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Archive for Ice Cream/Sorbet/Frozen Yogurt

TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Talenti Gelato New Flavors

Four New Pints, Seven New Pops

Our favorite ice cream maker, Talenti Gelato, has introduced four welcome new flavors. The company has also turned seven of the most popular flavors into chocolate-covered ice cream bars.

As with everything, they done a masterful job with:

  • Argentine Caramel Gelato, a delight for dulce de leche lovers
  • Alphonso Mango Sorbetto, a lovely expression
  • German Chocolate Gelato, an excellent interpretation of the flavors of German chocolate cake into a frozen dessert
  • Southern Butter Pecan Gelato, perhaps the most elegant butter pecan flavor we’ve tasted
    Also joining the family are chocolate-covered ice cream pops in seven of the company’s most popular gelato flavors: Black Raspberry, Caribbean Coconut, Coffee, Double Dark Chocolate, Mediterranean Mint, Sea Salt Caramel and Tahitian Vanilla.

    Read the full review.


    Dulce de leche gelato. Photo courtesy Brown Eyed Baker.



    Here’s the difference between ice cream and gelato, plus an Ice Cream glossary featuring all the different types of frozen desserts.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Tartlet With Matching Sorbet

    Thanks to the enthusiastic response to yesterday’s easy, light summer dessert, the Pavlova, here‘s another idea. It was inspired by a dessert we saw at Chocolate Lab restaurant in San Francisco:

    Serve a fresh fruit tartlet with a matching sorbet. Here are the easy steps: Choose a pairing theme (mango, raspberry, strawberry or other fruit where you can buy or make a matching sorbet) and assemble the ingredients.

    You can start by looking for inspiration at artisan sorbets±blueberry tarragon, strawberry basil, etc. But there‘s nothing wrong with a simple, everyday sorbet.



  • Tartlet shells, purchased or made
  • Fruit(s) of choice

    Strawberry tartlet with strawberry tarragon sorbet from Chocolate Lab | San Francisco.

  • Optional base (crème pâtissière [recipe] or purchased custard, vanilla yogurt) or glaze (melted currant jelly)
  • Optional garnish (mint leaf, chocolate medallion, etc.)

    1. CUT the fruit into pieces that fit comfortably into the tartlet shell

    2, ADD a light base of crème pâtissière or alternative (if using current jelly, pour it over the fruit). Top with fruit.

    3. SCOOP sorbet onto plate; add tartlet; garnish and serve.


    A tart is an open-face pastry with a base of plain or puff pastry dough. It is baked in a shallow tart pan that has either straight or fluted sides and a removable bottom, or in a metal tart ring placed on a baking sheet. The filling can be sweet or savory.

    “Tart” refers to the full-size, multi-portion pastry, a cousin to the pie. Individual-size tarts are called tartlets; a mini tart (bite size) is also a tartlet.

    Unlike a pie, a tart is removed from the tart pan or ring before serving. Here are all the differences between tarts and pies.



    RECIPE: Make Grape Granita

    Before there were sorbet makers, there was granita, hand-scraped in ice cube trays as the mixture freezes (it‘s also known as shaved ice).

    Granita is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and flavoring—typically fruit or coffee. A precursor of sorbet and Italian ice, it originated in Sicily, where the texture remains coarser and more crystalline (crunchier) than in other parts of Italy.

    The preferred texture varies from region to region: chunkier in the western regions and smoother in the eastern regions. The texture is the result of how little or much the mixture is agitated while freezing. But no matter how smooth the granita, it is never as smooth as sorbet. A little “crunch” on ice makes it a unique recipe.


    Grape granita: crunchy, grapey ice crystals. Photo courtesy


    Granita is fun to make. The scraping of the ice crystals can be delegated to kids, who will enjoy making their dessert or snack.

    This recipe for grape granita was created by chef Chris Faulkner for


    Red Muscato grapes. Photo courtesy




  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water, divided use
  • 3/4 pound Muscato grapes*
  • Lemon juice to taste
    For a more adult flavor profile, add a tablespoon of grappa or vodka.
    *Muscato grapes are available in red or green. Red grapes add a pinkish color to the granita; green grapes produce a paler product. Muscato, Muscat and Moscato are the same grape.


    1. COMBINE the wine, sugar and 1 cup water in a saucepan; bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Simmer the syrup for 5 minutes and let it cool.

    2. PURÉE the grapes with the syrup in a blender or food processor and strain the purée through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on the solids.

    3. STIR in 1 cup cold water and the lemon juice; chill the mixture, covered, until cold. Stir the mixture and transfer it to 2 metal ice cube trays without dividers, or a shallow metal bowl.

    4. FREEZE, stirring with a fork every 20 to 30 minutes and crushing the large frozen clumps. Do this for 2 to 3 hours, or until the granita is firm but not frozen solid.

    5. SCRAPE the granita with a fork to lighten the texture and serve it in chilled bowls.


  • Grapefruit Granita
  • Grapefruit Tarragon Granita
  • Watermelon Mint Granita



    TIP OF THE DAY: Olive Oil Ice Cream, Cheese Ice Cream

    Celebrate National Ice Cream Month with something new and exciting, like the ice cream recipes below. They may sound unusual, but they’re absolutely delicious.

  • Blue Cheese Ice Cream (recipe)
  • Cheddar Ice Cream (recipe)
  • Cream Cheese Ice Cream (recipe)
  • Goat Cheese Ice Cream (recipe)
  • Olive Oil Ice Cream With Shaved Parmesan (recipe)
  • Parmesan Ice Cream Sandwiches With Parmesan Tuiles (recipe)
  • Stilton Ice Cream (recipe)

    Cheddar ice cream with grilled pineapple and balsamic reduction. Photo courtesy WMMB.


    Goat cheese ice cream. Photo courtesy
    Charlie Trotter | Chicago.



    Most of these ice creams don’t pair with caramel, chocolate or berry sauces. Instead:

  • Drizzleg a good, fruity olive oil over olive oil ice cream.
  • Add a pinch of sea salt, especially pink or red salts (Alaea Hawaiian salt, Himalayan or Peruvian salt).
  • Use a balsamic vinegar reduction for a tart-and-sweet sauce.
  • Make a tart fruit puree by adding balsamic vinegar to raspberry purée.




    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Fruttare Bars

    Peaches and milk, one of four dleightful Fruttare flavors. Photo courtesy Unilever..


    If you’re a fan of Creamsicles, you know the unique combination of creamy ice cream and fruity sorbet.

    Creamsicles debuted in California in 1923. A mere 90 years later, there’s another creamy frozen treat that combines ice pop and milk: Fruttare bars.

    Created in Europe by Unilever, they’ve arrived in the U.S., and they deserve your attention.

    A distant cousin of the Creamsicle concept—which is a vanilla ice cream bar coated with orange sherbet—Fruttare bars are a blend of fruit juice (the base of ice pops and sherbet) and fresh milk. Chunks of fruit add texture and bursts of flavor.

    The initial flavors include:

  • Banana and Milk
  • Coconut and Milk
  • Peach and Milk
  • Strawberry and Milk
    The line also includes Fruttare Fruit and Juice Bars (no dairy), conventional frozen fruit bars in Lime, Mango, Orange and Strawberry. They are also delightful, but slightly less awesome than the fruit and milk bars.

    Fruttare bars, available at retailers nationwide, are certified kosher by KOF-K.

    Read the full review.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Sorbet Cocktail For Dessert

    How can you make a sophisticated dessert in less than five minutes? Cleanse the palate after a rich dinner? Serve something cool and refreshing? Combine dessert with an “after dinner drink?”

    Serve a sorbet “cocktail” or mocktail, which in its simplest version combines a scoop of sorbet with sparkling wine or ginger ale.
    You can use spirits, too, and weight the recipe toward either more sorbet or more alcohol.

    A sorbet cocktail is an ideal use for “sherbet Champagne” glasses. Purportedly designed by Marie Antoinette, who had them molded after her breasts, the wide mouth glass is not appropriate for sparkling wine—it lets the bubbles escape that much more quickly. But they’re just fine for serving sorbet, fruit cocktail and other foods, or this cocktail.


    A sorbet cocktail is an easy, delicious and refreshing dessert. Photo courtesy Talenti Gelato.


    Optionally, use a Martini glass, a Margarita glass or a wide bowl wine glass. If you have room in the freezer, chill the glasses before assembling the drink.

    TIP: Instead of using one flavor of sorbet, you can use mini scoops of two or three different flavors. Add the alcohol first, then the sorbet, because pouring liquid over the sorbet balls will make them melt faster and diminish the initial appearance of the drink.


    Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 1 scoop sorbet (we like raspberry or passion fruit), size based on glass
  • Chilled Champagne, Prosecco or other sparkling wine
  • Optional garnish(es): berry purée, fresh berry, mint leaf, lime wheel, etc.

    1. SCOOP balls of sorbet and reserve in freezer until ready to use.

    2. POUR sparkling wine into glass. Gently add sorbet ball. Garnish as desired and serve immediately with a dessert spoon.


    You can use smaller scoops of sorbet in
    different flavors. Photo courtesy



    This recipe uses higher proof spirits (40% A.B.V.) instead of the much lower in alcohol sparkling wine (5% to 7% A.B.V.). So unless you’re a liquor-loving crowd, dilute the spirit with juice instead of using it straight. Scroll down for an explanation of A.B.V. versus proof.
    Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 1 scoop lemon or orange sorbet, size based on glass
  • 1 shot or more vodka, tequila or gin
  • 1/2 cup lemonade or orange juice
  • Optional garnish(es): lemon/orange curl and/or zest, berry, mint leaf, lime wheel, etc.

    1. SCOOP balls of sorbet and reserve in freezer until ready to use. Prepare citrus curls and zest.

    2. COMBINE spirit and juice and chill until ready to serve. Assemble (liquid first, then sorbet and garnish) and serve immediately with a dessert spoon.

    Be prepared: Guests may want “seconds.”


    A.B.V., alcohol by volume, is the percentage of alcohol in any product. Wines typically vary from 10% to 14% A.B.V.; fortified wines like port can have 18% A.B.V. Beer can range from 3.5% to 9% or higher, depending on the style and the brewing process. “Proof” is double the A.B.V. Most spirits are distilled to 40% A.B.V., 80 proof (some are higher, some are lower).

    Why is it called “proof?” Beginning in the 1700s until January 1, 1980, the U.K. measured alcohol content in terms of “proof spirit,” defined as a “spirit with a gravity of 12/13 that of water, or 923 kg/m3, and equivalent to 57.15% A.B.V.” The term originated when payments to British sailors included rations of rum.

    To ensure that the rum had not been watered down, it was “proved” by dousing gunpowder with it and then testing to see if the gunpowder would ignite. If it did not, then the rum contained too much water and was considered to be “under proof.” Gunpowder would not burn in rum that contained less than approximately 57.15% ABV. Therefore, rum that contained this percentage of alcohol was defined to have “100° [one hundred degrees] proof.” (Source: Wikipedia.)




    FOOD HOLIDAY: National Vanilla Milkshake Day

    Celebrate with a vanilla milkshake. Photo by
    Inga Nielsen | IST.


    June 20th is National Vanilla Milkshake Day, and we’ve got some delicious recipes.

    A milkshake is a simple combination of ice cream, milk and syrup, combined in a blender and optionally garnished with whipped cream, a maraschino cherry or sprinkles (you can be more daring with chocolate-covered coffee beans, mini chips, etc.).

    Adults can add a shot of whiskey or liqueur.


    Ingredients For 6 Half-Cup Servings

  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons to 1 shot of spirits: bourbon, whiskey, liqueur/schnapps (try butterscotch, chocolate, coffee or vanilla)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla syrup or pure vanilla extract
  • Optional garnish: cherry, sprinkles, whipped cream


    1. PLACE ice cream, milk, alcohol and syrup/vanilla in blender. Cover and blend on high speed until smooth.

    2. POUR into glasses. Garnish as desired and serve immediately.

    More ice cream in the mix makes a thicker shake.

    If you like cardamom, try this delicious vanilla cardamom milkshake shooter.


    Most people know a “milkshake” as a cold beverage made from milk, ice cream and often, syrup, served in a tall, fluted glass with a straw (the classic milkshake glass is known as a Y glass).

    The Random House Dictionary describes a milkshake as an American creation, “a frothy drink made of cold milk, flavoring, and usually ice cream, shaken together or blended in a mixer.” And it states that the word dates to 1885.

    That’s when the word “milkshake” is first found in print. But that original milkshake was not suitable for children or teetotalers. It was an alcoholic drink, a “…sturdy, healthful eggnog type of drink, with eggs, whiskey, etc., served as a tonic as well as a treat.”*

    By 1900, the whiskey and eggs were out, and the term “milkshake” referred to “wholesome drinks made with chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla syrups.”*

    Yet, the milkshake still contained no ice cream.



    The modern milkshake was born in 1922, when an employee at a Chicago Walgreens, Ivar “Pop” Coulson, was inspired to add two scoops of ice cream to malted milk. Malted milk was a drink made by blending milk, chocolate syrup and malt (malt was invented in 1887—as a nutritional supplement for infants).

    The malted milkshake shot to stardom nationwide. By the 1930s, soda fountains were known as “malt shops.” In 1937 two milkshake-worthy events occurred: A superior blender was invented by Fred Waring, and the flexible straw was invented by Joseph Friedman.

    But not all milkshakes were malted milkshakes. Many people preferred their milkshakes malt-free.

    By the late 1930s, the term “frosted” was being used to describe maltless milkshakes that blended ice cream and milk into one smooth drink, while a “float” had scoops of ice cream “floating” in milk.


    Vanilla cardamom milkshake shooter with a whoopie pie. Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy McCormick.


    Soda fountain owners also came up with their own names. In New England, milkshakes were variously called frappes (Massachusetts), velvets, frosteds and cabinets (Rhode Island, referring to the freezer cabinet from which the ice cream was scooped). Someone in a drive-through restaurant in St. Louis invented the concrete, a milkshake so thick that it was handed out the order window upside down for a wow factor. (We’ve had a few, and would argue that the concrete is not really a milkshake, but ice cream that’s been blended with just enough milk to turn it into a malleable form. It needs to be eaten with a spoon: It’s so thick it can’t be drunk through a straw).

    *Source: Stuart Berg Flexner, Listening to America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1982) p. 178.


    In the 1950s, a milkshake machine salesman named Ray Kroc bought became the exclusive distributor of a speedier milkshake machine, the Multimixer. He inadvertently invented modern fast food with his vision of franchising McDonald’s hamburger stand in San Bernardino, California—in order to sell several Multimixers to each location.


    A float is a carbonated soft drink—cola, root beer, etc.—with a scoop of ice cream “floating” in it.

    A malt is a milkshake—ice cream, milk, flavoring—with added malted milk.



    TIP OF THE DAY: Frozen Yogurt Bar & Other Ideas For National Frozen Yogurt Month

    June is National Frozen Yogurt Month, and our arms don’t have to be twisted to celebrate. Here are some ideas to make your indulgence a bit more special, plus the history of frozen yogurt:


    For family fun or a party, buy a few quarts at your favorite yogurt shop and set out bowls of toppings. Then set out bowls of fixings for a do-it-yourself sundae. Ideas for toppings:

  • Baked Goods: Cubed brownies and other cookie bars, cubed pound cake or other loaf cake, crumbled cookies, fan cookies, graham crackers, wafer cookies.
  • Candy: Brittle, Butterfinger, caramel corn, chocolate chips, chocolate-covered pretzels, gummies, Heath Bars/toffee (chopped), Junior Mints, M&Ms, Mini Peanut Butter Cups, Reese’s Pieces, sprinkles.

    Frozen yogurt with fruit, mini chips and a wafer cookie. Photo courtesy Pinkberry.

  • Cereal: Cocoa Pebbles, Corn Flakes, Frosted Flakes, Fruity Pebbles, granola.
  • Fruit: Apple chips, bananas, berries, coconut, dried cherries or cranberries, grapes, lychees, mango, melon, citrus sections, pineapple, pomegranate arils.
  • Nuts: Almonds, pistachios, walnuts or other favorites.

    Put your favorite frozen yogurt flavor into a graham cracker pie shell. Photo courtesy



    Yogurt Pie: Spoon frozen yogurt into a graham cracker pie crust and decorate with favorites from the toppings list. Freeze until ready to serve.

    Yogurt Cake: Slice a plain cake into two or three layers. Use frozen yogurt as the filling and frosting; decorate with toppings. Freeze until ready to serve.


    Sandwich frozen yogurt between two cookies—chocolate, chocolate chip, raisin, snickerdoodle; you can even use a different type of cookie on the top and the bottom. Trim the edges of the yogurt with a knife or spatula. Dip the edges into a dish of mini chips, nuts or other topping, wrap in wax paper and freeze until ready to serve.


    You can buy frozen yogurt pops in most supermarkets, or you can make your own in custom flavors from kiwi to lychee. Purée the fruit and blend with the frozen yogurt; you can stir in one or two of the toppings. Add to the ice pop molds and freeze.



    There are turnkey packages, as well as custom solutions, for the yogurt shop of your dreams. Frozen Yogurt Solutions is one of the industry’s leading and frozen yogurt consultants, a one-stop-shop for frozen yogurt equipment and supplies. Call 1.888.350.8083 or visit


    While frozen yogurt seems ubiquitous today, it is only some 40 years old. The first brand, Frogurt, was a soft-serve introduced in New England in the early 1970s by H. P. Hood.

    No doubt inspired by Frogurt, Brigham’s, a Boston-based ice cream and sandwich shop chain, introduced the first packaged frozen yogurt around 1978. It was called Humphreez (both the beloved chain and the yogurt brand are long gone). Also in the 1970s, Dannon Yogurt introduced a packaged frozen yogurt on a stick, Danny. The first Danny product was dark chocolate-dipped raspberry yogurt. Other flavors and a soft-serve product followed and by 1979 Danny became the first perishable frozen product to be distributed nationwide.

    These early products were marketed as a healthy alternative to ice cream, but too many people didn’t care for the tartness, which deliberately emulated the then-standard flavor profile of cups of packaged yogurts. This led manufacturers to further sweeten the product and make it ice cream-like, such that few people could tell if they had been handed a dish of ice cream or frozen yogurt. Supermarket sales took off in the 1980s thanks to these reformulations and the growth of soft-serve chains like TCBY.

    As everything old is new again, Pinkberry established in California in 2005, and Red Mango, which followed in 2007, revived the tart soft-serve. A new generation of yogurt eaters has embraced the tartness.



    BOOK: Ice Cream Sandwich Recipes

    If you’re looking for something special for summer hosts, how about hundreds of ideas for ice cream sandwiches?

    Not only are ice cream sandwiches a cool summer dessert, but these dazzling recipes will get even hesitant bakers into the mood—and may inspire you to host a few ice cream sandwich summer socials.

    For sure, Cookies & Cream: Hundreds Of Ways To Make The Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich, by Tessa Arias, has inspired us.

    There are 50 recipes for both sweet and savory sandwiches, using simple ingredients to deliver very creative flavor combinations. The recipes include both the ice cream and the cookie or other sandwich base.

    Instructions are simple to follow and thorough: You can give this book to a young teenager (and we’d encourage that, because one cookbook leads to another, and self-sufficiency in the kitchen).


    Spend the summer making dazzling ice cream sandwiches. Photo courtesy Running Press.


    You can switch the flavors around to make hundreds of different combinations.

    The recipes are divided by category:

  • Classic, such as Rocky Road and Snickerdoodle
  • Chocolate, including Grasshopper and Peanut Butter Cup
  • Real Dessert, from Cannoli to Carrot Cake
  • Fruity, such as Lemon-Blueberry and Strawberry Balsamic
  • Sinful, including Dulce de Leche and Red Velvet
  • Boozy, such as Margarita and Tiramisu
  • Holiday, like Candy Cane and Gingerbread
    We want to make every recipe in the book!

    The hardcover book is just $12.72 on How much better can it get? Order your copies!



    TIP OF THE DAY: Easy “Fancy” Dessert

    Large and small meringue cookies top a bin
    of chocolate chip gelato. Photo courtesy


    We were inspired by this photo from Italian gelato maker Vivoli, who decorated a bin of straciatella (chocolate chip) gelato with large and small meringue cookies.

    For an easy fancy dessert, simply serve a scoop of ice cream, gelato or sorbet with airy meringues. They’re easy to make, fat- and cholesterol-free and lower-calorie than other cookies.

    The classic way is to serve meringue and ice cream is to create a meringue shell or nest, known as a pavlova, a dish created in honor of the ballerina Anna Pavlova (1881-1931) during a tour to Australia and New Zealand in the 1920s. The shell could be filled with ice cream or other soft dessert and topped with berries.

    But that approach is old school. A scattering of mini meringues, white and/or colored, is the way to go now.

    White meringues are perhaps the most elegant, but you can tint the meringues with food colors. They can also be flavored, and you can add mini chocolate chips or chopped nuts. The instructions are included below.

    This recipe yields 6 dozen small meringue cookies.



  • 4 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract*
  • Optional: 1 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped nuts
  • Optional color: 25 to 30 drops food coloring
    *For flavor, use 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1/2 teaspoon coffee extract, mint extract or other extract.



    1. PREHEAT oven to 225°.

    2. BEAT egg whites in large bowl with electric mixer on low-medium speed, until frothy. If using a freestanding mixer, use wire whisk attachment.

    3. ADD cream of tartar; continue to beat until soft peaks form. Increase speed to medium-high. Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until sugar is dissolved and stiff peaks form. Beat in optional extract and food color until well blended. Gently stir in optional chips or nuts. TIP: The meringue is finished if you rub a bit between your fingers and it feels smooth. If it feels gritty, then the sugar has not fully dissolved; keep beating.

    4. FIT a pastry bag with a 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) plain tip to make swirled meringues. Otherwise, drop by rounded teaspoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto 2 large foil-lined baking sheets sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.


    Swirled meringue cookies are piped from a pastry bag. Photo courtesy American Egg Board.

    5. BAKE both sheets at the same time, for 45 minutes. Let the meringues stand in the oven with the door ajar for 1 hour, or until completely cooled. (You can let them sit overnight in the cold oven.) The cookies will keep, stored in an airtight container, for 3 days or more.


    The exact inventor of meringue is not known. Some culinary historians believe that meringue was invented by an Italian pastry chef named Gasparini in the town of Meiringen, Switzerland.

    Others say that the term comes from the Polish word marzynka, and that it was invented by a chef in the service of Stanislas Leszczynski (1677-1736). The king was deposed in 1709 and later became the Duke of Lorraine, in France. In this story of provenance, Stanislas’s daughter Marie, who married French King Louis XV, popularized meringues in France. Her daughter-in-law, Marie Antoinette, was a great fan of meringues and is said to have made them herself at the Petit Trianon, a small château on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles where, out of the public eye, she was able to live like everyday folk. (Everyday rich folk, that is.)

    But meringue may in fact be an English invention. The earliest known recipe for a “baked-beaten-egg-white-and-sugar confection” is 1604, found in a book of recipes begun then by Lady Elinor Fettiplace of Oxfordshire. Here’s more about the origins and types of meringue.

    Whoever created the recipe, early meringues were simply dropped with a spoon. It was the great French chef Antoine Carême (1784-1833), who piped the mixture into fancy shapes with a pastry bag.


    Check out the delicious book Meringue.

    Meringue can be hard (cookies) or soft (toppings). It can be baked, poached or whipped. It can be combined with ground nuts, chocolate or any number of flavorings. It can be piped into various vessels for chantilly (whipped cream), mousse and/or fresh berries. It can create:

  • Cakes, pies, tarts, tortes
  • Cookies, bars, pavlovas
  • Dacquoises, vacherins
  • Frosting and other luscious creations
    Time to start cooking!



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