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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

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Archive for Ice Cream/Sorbet/Frozen Yogurt

TIP OF THE DAY: Sorbet Toppings

Typically, if you get any garnish with a scoop of sorbet, it’s a mint leaf, berry, lemon peel curl or other variation of the fruit used to make the sorbet.

But how about preserves? We were inspired by this photo from Vivoli, a gelateria in Florence, Italy, of pineapple sorbet with pineapple preserves. Yum!

So for Mother’s Day, we’re loading a large lazy susan with different sorbet toppings (see the list below) so guests can choose their own. We’re adding enough toppings to create a super sorbet sundae.


Compared to ice cream, sorbet it is naturally fat free, lactose free and has fewer calories. Because it’s generally made of fruit, it has fruit’s vitamins, minerals and antioxidants—although it does add sugar to them.

Another benefit: Even after the biggest, heaviest meal, there’s room for a few spoons of sweet sorbet. And although it‘s not science, we find that it helps to settle a stuffed tummy.


Lemon sorbet crowned with a dab of pineapple preserves. Photo courtesy


And if you’re concerned about the environment, sorbet is a better choice: No animal methane is required for its manufacture, no water tables are polluted.


You can buy the sorbet (we’re purchasing lemon, mango and raspberry for Mother’s Day). But it’s easy to make. The recipe couldn’t be simpler: one part sugar, two parts water, four parts puréed fruit. You can add a tablespoon of lemon juice, lime juice or liqueur for extra flavor, or replace some of the water with juice or tea.

After you get the hang of it, add herbs or spices. Lemon-basil and mango-chile are terrific; cilantro, mint and rosemary pair beautifully with fruits.

If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can place the mix in a flat pan in the freezer and scrap the forming crystals with a fork: That’s granita! (Check out the different types of frozen desserts in our Ice Cream Glossary.)


A fully loaded watermelon sorbet sundae,
garnished with cubed watermelon, roasted
pistachios, marshmallow sauce and fresh
apple. Here’s the recipe from the National
Watermelon Promotion Board. We’d throw in
some pomegranate arils, too.



1. MAKE simple syrup by combining the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves. If you want to infuse herbs or spices, add them at this stage (lightly crush the leaves in your hands to release the oils). Allow the mixture to cool; remove any herbs/spices† and set the pan aside.

2. PREPARE the fruit. Small berries don’t need to be cut, but large strawberries and other fruits should be diced into small cubes, place it in a blender or food processor along with the simple syrup and lemon or lime juice to taste (about 1/8 of a cup for every cup of fruit), and purée until smooth.

3. PROCESS in your ice cream maker or turn into a granita.


  • Candied lemon or orange peel or candied mint leaf (recipe)
  • Chocolate shavings
  • Edible flowers
  • Fresh herbs: a chiffonade of basil or mint, or a rosemary plume

  • Fruit or fruit salad in a tiny dice, pomegranate arils or a vertical fruit “plume” like the apple slice in the photo, a melon or pineapple spear
  • Fun candy (gummies, jelly beans)
  • Macadamia or pistachio nuts, candied or roasted
  • Preserves, chutney or homemade stewed fruit
  • Wine, port, spirit or liqueur, chilled (add to the dish before the sorbet)—flavored vodka is great here
    Or go back to basics with plain berries and/or fresh mint leaves.


    *Instead of fruit, flavors such as chocolate, coffee and hibiscus are popular.

    *You can leave inclusions such as red chili pepper flakes or pink peppercorns.


    TIP OF THE DAY: Hot Sauce Ice Cream Cocktail Shake

    Photo courtesy Jimador Tequila.


    Today’s tip concerns thinking outside the box.

    Have you ever had ice cream and hot sauce? If it sounds strange, try this cocktail from El Jimador Tequila.

    Ratchet up the heat on Cinco de Mayo with a “hot” ice cream cocktail.

    The recipe includes ice cream, coffee liqueur, tequila, mango nectar and a few dashes of hot sauce. It’s an unlikely combination of ingredients that will delight your guests.

    It uses reposado tequila, which is aged for at least six months until it mellows and achieves a light yellow hue. Aging takes the edge off and makes the tequila more compatible with ice cream.

    This “hot ice cream shake” recipe will fill a large Martini glass. Have it for dessert with your choice of garnishes: chocolate shavings or a chocolate rim.


    Ingredients Per Cocktail

  • 1-1/2 ounces El Jimador Reposado or other reposado tequila
  • 1/2 ounce Kahlua or other coffee liqueur
  • 1 ounce mango nectar
  • 3 dashes Tabasco or other hot sauce
  • 3 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup ice
  • Garnish: chocolate shavings -or-
  • Garnish: ground chocolate wafers, ground chocolate or cocoa mix for rim


    1. PREPARE optional chocolate rim: Shave chocolate OR grind chocolate wafer cookies or chocolate shavings into a coarse powder OR use cocoa mix (with sugar). Place ground chocolate in a shallow bowl. If you’ve opted for chocolate shavings, reserve to sprinkle on the finished cocktail.

    2. DIP the rim of a Martini glass in a bowl of water 1/4 inch deep. Place the rim in the chocolate powder and twist to coat.

    3. PLACE all ingredients in a blender; blend until smooth and creamy.

    4. POUR into glass and garnish with chocolate shavings.




    PRODUCT: Magnum Gold Ice Cream Bars

    Magnum, our favorite premium ice cream bars, has leaped beyond chocolate-covered ice cream on a stick It has introduced MAGNUM Gold?!, vanilla ice cream with a sea salt-caramel swirl.

    That punctuation—both a question mark and an exclamation mark—is part of the product name. Why, we haven’t a clue. We can only beseech manufacturers to keep things simple going forward. There’s no reason to confuse food writers and the consuming public.

    But the punctuation doesn’t detract from the yumminess of the new bar.

    Vanilla bean ice cream is swirled with sea salt caramel and dipped in coatings of Belgian milk chocolate and and golden-colored white chocolate. For those who want a smaller snack, MAGNUM Mini Gold?! provides petite treats.

    Kudos to Magnum for producing the 1.85-ounce Magnum Mini bars, in Almond, Classic, Double Caramel and Magnum Gold?!. They’re a perfect size for guilt-free enjoyment.


    Magnum with a sea salt caramel swirl. Photo courtesy Unilever.


    When we were first introduced to the Magnum “handheld ice cream” line two years ago, it was a NIBBLE favorite (our review): quality ice cream dipped in thick Belgian chocolate. We just wish we had access to all the flavors!

    The nationally available flavors include Double Caramel, Double Chocolate, Almond (our favorite!), White, Dark, Classic, Mint and Mochaccino.

    The ice cream bars are available in 3-count multipacks for a suggested retail price of $3.99; 6-count multipacks have a suggested retail price of $5.49, and individual bars are available for the suggested retail price of $2.99. Learn more at




    APRIL FOOL’S DAY: Upside-Down Sundae

    Upside-down sundaes. Photo courtesy Peanut
    Butter & Co.


    Looking for an April Fool’s Day recipe? Adapt this comfort food idea from Peanut Butter & Co.: An upside down sundae.

  • In a parfait or sundae dish, layer the nuts, cherries or other topping on the bottom of a glass sundae dish.
  • Follow with the sauce—chocolate, marshmallow, peanut butter, strawberry, etc.—then top with ice cream.
    Have fun with it. And if you come up with the iconic April Fool’s Day Sundae, let us know.

    Find more clever ideas with peanut butter at the Nutropolitan Museum Of Art.


    America didn’t invent a dish of ice cream with toppings:

    It was (and is) served across Europe under various names including coupe, which describes the rounded, stemmed dish in which the ice cream and sauce were served. (Coupe glacée aux marrons, vanilla ice cream with candied chestnut topping, remains one of our all-time favorites. Coupes glacées aux cerises is topped with cherry sauce. Coupe glacée meringue is topped with meringue. And so forth.)

    But the name “Sundae” was bestowed in the U.S. for a dish consisting of one or more scoops of ice cream topped with sauce or syrup (classic options included butterscotch, caramel, chocolate, marshmallow creme or strawberry). The sauce was sprinkled with chopped nuts, with whipped cream and the iconic maraschino cherry as the finishing touches.

    Today there are endless variations on the sundae, incorporating fruit, cookies, candy, cake, peanut butter sauce, sprinkles/jimmies, and ingredients too numerous to list.

    Here’s how the sundae got its name.



    TOP PICK OF THE WEEK: Talenti Gelato In Spring Colors For Easter

    It’s really easy to make this ice cream cake
    for Easter, or to simply serve three pretty
    colors of gelato or sorbetto in a bowl. Photo
    courtesy Talenti Gelato\.


    By the time dessert comes, we’ll be bursting at the seams: no room for carrot cake or coconut cake (can we get that to go?), not to mention pie or anything chocolate.

    But what’s a festive meal without dessert?

    Our solution? The beautiful spring colors of Talenti gelato:

  • The green, spring-evoking Mediterranean Mint and Sicilian Pistachio
  • The lavender loveliness of Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip
  • The lush, orange-hued Alphonso Mango Sorbet
  • The pink hues of Blood Orange Sorbet, the intensely hued Roman Raspberry and the pale pink Simply Strawberry
  • The speckled egg effect of Black Cherry and Caramel Cookie Crunch
    Read the full review of Talenti gelato to see how to turn them into a lovely “Easter Nest” dessert, that everyone will have room for…and how easy it is to make the colorful ice cream cake in the photo.




    EASTER SNACK: Bunny Pops

    Bunny Pops: Rice Krispie Treats or ice cream
    bars. Photo courtesy


    How cute are these Easter Bunny Pops?

    They’re a creative Easter snack idea: Rice Krispie Treats on a stick. Here’s the recipe, from

    You can also port the idea to ice cream bars: Paint bunny faces on ice cream bars (our favorite brand is Magnum Ice Cream Bars):

  • ADD 1 or 2 drops of food coloring into melted white chocolate chips or royal icing recipe below; stir to combine.
  • DIP the tip of a paintbrush or a wooden skewer into the pink chocolate, then paint ears, nose and mouth on bars.
  • FREEZE until firm, about 30 minutes.
    You can make a half batch of this recipe:



  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 6 tablespoons water
  • 1 drop red food color

    1. COMBINE ingredients with an electric mixer on low speed for 7-10 minutes, or until the icing loses its shine. If the icing is too stiff, add more water, a teaspoon at a time.

    2. STIR in more food color as needed. Put into piping bag with a small icing nozzle, or a plastic storage bag with the tip cut off (smallest possible opening).

    3. OUTLINE the ears, create the eyes, nose and mouth. Switch to a wider nozzle to fill in the ears.





    TIP OF THE DAY: Granola Ice Cream Sandwich

    A new take on the ice cream sandwich. Photo
    courtesy Thrive ice cream.


    Since we’re missing an hour of sleep due to Daylight Savings Time, today’s tip is short and sweet: Make granola ice cream sandwiches.

    The idea was inspired by this photo from Thrive Frozen Nutrition ice cream.. It substitutes healthier granola for the cookie portion of an ice cream sandwich.



  • Ice cream
  • Granola


    1. PLACE granola on a plate.

    2. REMOVE ice cream from container and cut into half-inch slices (or thicker).

    3. DIP both sides of ice cream slices into granola. Wrap in plastic wrap or wax paper and freeze.


  • Substitute another dry cereal for the granola.
  • Add or substitute chopped nuts.
  • Add dried berries or other dried fruit.
  • Add mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms or other candies.



    RECIPE IDEA: Breakfast Ice Cream, Deconstructed Food

    We love deconstructed food (if you’re not familiar with the concept, scroll down). It’s done for artistry and for fun, but the result must taste as good or better than the original.

    Ample Hills Creamery, one of the most creative and beloved artisan ice cream shops in New york (Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, to be exact), has deconstructed breakfast cereal.

    Instead of a bowl of cereal with milk and sugar, popular cereal flavors are infused into the milk that is churned into ice cream, with additional cereal mixed in.

    The flavor, called Breakfast Trash, is made by steeping Cap’n Crunch, Corn Pops and Frosted Flakes into the ice cream’s milk base. The inclusions are Fruit Loops.


    Ice cream for breakfast: a deconstructed bowl of cereal. Photo courtesy Ample Hills Creamery..


    It’s a fan favorite, says proprietor Brian Smith.

    While we might quibble with the name (calling beloved cereals “trash” is not really cool), we like the concept as breakfast dessert—or even the entire breakfast, if you’re an ice-creamaholic.

    Have an ice cream machine? Try it at home. Use the recipe for vanilla ice cream as a pattern.


    Do you know the different types of ice cream? Check our our Ice Cream Glossary.


    Deconstructed Buffalo wings. Photo by Carlos
    Andrés Varela Photography.



    A concept that originated with creative chefs, “deconstructed” food takes the individual components of a classic recipe, separates and rearranges them. It was originally developed as an expression of the chef’s artistry and technique. The deconstructed dish can be unrecognizable from the original recipe, but when consumed it delivers the same flavor sensation as the original.

    New York City caterer Canard Inc. deconstructed Buffalo wings (see photo): Chicken meatballs made with hot sauce are fried, speared with celery and served on Chinese soup spoons, garnished with a dollop of Roquefort dip. There are no chicken bones and no mess, but you’re getting a Buffalo wing experience.

    Try deconstructing an American classic for a snack today:
    Take plain or toasted cubes of bread and serve them with a fondue fork and two dipping sauces: peanut butter and jelly. It’s a deconstructed peanut butter sandwich!

    If you’re serious about deconstructing the glass of milk, churn up some vanilla ice cream without the sugar or the vanilla.

    Here are some deconstructed recipes in THE NIBBLE’s collection:

  • Deconstructed Bellini, Bloody Mary, Kir Royale & Pina Colada
  • Deconstructed Buffalo Wings
  • Deconstructed Margarita
  • Deconstructed Spring Roll


    PRODUCT: Liz Lemon Frozen Greek Yogurt

    “30 Rock” is now television history. The award-winning sitcom was created by Tina Fey, who also starred as Liz Lemon, the head writer of an NBC sketch comedy show.* The final new episode ran last night, capping seven years of memorable entertainment and a record 22 Emmy nominations in 2009. The numerous wins include three for Outstanding Comedy Series.

    Fans can watch the reruns with a pint of Liz Lemon frozen yogurt, the latest flavor from Ben & Jerry’s. A refreshing Greek frozen yogurt in lemon with a blueberry lavender swirl, the flavor promises to be as sweet and tart as Liz Lemon herself.

    Liz Lemon, the flavor, is now launching in Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops and pints will hit grocers’ freezer cases by the end of the month.

    In syndication and in the freezer, Liz Lemon lives on.


    Liz Lemon herself would eat this from the pint with a spoon. Photo courtesy Ben & Jerry’s.


    Ben & Jerry’s launched their Greek frozen yogurt line a year ago. It’s a favorite of everyone at THE NIBBLE. Here’s our original review.

    *The show was loosely based on Fey’s experiences as head writer for Saturday Night Live.



    FOOD HOLIDAY: Elvis Presley’s Birthday Sundae

    Happy birthday, Elvis!

    While Elvis Presley is not exactly known for being a foodie, we, along with millions of fans worldwide, celebrate his birthday with a few hours of Elvis tunes and his favorite snack food: a fried sandwich filled with peanut butter, sliced bananas and bacon. Here’s the “Elvis Sandwich” recipe.

    This year, we’re adding something to the menu courtesy of chef Anthony Zamora of Atrio restaurant, located in the soaring 15-story atrium lobby of the Conrad Hotel in New York City.

    While Chef Zamora makes peanut gelato from scratch, you can use peanut or vanilla ice cream (the difference between ice cream and gelato).

    Chef Zamora garnishes the sundae with caramelized bananas, peanut brittle, Marshmallow fluff and Nutella. We substituted caramelized (candied) bacon for the Fluff and the Nutella. There’s no reason why you can’t have it all


    Ingredients Per Sundae

  • 2 scoops peanut or vanilla ice cream/gelato
  • 2 teaspoons caramelized bananas
  • 1 teaspoon Nutella
  • 1 teaspoon peanut brittle, crushed
  • 2 ounces Marshmallow Fluff

    Salted peanut gelato. Photo courtesy Conrad Hotel | New York City.

  • Optional garnish: caramelized (candied) bacon (recipe)


    1. SPOON caramelized bananas on the bottom of a sundae glass; then scoop peanut gelato on top of bananas.

    2. SWIRL Nutella over the gelato; then sprinkle with crushed peanut brittle.

    3. PLACE Marshmallow Fluff in pastry bag and pipe in a swirl motion over the top of the sundae.

    4. BROWN marshmallow with a kitchen torch and serve immediately.

    5. GARNISH with caramelized bacon.


  • Bake and frost banana cupcakes; top with crumbled peanut brittle.
  • Check out this portrait of Elvis made with slices of toast!
  • Download some or all of Elvis’s 30 Number 1 Hits.


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