavours - Christmas ice cream and coconut cream gelato - and earlier this year narrowly missed out on three medals at the New Zealand Ice Cream Awards.

"[Making ice cream] is something I've always known I wanted to do since my early 20s. Not long before I met Tracey [in the 1980s], I knew that it would be ice cream. "It was simmering away in the back of my head," he said. According to the New Zealand Ice Cream Manufacturers' Association website, New Zealanders are among the largest per capita consumers of ice cream in the world, with each of us taking on board between 22 and 23 litres a year.

While the top three flavours around the world are vanilla, chocolate and strawberry, hokey pokey is second in New Zealand, after vanilla and before chocolate and strawberry. Mr Bullock, working on his own from a rented commercial kitchen, has contributed several tonnes of ice cream this year to New Zealand's ice cream mountain range.

He qualified as a chef in Wellington in the mid-'70s before furthering his career in Australia and the United Kingdom. He met his wife in Sydney, and the couple have owned several restaurants. They have two daughters, Tess (18) and Lara (16), who are happy to help with flavour research and development. The Bullocks found their first churn, an Italian Carpigiani, lying in the dirt under a building in Sydney. They cleaned it up and went on to produce thousands of litres of ice cream and sorbet for their restaurants.

When they moved to Wanaka in 2004, the machine came with them. They have since imported a new Frigomat artisan ice cream churn from Italy. Mr Bullock says the ice cream industry is competitive and more consumers are turning to artisan products, which keeps him busy developing new flavours. At least 12 are available through the Wanaka and Arrowtown retailers, while others have been developed exclusively for restaurants. New Zealand products are used wherever possible and Hawea honey ice cream is a product with a local twist.

Some flavours - such as roasted black sesame seed and chilli, or kaffir lime and ginger - are unexpected. The Christmas ice cream was developed two weeks ago from a recipe Mr Bullock invented many years ago. It does not have Christmas cake or pudding crumbled into it, like some other products he has tasted, but uses ingredients common to cakes and puddings.

Cream, milk, egg yolks and sugar form the base, with almonds, brown sugar, dried fruit, mixed peel, glace ginger and spices providing the Christmas flavour. A year after launching his business, Mr Bullock is thrilled with the support from Wanaka and Queenstown restaurants and hotels, and delighted the Wanaka Mediterranean Market is selling about 30 litres a day.

He also sells through Cook's Store and Deli in Arrowtown and, with the support of distributor BIDvest, hopes to continue growing the Dunedin and Central Otago market before moving into the North Island market in two years.
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Ice cream sales soar as big freeze continues

Ice cream sales soar as big freeze continuesGraham and Chris Daniels opened Archer's Jersey Ice Cream just days before Arctic conditions hit the North-East with several feet of snow and temperatures dipping to a bone-chilling minus 15.

They experienced some of the country's worst blizzards and feared that the last food people would buy in the sub-zero conditions would be ice cream.

58-year-old Graham has seen dozens of families in the parlour and believes ice cream offers a cheap option as people make cutbacks.

He has even seen hungry children grabbing cones and taking them and sampling them while hurtling down ice-covered hills on sledges.

‘It's great to see the kids enjoying themselves with our ice creams. Lots of children have a sweet tooth and that doesn't go away even when it's so cold,’ said Graham.

‘Now they are on their holidays they have been coming in for an ice cream fix with their sledges and it's marvellous, the cold doesn't seem to bother them at all.’
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's a Michigan thing: December a big month for ice cream

It's a Michigan thing: December a big month for ice creamSpartan Stores is rolling out a new line of premium ice cream called Indulgent Creations. Winter might seem like an odd time to introduce a new line of ice cream but the holidays drive up sales of this chilly treat.

“Around the holidays, we see a seasonal hike as people entertain,” said Alan Hartline, executive vice president merchandising and marketing. Earlier this month Hudsonville Creamery & Ice Cream unveiled its new “Lake Affection” ice cream that sells for $4.99. The special edition ice cream – blue mint swirled vanilla – plays off the winter-weather phenomenon that keeps the company's Holland headquarters blanketed in snow for most of the winter.

Playing up to that holiday appetite, the Byron Township grocer debuted White Christmas -- a flavor with bits of peppermint sticks mixed with vanilla ice cream that will only be around until the end of December.

Indulgent Creations' four core year-round flavors include: Double Vanilla, Toasted Butter Pecan, Mint Chip, and Double Dark Chocolate. They'll be supplemented by seasonal flavors like Honey & Caramel, Apple Pie, Michigan Blueberry, Peaches & Cream, Brownies & Fudge and Café Mocha.

The first week they were introduced in early December, Indulgent Creations ice cream sold out, Hartline said.

This week, the ice cream that retails for $4.49 for a 1.5 quart is on sale for 3 for $10. The retailer has also been offering coupons.

Indulgent Creations is carried by Spartan's nearly 97 stores throughout Michigan including D&W Fresh Market, Family Fare, Felpausch, Glen's Market and VG's stores – available at some of the 350 independent grocery stores in Michigan,Ohio and Indiana that are Spartan's wholesale customers.

The premium ice cream line is the latest Michigan-made product Spartan Stores is highlighting on its shelves. The retailer has found sweet success with its Michigan's Best promotion for the past two summers.

The grocer isn't revealing the companies or farms that produce the ingredients or manufacture the ice cream, but says it's all produced in the Mitten State.

“Many of its finest flavorings and ingredients are sourced locally,” Hartline said.

“Supporting Michigan companies and farmers is extremely important to Spartan Stores and we’re very pleased that we have West Michigan connections for this premium line of ice cream.”

Hartline says the costlier ingredients and the “thick and rich” ice cream is comparable to Häagen-Dazs, a top-shelf ice cream sells for $4.49 for a 14-ounce container.

The launch of Indulgent Creations marks Spartan Stores' second effort with a high-end store brand, after introducing premium coffee beans in 2007.
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Monday, December 13, 2010

Mt. Hood Ice Cream Company offers ‘happiness on a spoon’

Mt. Hood Ice Cream Company offers ‘happiness on a spoon’The clever logo represented the early 1900s company Mt. Hood Ice Cream Company, and the image was captured in an old photo on the wall at Stanford’s. The logo was on a sign at Davidson’s Drug Store, a turn of the century business on the corner of A Avenue and State Street in Lake Oswego. Mt. Hood Ice Cream served ice cream in the Northwest beginning in 1904. In 1921, the company was acquired by a distributor, which went out of business during the Great Depression.

Through the research, the Lubers have found other historical artifacts from the Mt. Hood Ice Cream Company, including a tray with the logo printed onto it and a number of other photos from events or businesses who served the ice cream. In 2008, the Lubers decided to relaunch the company and its logo. The state archives old business logos, which become public domain after a long period of time.

“Let’s have it become a household name again,” said Justin Luber. Justin Luber has a marketing and sales background, while his wife Tasha has an operations background. “We’ve always wanted to own a business together, but we weren’t sure what it would be,” said Tasha Luber. It seems as if that business has found the Lubers. “Using our business skills that we’ve been working in other applications and applying it to our own entity was pretty exciting,” said Tasha Luber.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Carmela Ice Cream Opening Store, Launching Truck

Carmela Ice Cream Opening Store, Launching TruckThere will soon be two new ways to get yourself a scoop or two of the delicious artisanal ice cream made by Carmela. The small local company is poised to open a storefront in Pasadena, and are launching a cool retro ice cream truck.

Setting up shop in northeastern Pasadena, the Carmela Ice Cream Artisanal Creamery will not only make and sell their ice cream on site, but also bring in other treats to eat and drink from other local small businesses, like Valerie Confections and Sugarbird Teas & Sweets. On the savory side, Carmela's co-found Jessica Mortarotti says they are talking to Heirloom LA to craft a lunch menu for the Creamery. But if you can't make it up to Pasadena, you might soon spot the newly-acquired vintage 1975 ice cream truck Carmela is taking to the streets, which will be showing up at different spots around town, including farmers' markets and other events.
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream, Baskin-Robbins Flavor of the Month

Red Velvet Cake Ice Cream, Baskin-Robbins Flavor of the MonthJust in time for the holidays, Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, is offering decadent and festive Red Velvet Cake ice cream as its December Flavor of the Month. Featuring a mild, chocolate cake flavor with a sumptuous ribbon of cream cheese frosting, Red Velvet Cake ice cream is an ideal treat during the winter season and the perfect complement to any holiday menu.

“Indulging in rich and comforting desserts is part of the fun of the holidays,” said Brian O’Mara, Baskin Robbins Vice President of Marketing. “Our Red Velvet Cake ice cream, with its delicious chocolate and cream cheese flavors and cheerful red and white coloring, adds a little holiday spirit to any celebration.

In Baskin-Robbins stores nationwide during the month of December, Red Velvet Cake ice cream is available by the scoop – in a cup or cone – or as a Baskin Robbins classic sundae. For at-home entertaining, events or as a host or hostess gift, Baskin-Robbins is also offering a Red Velvet Ice Cream Cake that features a frosted-whipped topping and red velvet cake crumbles. In addition, entertainers who want to create their own special holiday dessert with Red Velvet Cake ice cream can purchase the flavor in hand-packed pints, quarts and half-gallons.*

“Red velvet cake is an American classic that continues to grow in popularity among adults and children alike, especially during the holidays,” adds O’Mara. “The smooth flavor of our Red Velvet Cake ice cream will certainly delight dessert lovers as they celebrate the season with family and friends.”
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