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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Ice Cream/Sorbet/Frozen Yogurt

FOOD FUN: Prosecco & Alcohol-Infused Ice Pops

prosecco-ice-pops-conradhotel-230

New, fun, delicious: Prosecco and boozy ice
pops. Photo courtesy Conrad Hotel | NYC.

 

Too bad “Sex And The City” is off the air. The girls could have spent an afternoon or evening at an elegant rooftop bar in Battery Park City at the foot of Manhattan, enjoying the stunning views of Lady Liberty and the Hudson River…

…and enjoying glasses of Prosecco, the Italian sparkler, garnished with boozy ice pops.

The Conrad Hotel in New York City, part of the Hilton empire, offers a tempting lineup of boozy pops at Loopy Doopy, its rooftop bar. (It looks neither loopy nor doopy, but Hamptons-inspired).

The ice pops are made from fruit purée and spirits, and served in a goblet of Prosecco. Ice pop flavors include:

  • Appletini with gin, vermouth, lemon juice
  • Blueberry Plum with Irish Whiskey
  • Raspberry Apricot with Grand Marnier
  • Spiced Peach with añejo rum
  • Strawberry Margarita with lime juice & tequila
  •  

     

    Loopy Doopy partnered with People’s Pops, a local artisan ice pop maker, which makes the boozy ice pops exclusively for them.

    And there’s more fun: Throughout the 2014 summer season, those enjoying Prosecco & Ice Pop cocktails will discover various prizes revealed on their ice pop sticks. Prizes range from something as small as an appetizer, or to a complimentary weekend stay for two in the hotel’s 1,500-square-foot Conrad Suite.

    Waiter, we’ll have another, please!

    You can make your own alcohol-infused ice pops. Alcohol doesn’t freeze well, so add just a teaspoonful into each individual pop mold.

    ABOUT PROSECCO

    Hailing from northeast Italy’s Veneto region, Prosecco is the name of the village where the where the Prosecco grape—now known as the Glera grape—originated. Other local white grape varieties, such as Bianchetta Trevigiana, can be included in the blend.

    The wine can be frizzante—just slightly fizzy, sometimes bottled with a regular cork to be opened with a corkscrew—or spumante—very fizzy, bottled with the mushroom-style cork and cage or something similar.

    The wine is often labeled Prosecco di Conegliano Valdobbiadene, after its appellation.

     

    mionetto-bottle-2-230

    Prosecco in its traditional bottle shape. Photo courtesy Mionetto Prosecco.

     

    Prosecco is affordable, light-bodied for hot summer days, and something you should be sipping now.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Popcorn Ball Ice Cream Sandwiches

    Make an ice cream sandwich with a “popcorn
    ball” sandwich. Photo courtesy Popcorn.org.

     

    August 2nd is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day. Sure, ice cream between two cookies or thin slices of cake makes a great sandwich. But try something different this year: Make the “sandwich” part from popcorn balls.

    This recipe takes the ingredients for popcorn balls and makes them flat, in a baking pan, so they can be cut into rectangles for the sandwiches.

    RECIPE: POPCORN ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

    Ingredients For 12 Sandwiches

  • 2-1/2 quarts popped popcorn (fresh-popped or store-bought)
  • 1-1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 6-ounce package chocolate chips*
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 pints brick-style (rectangular package)vanilla ice cream†
  •  
    *Variations: other baking chips (butterscotch, peanut butter, etc.), dried cherries, mini M&Ms, mini Reese’s Pieces or candy of choice.

    †If you can’t find brick-style pints, get a quart. Why do you need a rectangle? To slice the ice cream in a rectangle for the sandwiches. You can experiment with other ice cream flavors, but start with vanilla for a benchmark.

     
    Preparation

    1. COMBINE brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, vinegar and salt in a three-quart saucepan.

    2. COOK, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Continue to cook until hard ball stage (250°F on a candy thermometer). Pour syrup over popped popcorn; stir to coat.

    3. ADD chocolate pieces and nuts; stir just to mix. Pour into two 13 x 9 x 2 inch pans, spreading and packing firmly. Cool.

    4. CUT the popcorn mix in each pan into 12 rectangles. Cut each pint of ice cream into 6 slices. Sandwich ice cream between two popcorn rectangles.

    5. WRAP each sandwich in plastic and place in freezer until ready to serve.

    Find more recipes at Popcorn.org, the website of The Popcorn Board.

     

    WEST COAST ICE CREAM SANDWICH NEWS

    If we were in L.A. we’d celebrate National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, August 2nd, at Napoléon’s Macarons.

    Or maybe not, since the pâtisserie is giving away* free Maca’Longs today from 2-4 p.m. at the Glendale and Canoga Park locations. Imagine the crowds, and perhaps stay home and make your own ice cream sandwiches.

    Maca’Longs are macaron cookie ice cream sandwiches that use the bakery’s macaron expertise to create long, almond meringue-based shells for their made-from-scratch ice cream. (See our original post on Pierre Herme’s version).

    The Maca’Long debuts in four flavors: Hazelnut Lemon, Mocha, Raspberry Pistachio and Vanilla Pecan. For this we have just two words: Mmmm, mmmm.

    Discover more at NapoleonsMacarons.com.

     

    maca-long-w-meringue-napoleonsmacarons-LA-230b

    An ice cream sandwich on a meringue cookie sandwich. Photo courtesy Napoléon’s Macarons | L.A.

     

    EAST COAST ICE CREAM SANDWICH NEWS

    On the other side of the country, in Manhattan, Ristorante Asellina is serving up Crolatos: homemade gelato sandwiches on split croissants.

    While a buttery plain croissant works just fine, see if you can score some almond croissants or chocolate croissants.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Ice Cream Sandwich Sundae

    We found this “sundae” on the Smucker’s Facebook page.

    Maybe you want a more formal dessert to bring to the table. Or maybe you just want to have fun. Either way:

    1. CUT the ice cream sandwich at angles and place in a fancy dish.

    2. GARNISH with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, berries, sprinkles, candies (M&Ms, Reese’s Pieces, chocolate chunks), whatever.

    3. ENJOY the experience.

    Want to create an ice cream “mixed grill?” Add a scoop to the center of the “sundae.”

     

    ice-cream-sandwich-sundae-smuckersFB-230

    Turn a simple ice cream sandwich into a fancy sundae. Photo courtesy Smucker’s | FB.

     

      

    Comments

    FOOD 101: Live & Active Cultures In Frozen Yogurt

    pinkberry-coffee-230

    Inside: 10 million or more live and active
    cultures. Photo courtesy Pinkberry.

     

    “What happens to the beneficial bacteria in frozen yogurt,” a reader writes. “Does freezing kill them?”

    No. Live culture frozen yogurt maintains the cultures’ benefits because the flash-freezing technique used in the production of frozen yogurt, unlike slow freezing in a freezer, only makes the organisms dormant. It does not kill them—or at least not all of them, as the number of bacteria in frozen yogurt is usually lower than that in the fresh yogurt from which it was made.

    Yogurt is made by culturing milk with bacterial cultures. The words “live and active cultures” refer to the living organisms, Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus*, which convert pasteurized milk into yogurt during fermentation. (Note that the milk is pasteurized before culturing in order to remove any harmful bacteria.)

    This fermentation process is what creates yogurt, with its unique taste, texture, and healthful attributes. The yogurt cultures—all the strains of bacteria added to the product—make up about 1% of the ingredients.

     

    Not all yogurt has live and active cultures. Just as some manufacturers use different combinations of cultures, frozen yogurts are created with different processes. Some are heat-treated after culturing, which extends the shelf life of fresh yogurt but kills the cultures.

    Why should you care about the live organisms? There is preliminary scientific evidence suggesting that live cultures in regular and frozen yogurt can boost your immune system, prevent osteoporosis, and prevent gastrointestinal infections, ultimately helping your digestive system as a whole.

     
    *Other cultures may be added as well, but these are always the first two.

     

    Different yogurt brands, fresh and frozen alike, add probiotics, which aid with digestion. Red Mango is one frozen yogurt brand that adds probiotics. Yovation is a packaged brand found in some natural food stores.

    The levels that remain in frozen yogurt depend upon the numbers that were in the fresh yogurt from which it was made, and on the hardiness of the specific cultures that were used. Thus, Some frozen yogurts are better sources of live cultures and/or probiotics than others.

    In order to receive the National Yogurt Association’s Live & Active Cultures seal—a voluntary labeling program—frozen yogurt is required to contain at least 10 million cultures per gram at time of manufacture (for fresh yogurt, it is 100 million per gram). The amount was agreed upon by research scientists who participated in studies of the health benefits of live cultures in yogurt products.

    If you like a brand that doesn’t have the seal but want to know what’s inside, contact the manufacturer to ask what types of bacteria their product contains and how many live and active cultures are in the finished product.

     

    live-active-cultures-seal-natyogassn-230

    Look for the seal on boxes and containers. Image courtesy National Yogurt Association.

     

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Godiva Soft Serve Ice Cream

    godiva-swirl_praline-cone-230

    We’re in heaven with a Godiva softserve swirl
    in an almond praline cone. Photo courtesy
    Godiva Chocolatier.

     

    When it comes to soft serve ice cream, some fans say that the best is at Dairy Freeze in Boston. Others cite Christy’s Tasty Queen in Kansas City.

    Without going to those establishments or any others, we opine that the best soft serve ice cream is at Godiva Chocolatier boutiques.

    Godiva has launched a premium soft serve ice cream, and it is spectacular.

    First, chose your flavor: Dark Chocolate, White Chocolate Vanilla Bean or Swirl. The softserve is made with Godiva chocolate, which makes it more intensely, more deliciously flavored right off the bat.

    Godiva designed custom soft serve machines to deliver the densest, creamiest mouthfeel.

    And it gets better: There are crunchy Belgian waffle cones. Choose from plain, dipped in either milk or dark chocolate, or our favorite, dark chocolate with praline almonds (shown in the photo).

    Don’t like cones? You can have your softserve in a five ounce cup.

    We had the opportunity to try all three flavors recently at the Godiva boutique in Rockefeller Center (52 West 50th Street, between 5th & 6th Avenues). What happiness!

    And it doesn’t break the calorie bank. A large waffle cone with softserve is 380 calories in a plain cone, 470 in the almond praline cone. It’s worth every calorie.

     
    More good news:

    Bring A Friend To Happy Hour

    During Godiva Happy Hour, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily, the second cone is half price.

    We also noted on the company website that there are punch cards for the soft serve and the Trufflelata shake: Buy six in any combination, the next one’s free.

    What better way to celebrate National Ice Cream Month than with a great new soft serve ice cream?

    Go for the Godiva, ladies and gents! Go often!

    Use this store locator to find the Godiva store nearest to you.
     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pie Dough Crumb Topping Sundae

    It’s the reverse of pie à la mode; perhaps it should be called an ice cream crumble.

    Today’s tip was inspired by The Strawberry Barbara, a sundae from McConnell’s Ice Cream in Santa Barbara.

    McConnell’s marries strawberry ice cream, house made rhubarb sauce (think rhubarb pie filling) and pie crust crumbles, topped with whipped cream.

    You can build the sundae in a bowl or a sundae dish, on a dessert plate or even in a large wine goblet.

    You can also use the topping on puddings and yogurt.

    RECIPE: PIE DOUGH CRUMBLES #1

    Ingredients

    Ingredients For The Pie Dough Crumbs

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • Pinch salt
  •    

    strawberry-sundae-pie-dough-crumbles-mcconnellsicecream-230

    Strawberry ice cream with pie dough crumbles. Photo courtesy McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams.

     

     

    key-lime-ice-cream-pie-crumbles-mcconnellsicecream-230r

    Key lime ice cream on a bed of crumbles. Photo courtesy McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams.

     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT oven to 400°F.

    2. MIX ingredients together large, moist clumps form (we tend to like them on the larger size, about 1/2 inch diameter). If the ingredients stick together too much to make crumbs, add a bit more flour and sugar in a 2:1 ratio until the mixture becomes crumbly.

    3. BAKE on a sheet for 10-15 minutes until golden (but not brown). Let cool; store in an airtight container until ready to use.

    If you’d like crumbles with a deeper flavor, add brown sugar.

    RECIPE: PIE DOUGH CRUMBLES #2

    Ingredients For The Pie Dough Crumbs

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  •  
    ASSEMBLING THE SUNDAE

    Ingredients

  • Ice cream of choice
  • Pie crumbles
  • Whipped cream
  • Optional garnishes: chocolate shavings, diced fruit, sauce, sprinkles, etc.
  •  
    Preparation

    1. SCOOP ice cream onto a plate. Top with pie crumbles.

    2. ADD garnishes and serve

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Cookie Dough Ice Cream Sandwiches

    We often make a “double cookie dough” ice cream sandwich: chocolate chip cookies with cookie dough ice cream. But this recipe from McCormick uses actual cookie dough—not baked—as the sandwich.

    You make the cookie dough yourself, and it is egg free since it won’t be cooked.

    RECIPE: COOKIE DOUGH ICE CREAM SANDWICHES

    Ingredients For 16 Bars

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup miniature chocolate chips
  • 2 cups ice cream, softened
  •  

    Chocolate_Chip_Cookie_Bar_Ice_Cream_Sandwich_mccormick-230

    A different take on cookie dough ice cream. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     
    Preparation

    1. MICROWAVE the butter and sugars in large microwavable bowl on HIGH 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until mixture is melted and smooth.

    2. STIR in milk, vanilla and salt. Add flour; stir until well blended. Refrigerate 15 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips.

    3. LINE an 8-inch square pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Press 1/2 of the dough into pan.

    4. ROLL out remaining dough on lightly floured surface to 8-inch square. Gently spread ice cream over layer on pan. Place 8-inch square layer over ice cream. (If the dough layer is too warm, freeze for 15 minutes before placing over ice cream.)

    5. COVER with foil. Freeze 2 hours or until firm. Cut into 16 bars. Wrap each in plastic wrap. Store in freezer.

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Create Your Fantasy Custom Ice Cream Flavors

    chocolate-raspberry-jam-mcconnellsicecream-230

    No fresh raspberries? Make chocolate
    raspberry jam. Photo courtesy McConnell’s
    Ice Cream.

     

    When you’re peering into the ice cream case at the market, do you ever long for flavors that don’t exist? Maybe you want chocolate cookie dough, or rum date instead of rum raisin.

    How about vanilla orange marmalade, a riff on the Creamsicle, or salted caramel candy corn? We’re personally considering coffee-chocolate chip- brownie-Heath Bar.

    Make them yourself!

    You don’t have to own an ice cream maker. Just buy the base flavor at the store, along with the inclusions (the mix-ins) to make your flavor.

  • Start with a pint of chocolate, vanilla or other base flavor, soften it on the counter, and when it’s soft enough to mix, scoop it into a mixing bowl.
  • Then, pile in your inclusions, blend with a couple of large cooking spoons, taste and adjust as desired. Be cautious: add smaller amounts first, especially with alcohol and sauces.
  • Repack the ice cream into the pint and return to the freezer.
  • Work on your recipes over time, adding more or less of some ingredients and introducing new ones.
  •  

    WHAT CAN YOU MIX IN?

  • Alcohol: beer, liqueur, spirits, wine
  • Candy: baking chips (mix the flavors!), chocolate chips/chunks/shavings, mini marshmallows, marzipan, toffee bits, candies of choice
  • Cookies, Cake: broken or cut into small pieces
  • Fruits: diced fruits, jam/preserves, purées, shredded coconut, zest
  • Ice Cream & Sorbet: make a blend of favorite flavors; add a sorbet swirl to ice cream
  • Nuts: raw, roasted or candied nuts, mixed nuts
  • Sauces: balsamic, caramel/salted caramel, chocolate, fruit, honey, marshmallow
  • Spices: cayenne, chili flakes, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, sea salt
  • Vegetables/Herbs: basil, carrots (shredded/purée), mint, tomato
  • Wild Card: granola/other cereals, potato chips, pretzels, popcorn, trail mix
  •  
    More? You tell us!
     
      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Adult Ice Pops

    Here’s a way to enjoy Happy Hour in the heat: Turn your favorite fruit cocktail into an adult ice pop.

    We started with the Margarita, re-interpreting the Strawberry Frozen Margarita as a Strawberry Margarita Ice Pop. You can substitute the fruit and spirits to adapt your favorite cocktail.

    Prep time: is 15 minutes plus freezing time (overnight).

    RECIPE: STRAWBERRY MARGARITA ICE POPS

    Ingredients For 8 – 10 Pops

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (16 ounces) fresh strawberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons tequila
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  •  

    strawberry-margarita-pops-driscolls-230

    Truly frozen cocktails: Strawberry Margarita Ice Pops. Photo courtesy Driscoll’s.

     
    Preparation

    1. BRING water and sugar to a boil in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Cool completely.

    2. PURÉE strawberries in a blender or food processor. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to yield 1-1/2 cups purée.

    3. COMBINE strawberry purée with sugar syrup, lime juice, tequila and orange liqueur. Pour into ice pop molds.

    4. FREEZE for 2 hours, then sprinkle the base of the pops with salt and add the sticks. Let freeze at least 12 hours longer or overnight until frozen solid.

      

    Comments

    PRODUCT: Tea-rrific, Tea Flavored Ice Cream

    tearrific-ice-cream-group-230

    Ice cream for tea lovers. Photo courtesy
    Tea-rrific Ice Cream.

     

    Why a line of tea-flavored ice creams? Because there wasn’t one!

    One day, the tea-loving founder of Tea-rrific Ice Cream made a batch of ice cream from Earl Grey teas, and saw the eyes of friends and family light up when they tasted the complex and unexpected flavors.

    Soon, a line of special flavors emerged, and now, the biggest challenge is getting retail freezer space in the burgeoning category of artisan ice creams.

    The all-natural premium ice cream line uses rBGH/rBST-free cream from local New England farms and is sweetened with either organic evaporated cane juice or locally sourced honey. The base is infused with top-quality blends of loose leaf teas. There are no stabilizers, gums, corn syrup, preservatives or artificial colors and flavors.

    The taste is refreshingly light. The recipes err on the side of subtle, and perhaps that’s a good thing: You don’t have to be a tea fan to enjoy these flavors.

    We’d have been willing to have more of a wallop of tea intensity, and one of these days, we may just try infusing our own.

     
    The Tea-rrific choices include:

  • Chamomile: notes of apple and honey from Egyptian chamomile flowers.
  • Chunky London Mist: Earl Grey tea with a hint of vanilla, semi-sweet Belgian chocolate flakes and buttery roasted pecan chunks. This is London Mist flavor with inclusions, and we prefer it.
  • Ginger Matcha: fresh ginger with matcha green tea—a great combination and the perfect end to an Asian-cuisine dinner.
  • London Mist: Citrussy Earl Grey tea with a hint of vanilla.
  • Masala Chai: Assam black and rooibos teas with sweet aromatic and peppery spices. We turned this into a nifty chai milkshake.
  •  
    There’s a store locator on the company website. Discover more at TearrificIceCream.com.

     
      

    Comments

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