THE NIBBLE BLOG: Products, Recipes & Trends In Specialty Foods
Also visit our main website, TheNibble.com.

Archive for Ice Cream-Sorbet-Yogurt

PRODUCTS: 5 New Specialty Food Favorites

Every week new products arrive at THE NIBBLE. Most are good if not noteworthy. Some are so good that they become part of our personal shopping list.

In alphabetical order, here are five favorites of the last few weeks:

1. CAVA GRILL MEDITERRAEAN DIPS & SPREADS

Cava Grill, a casual Mediterranean restaurant chain with locations on the East Coast an California, is now selling a dozen of its popular dips and spreads. You can find them at Whole Foods Markets and other specialty markets (here’s a store locator).

Choose from:

  • Dips/Spreads: Crazy Feta, Eggplant & Roast Pepper, Harissa, Tzatziki.
  • Hummus Flavors: Greek Yogurt, Kalamata, Roasted Garlic, Roasted Red Pepper, Spicy, Traditional.
  • Organic Flavors: Organic Caramelized Onion Hummus, Organic Traditional.
  •  
    One of our favorite light dinners is to serve as many varieties as we want with fresh pita, accompanied by a lettuce salad with bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, red onion, vinaigrette and chopped fresh herbs; capers and olives optional.

    Or, uncork some wine and invite friends and neighbors for a wine break.

    See the whole line at Cava.com.
     
     
    2. LACTAID MINT CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM

    Ice cream is one of our favorite foods, and every day we bless Lactaid for an excellent (and well-priced) line. Every flavor is a winner.

    We recently had our first quart of Lactaid Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, and it’s the best supermarket mint chocolate chip ice cream we can recommend: truly refreshing, with lively mint flavor and toothsome chunks of chocolate.

    You don’t have to have lactose sensitivity to enjoy Lactaid dairy products. The cottage cheese, ice cream and milk taste just like any other quality products. (Lactaid dudes: We need cream cheese and sour cream, too.)

    The only difference is that a minute amount of lactase, the natural enzyme that helps people digest milk products—is added. You can taste it; no one would know the difference.

    Check out the other Lactaid ice cream flavors. Salted Caramel Chip is another must-try.

     
     
    3. NESTLÉ DAMAK CHOCOLATE BARS WITH PISTACHIOS

    The Damak brand of chocolate was established in Turkey in 1933. Turkey is the world’s third largest producer of pistachio nuts (after Iran and the U.S.), and the bars, in milk or dark chocolate, are packed with the nutritious little nuggets.

    The 2.82-ounce square-ish bars are something not readily available in the U.S.: pistachio chocolate bars at the suggested retail price of $2.49. The name, pronounced DUH-mok, is Turkish for “taste.”

    Nestlé, which now owns the brand, has committed a million dollars to teach Turkish pistachio farmers more effective agricultural techniques to improve and increase harvests.

    See more at NestleDamak.com.
     
     
    4. NOOSA YOGHURT

    Noosa has been one of our favorite yogurt lines since it first popped up in the U.S. via Australia, where yogurt is spelled with an “h” (see our review).

    Each new flavor the brand introduces is better than the last (although the Mexican Chocolate Yoghurt has yet to be topped on our personal list).

    New flavors this season:

  • Orange Ginger
  • Pear Cardamom
  • Strawberry Hibiscus
  •  

    Cava Grill Dips & Spreads

    Lactaid Mint Chocolate Chip

    Nestle Damak Pistachio Chocolate Bars

    Nonni's Limoncello Pistachio Biscotti

    Noosa Orange Ginger Yoghurt

    [1] Cava Grill Mediterranean Dips (photo Cava). [2] Nestle Damak pistachio chocolate bars (photo Nestle). [3] Lactaid Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream (photo Lactaid). [4] Nonni’s Limoncello Pistachio Biscotti (photo Nonni’s Foods). [5] Orange-Ginger, one of three new Noosa Yoghurt flavors (photo Noosa).

     
    But every flavor hits the spot, and all are delicious enough to be served as a creamy dessert as well as breakfast, lunch and snack fare. See them all at NoosaYoghurt.com.
     
     
    5. NONNI’S BISCOTTI

    Nonni’s, the nation’s leading biscotti baker, salutes spring with two new limited-batch flavors.

  • Nonni’s White Chocolate Cherry Biscotti are filled with cherries and white chocolate and drizzled with white chocolate icing.
  • Nonni’s Limoncello Pistachio Biscotti are made with chopped pistachios and lemon peel zest, then dipped and drizzled inwhite chocolate.
  •  
    The biscotti are a softer style that are easy on the teeth, and are individually wrapped for grab-and-go.

    Check out the entire line at Nonnis.com.

      

    Comments

    ST. PATRICK’S DAY RECIPE: Ice Cream Cake

    Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake

    Andes Mints

    After Eight Mints

    [1] Devil’s food cake and mint chip ice cream (photo Jennifer Davick | Southern Living). [2] Andes Mints (photo courtesy Sweet Factory). [3] After Eight Mints (photo courtesy After Eight | UK).

     

    We’ve been saving this recipe from Southern Living for our St. Patrick’s Day lead-up, when our recipes wear a tinge o’ the green.

    Made with a Devil’s Food cake mix (or from scratch, if you like), the ice cream doesn’t have to be mint chip. Those who don’t like mint can tint vanilla chip ice cream, or plain vanilla, with green food color.

    The topping is chocolate ganache, chocolate mints and whipped cream. We skipped the chocolate ganache, not wanting to gild the lily (it also saves time and money), and used Chocolate Reddi-Wip to anchor the mints around the rim of the cake (it’s easier to slice than cutting through the pile in the picture).

    RECIPE: CHOCOLATE MINT ICE CREAM CAKE

    Make the whole cake ahead and freeze until ready to serve.

    Prep time is 30 minutes, freezer time is 10 to 12 hours.

    Ingredients For 10 to 12 Servings

  • Devil’s food cake mix (plus the other ingredients required—egg, oil, etc.)
  • 1/2 gallon mint chocolate chip ice cream, softened
  • 10 chocolate wafers (e.g. Nabisco Famous), coarsely crushed
  • Chocolate ganache
  • Garnish: Thin chocolate mints (After Eight or Andes)
  • Garnish: Reddi-Wip or other whipped cream
  • Equipment: parchment paper, springform pan
  •  
    For The Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup whipping cream (not ultra-pasteurized)
  • 11 ounces bittersweet chocolate pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter (ideally use a low-moisture brand (European style) with a higher fat content)
  • Optional: 3 tablespoons liqueur of your choice (for this recipe, mint or chocolate liqueur)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper. Prepare the cake batter and spoon it into the pans.

    2. BAKE for 12 to 14 minutes or until a wood toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pans to wire racks, peel off the parchment paper, and cool completely, about 1 hour.

     
    3. PLACE one cake layer in a 9-inch springform pan. Top with one-third of ice cream (about 2-1/3 cups); sprinkle with half the crushed wafers. Repeat with the second layer. Top with the remaining cake layer and ice cream. Freeze 8 to 12 hours.

    4. MAKE the ganache. In a small saucepan, scald the cream. In a small bowl, carefully pour the hot cream over the chocolate pieces. Stir in the butter. Stir in the liqueur. Store in the fridge, sealed in a plastic container, until ready to use.

    5. REMOVE the cake from the springform pan, and place it on a plate or a cake stand. Spread the top with the ganache. Let stand 15 minutes before serving. Garnish as desired before bringing to the table.

     
      

    Comments

    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Mochidoki, Ice Cream-Stuffed Mochi

    Like ice cream? Get ready for a [relatively] new variation: ice cream mochi (MO-chee).

    Mochidoki is a delightful ice cream treat—a sophisticated re-envisioning of a classic Japanese sweet made from rice dough: a dough of pounded, glutinous (but gluten-free) sweet rice flour that is steamed and kneaded until it becomes delightfully chewy and supple, with a velvet—like texture.

    The resulting rice paste was often eaten plain and uncooked, pounded into a soft, chewy rice paste. There are still sweet and savory, uncooked and cooked versions.

    Mochi is all about the texture. Centuries later, it was turned into dumpling-like sweets, exquisite little mouthfuls to accompany tea.

    We love daifuku mochi, filled with sweetened red bean paste or other pastes, such as peanut and sesame. They can be served with tea (any kind) or coffee for an easy yet elegant snack (the different types of daifuku).

    [SIDE BAR: Daifuku mochi are an ideal food for celebrations: Daifuku means good luck!]

    The rice paste can be made into other forms, but today we focus on the sweet treat.

    Like cookies and brownies, they are finger food; but like brownies and other bar cookies, they can be garnished simply—with sauces and/or fruit—to elaborate preparations like spun sugar.
     
    THE HISTORY OF MOCHI

    Ice cream mochi are a new, fusion food. The original mochi are Japanese sweet snacks, served as Americans might enjoy a cookie or two. Like a smaller, flatter jelly donut, the inside is filled with red bean (azuki) paste or other fruit-flavored bean paste, peanut or sesame paste. The rice outside is white or pastel-colored.

    The exact origin of mochi is unknown, though it is said to have come from China. By the ninth century, it had become a New Year’s treat in Japan, and by the tenth century mochi were used as imperial offerings and in religious ceremonies (more).

    It also became used as an energy food: from the battlefield, where it was easy for Samurai to carry and prepare; to the farm, consumed by Japanese farmers to increase stamina on cold days.

    Our first experience with mochi was the classic daifuki mochi, a tea cake of rice dough filled with red bean paste. We live in a city with readily available Japanese confections; if you’re ever in Manhattan, head to Minamoto Kitchoan with branches in midtown and the World Trade Center, and 11 locations worldwide. They also sell the delightful pastries known as wagashi.
     
    ICE CREAM MOCHI

    Mochi Ice Cream is the best treat to serve at parties or events because they are delicious and convenient. Not only do they come in a variety of flavors so that your guests can discover their favorites, but they are also the perfect serving size! With the solid outer layer of rice-flour Mochi dough, they are easy to grab and carry around.

    And centuries later, they were filled with ice cream.

    Mochi ice cream has begun to expand nationwide in the U.S.

    Mikawaya, a Japanese confectionary based in Los Angeles, started selling the product in Little Tokyo in the early 1990s. Building up a local following, it found its way to California-based Trader Joe’s, Albertsons, Ralphs and Safeway, and is now in their stores nationwide (you could buy pumpkin ice cream mochi for Thanksgiving).

    The invention in Los Angeles was the casual idea of the Jewish husband of the third-generation owner of Mikawaya, Frances Hashimoto. Joel Friedman created the fusion food for snacking, wrapping spoonfuls of ice cream in plain mochi cakes.

    Ms. Hashimoto developed her husband’s idea for retail. It took a decade of R&D to develop a rice dough that would remain chewy and tender after freezing. Commercial production began in 1993, with seven flavors: Chocolate, Green Tea, Kona Coffee, Mango, Red Bean, Strawberry and Vanilla.

    Mikawaya’s pioneering efforts engendered supermarket competition from Little Moons, Maeda-En and Mikawaya’s sister brand, My-Mo.

    But we prefer gourmet newcomer Mochidoki for its better-quality ice cream, broad variety of flavors and elegant, thinner mochi covering.
     
    MOCHIDOKI FLAVORS

    Flavors change seasonally. You can get a 10-pack of one flavor, or a four-piece gift box featuring four different flavors.

    The only problem is making a decision. We’re ready to place another order, and we don’t know where to start!

    All are so very delicious. The current best-seller is Salted Caramel; but we adored every flavor, with a “wow” to the hot-and-cold Spicy Chocolate.

    Fall-Winter flavors, available in 10-packs ($20), include:

  • Azuki Red Bean
  • Black Sesame
  • Frothy Chocolate
  • Ginger Zing
  • Lychee Colada
  • Mandarin Orange Cream
  • Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Chip
  • Matcha Green Tea Classic
  • Mochaccino Chip
  • Raspberry White Chocolate Crunch
  • Salted Caramel
  • Vanilla Chocolate Chip
  •    

    Mochi Presentations, From Simple To Fancy

    Matcha Mochi

    Chocolate Mochi

    Decorated Mochi

    Salted Caramel Mochi Doki

    Mochi Doki

    Mochi Doki Gift Boxes

    [1] Mochi are small balls of ice cream covered in a velvety, chewy rice paste. Two classic flavors: Matcha Green Tea and Vanilla Chocolate Chip. [2] Dress up the plate with dessert sauce (plus, with chocolate, some cacao nibs). [3] Garnish halves with whipped cream and fruit. [4] The best seller, Salted Caramel, garnished with spun sugar. [5] Four-flavor gift boxes let you try more flavors. [6] Three gift boxes, 12 great flavors (all photos courtesy Mochidoki).

     

    Daifuku Mochi

    Mochi Yogurt Pops

    [7] Before ice cream mochi, the popular sweet version was (and still is) daifu-mochi, a dumpling-like cookie stuffed with red bean paste, peanut or sesame paste (photo courtesy Morgaer | Deviantart). [8] Bits of mochi rice dough now appear in everything from brownies to ice pops (photo courtesy Kirbie’s Cravings).

     

    MORE GREAT FLAVORS

    Four-Piece Gift Boxes ($10)

  • Cinnamon Eggnog
  • Spicy Chocolate
  •  
    Four-Piece Collections ($10)

  • Americana Collection: Frothy Chocolate, Raspberry White Chocolate Crunch, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Chocolate Chip
  • Signature Chip Collection: Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Chip, Mochaccino Chip, Raspberry White Chocolate Crunch, Vanilla Chocolate Chip
  • East Meets West Collection: Black Sesame, Matcha Green Tea, Salted Caramel, Vanilla Chocolate Chip
  • Exotic Collection: Lychee Colada, Mandarin Orange Cream, Matcha Green Tea Chocolate Chip, Mochaccino Chip
  • Taste Of Thailand Collection: Ginger Zing, Mango Thai Basil, Thai Iced Tea, Toasted Coconut
  • Tropical Collection: Lychee Colada, Mandarin Orange Cream, Passion Fruit, Toasted Coconut
  • The Classics Collection: Azuki Red Bean, Black Sesame, Ginger Zing, Matcha Green Tea
  •  
    HEAD TO MOCHIDOKI.COM

    You can order as many boxes as you like for a flat rate of $15.00. They arrive frozen in dry ice and you can’t eat them immediately—they’re frozen solid.

    But 5-10 minutes at room temperature makes them just right.

    Order here.

    Hopefully, we’ll be seeing Mochidoki at retail soon. The brand was purchased by a private equity firm in 2015, with plans to bring mochi ice cream to a wider audience.

     
    WAYS TO SERVE MOCHI

    Mochi are neat to eat. You can snack on them as finger food, or add garnishes for an elegant dessert.

    You can eat them from the container or plate them, whole or halved, with garnish:

  • Berries or other fruit
  • Dessert sauces
  • Whipped cream
  • Anything from spun sugar to cookie crumbs
  •  
    Just let them sit for five minutes after you take them from the freezer.
     
    MAKE YOUR OWN MOCHI

    You can make daifuku mochi—the room temperature variety filled with bean paste. This recipe from The New York Times makes everything from scratch, including turning dry azuki beans into red bean paste.

    Note that the fresh dough will turn dry and stiff within a couple of days, so plan to eat your mochi in short order.

    If you want to make ice cream mochi, the shelf life is even shorter. Make them with this recipe, then freeze for two hours and eat. Otherwise, the homemade rice paste will freeze solid.

    Beyond the classic mochi, this article from Huffington Post shows how to use mochi (the dough) in conventional sweets: brownies, cakes, cookies, donuts, ice cream and ice pops.

    How trending is mochi? Check this website of baby names.

      

    Comments off

    TIP OF THE DAY: Instant Holiday Ice Cream

    Christmas Ice Cream

    Turn any flavor into “Christmas” ice cream with red and green sanding sugar. If you want to save calories, check out Halo Top: our favorite of the low-calorie ice creams with just 240 calories for the entire pint. And it has extra protein—really! Here’s our review (photo courtesy Halo Top),

     

    When you hear “Christmas ice cream,” you probably think of candy cane (a.k.a. peppermint stick) ice cream.

    We love it and gobble it up over the holiday season. But not everyone is a mint fan.

    So here’s the easiest way ever to serve Christmas ice cream:

    Sprinkle colored sanding sugar over the top.

    Sanding sugar, also called colored sugar, decorating sugar, nibbed sugar, pearl sugar or sugar nibs, is coarse granulated sugar.

    It’s processed to have larger granules that sparkle, and is used to decorate candies, cookies, cupcakes, sweet breads and other baked goods. You can find it in white as well as a rainbow of colors.
     
    SPRINKLE YOUR HOLIDAY COLORS

    For Christmas, sprinkle red and green sugars on ice cream.

    For Chanukah, get blue and white sugars.

    For Kwanzaa, get black, red and green.

    For New Year’s Eve: gold and silver.

     
    Use the colors of any special occasion for an instant celebration dessert.

    You can find sanding sugar in some supermarkets, baking supply stores and online sites like TheBakersKitchen.net. Here’s their selection of colored sugars.

    CHECK OUT THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SUGAR IN OUR SUGAR & SYRUP GLOSSARY.

     
      

    Comments off

    FOOD FUN: Unconventional Sundae Ingredients

    Cornflakes Sundae

    Beef Sundae

    Tomato Basil Sundae

    [1] Not your typical vanilla ice cream sundae (photo courtesy Ogawa Coffee. [2] How about a beef sundae with cheddar (photo courtesy Dairy Max). [3] Tart frozen yogurt like Pinkberry is an opportunity to try savory toppings, like marinated cherry tomatoes and basil (photo courtesy Pinkberry).

     

    For National Sundae Day, November 11th, commemorates the history of the ice cream sundae, which dates to around 1892 in Ithaca, New York.

    While we love conventional ice cream sundaes (particularly hot fudge over pistachio ice cream), there are novel approaches as well.

    Why not think beyond the conventional and create a delicious ice cream sundae with at least one “different” ingredient.
     
    WHAT IS NOT DIFFERENT

  • Berries and other sundae fruits
  • Crushed cookies and cake cubes
  • Popular candies, sprinkles, dragées
  • Any fruits or nuts—fresh, dried, raw, roasted, etc.
  • Any conventional ice cream sauce (butterscotch, chocolate, strawberry, etc.)
  • Marshmallow cream or whipped cream
  •  
    WHAT IS DIFFERENT

  • Cereals and granola
  • Crushed honey sesame bites
  • Exotic fruits: carambola/star fruit, dragon fruit, lychee, rambutan, etc.
  • Honey (especially flavored honey), preserves, pie filling
  • Jell-O or other gelatin cubes, including cubed Jell-O shots
  • Scoops of other frozen desserts (granita, sorbet, yogurt)
  • Seeds: pumpkin, sesame, chia
  • Flavored whipped cream: recipes for bourbon, five spice, lavender, pumpkin pie spice, etc.); mascarpone
  • Garnishes: colored sanding sugars, peanut butter cream
  •  
    Photo #1 shows a sundae, from Ogawa Coffee in Boston, an offshoot of a Japanese chain.

    It’s made in a pint glass with two unconventional ingredients: coffee gelatin (a Boston specialty, originating as a way to use yesterday’s leftover coffee) and Corn Flakes. As a coffee house, the coffee gelatin makes perfect sense. It’s made with coffee and unflavored gelatin; here’s a recipe.

     
    RECIPE: OGAWA MOCHA CORNFLAKE ICE CREAM SUNDAE (PHOTO #1)

    Ingredients

  • Vanilla ice cream (substitute coffee, chocolate, or a small scoop of each)
  • Cubes of house-made coffee gelatin
  • Cubes of chocolate terrine (substitute brownie or chocolate cake cubes
  • Chocolate/fudge sauce
  • Corn Flakes
  • Whipped cream
  • Garnish: dried cranberries (substitute dried cherries, chocolate-covered espresso beans or pomegranate arils
  • Preparation

    1. PLACE some chocolate sauce on the very bottom. Then add one scoop ice cream, topped with chocolate terrine. Add more chocolate sauce, the second scoop of ice cream and the gelatin cubes.

    2. ADD the third scoop of ice cream and the Corn Flakes. Top with more gelatin, whipped cream and garnish.

     
    HOW ABOUT A SAVORY SUNDAE?

    You can make savory sundaes as well. Some are made with savory ice cream; others are sundae in name, but aren’t cold.

    We have recipes for a:

  • Beef Stew Sundae (Photo #2)
  • Spaghetti & Meatball Sundae
  • Savory Yogurt Sundae (Photo #3)
  • Sour cream ice cream with salmon caviar garnish (we’re still working to perfect the amount of herbs in the sour cream ice cream, but here’s an Ideas In Food recipe for sourdough ice cream they top with caviar)
  •  
    But we’re not suggesting that you whip up a caviar sundae. Yet.

      

    Comments off



    © Copyright 2005-2016 Lifestyle Direct, Inc. All rights reserved. All images are copyrighted to their respective owners.