Saturday, December 31, 2011

SpiceDish Saturday {December}: Christmas Ice Cream

I have an apology to EB of SpiceDish (as well as our fabulous readers!). EB has been so great about getting us new SpiceDish Saturday recipes and I completely missed the boat on this one, waiting until the last Saturday (and last day) of December to post her gorgeous recipe...which she aptly titles "Christmas Ice Cream." December always gets me -- I just fall so behind! In my defense, I kind of celebrate the holiday from Christmas to New Year's so I think it will still work as a great New Year's Eve treat. AND this is a "to file" for next year as well -- you can practice and practice for another 360 or so days now to have it perfectly mastered for next Christmas. 

Oh, and speaking of Christmas, wondering what to do with that Christmas check you got from Grandma? Head over to SpiceDish's Etsy shop, SpiceDish Vintage and pick up a new dish for your daily bowl of ice cream...! It was just recently that I discovered that our dear friend EB also keeps herself busy with a shop of vintage treasures!

Oh fruitcake, the much maligned dessert of the Christmas season. It's become cliché to hate on this lowly confection. When given as a gift, a single bite may be washed down with real star of the season-- egg nog. Rich, delicious, adored by legions of cream swilling fans. How can the fruitcake compete? It can't. Poor cake. In the spirit of “If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!” I've decided to comine these flavors into what can best be simply called “Christmas.” Yes, “Christmas” flavor ice cream. It combines all the flavors of fruit cake and egg nog and tastes, of Christmas. 


1 cup whole milk 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
5 large egg yolks 
3/4 cup sugar 
2 cups chilled heavy cream 
2 tablespoons dark rum 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1/4 tsp nutmeg 
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 cloves (whole)
1 pkg crystallized (candied) ginger
1 pkg candied fruits for fruitcake

Bring milk, cloves, several pieces of ginger (to your taste),  and salt to a boil in a  saucepan over medium heat. Turn to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Let steep for 1 hour at room temp.

Remove ginger and cloves. Rewarm the mixture. In a large bowl, whisk together yolks and sugar.  Gradually add about 1/4 cup of the hot milk, whisking constantly. Slowly add yolks and milk to the saucepan whisking constantly. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a silicone spatula, until mixture lightly, coats back of spatula. Place a mesh strainer over a clean bowl and pour mixture through. Add cream, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir until thoroughly combined. Cover and chill completely.  Once chilled, freeze in ice cream maker. 5 minutes before complete add the rum, a few tbs of the candied fruit pieces and a piece or two of chopped up ginger. (These should be added to taste, more ginger=spicier, more fruits=more to chew on).

The rum will keep the custard from freezing completely in the mixer so you will need to transfer it to an freezer safe container and let it harden for at least 4 hours. 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Easy Paper Ice Cream Cone Ornaments

How did it become December 13 already? ugh...well if you are like me with lots of free time on your hands these days (chuckle chuckle) you're probably saying when does she expect me to make my own ornaments. Well these are so super cute and super easy. How About Orange shows us how to make Easy Paper Ice Cream Cone Ornaments with only tissue paper and a paper grocery bag. WOW! Have fun and happy decorating!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

SpiceDish Saturday {November}: Salt & Pepper Ice Cream

After a break, the fabulous EB of SpiceDish returns for SpiceDish Saturdays. We are thrilled to have her back. What a treat have EB share some of her fabulously creative ice cream recipes on our blog. 

I don't know if we ever mentioned that Jessie of CakeSpy introduced us (virtually) to SpiceDish when we were first starting the blog -- and we became fast friends. A couple of weeks ago, we met Jessie in Boston while she was on her book tour. SpiceDish met Jessie in San Francisco at the end of October. So, if life is going according to plan, the next meet up should be between us gals at Scoopalicious and the ab fab SpiceDish herself. It seems only natural. We can't wait...for whenever that is!

Until then, we'll take SpiceDish Saturdays. Without further ado, here's SpiceDish!

This recipe may be a little strange to some of you, but it makes perfect sense to me. I had the luck to meet Fabrizia Lanza the olive oil expert a few nights ago at a talk she gave at 18 Reasons here in San Francisco. During her talk, Fabrizia treated us to vanilla ice cream drizzled with a fine extra-virgin olive oil. The fruity/sweet combination really worked! My mind immediately went to salty/sweet and I thought that a few bits of sea salt would really have put the treat over the top. On my walk home I decided that one more element would make it unexpected and perfect: pepper. Peppercorn ice cream actually. I went home, infused cream with rainbow peppercorns, drizzled the final product with a McEvoy Ranch olive oil, sprinkled some pink sea salt for crunch and color and voila! Delicious.

Salt & Pepper Ice Cream

1 ½  cups half & half
1/3 cups sugar
1 ½   tbs mixed color peppercorns- cracked
Pinch of sea salt
3 egg yolks
High quality extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling)
Pinch of pink sea salt (for topping)

Warm the half & half, sugar, pepper and salt in a medium saucepan. Turn off the heat and cover. Let sit for an hour. Set a strainer on top of a large bowl then re-warm the mixture. Whisk egg yolks in another medium sized bowl. Add a few tbs of the warmed mixture to the yolks and whisk. Continue until all of the mixture has been whisked into the eggs then add mixture back into saucepan on a low heat. Stir constantly, scraping the bottom of pan until the mixture thickens and coats your spoon. Pour through the strainer into bowl then cool over an ice bath.  Refrigerate until completely cooled then freeze in ice cream maker.

Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with pink sea salt just before serving.

Thanks SpiceDish! Can't wait to try this one!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Perfectly simple Pillsbury Pumpkin Ice Cream Sandwiches

Start with Pillsbury Perfectly Pumpkin boxed cookie dough.

Just add an egg and butter.

Make teaspoon scoops.

And voila...awesome pumpkin cookies! Just the right amount of pumpkin and spice flavor and for added sweetness I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top before baking.

Wait we're not finished yet....scoop your favorite ice cream in between two cookies. We chose oreo cookie to get some chocolate in there and then simple vanilla bean.

Roll sides in festive sprinkles or sugar

And you get a perfectly simple and festive and yummy ice cream sandwich!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Scoopalicious catches CakeSpy on her "Tour de Sweet"

Me and Bethany at CakeSpy's book signing in Boston
What a fun night to finally get to meet Jessie O of CakeSpy after all these blogging years on her Tour de Sweet! Wow, It feels like eons ago that we started our little ice cream blog and at the same time we found a friend and blogger online who not only is an amazing artist but a baker and blogger too. And on top of all that goodness she has recently published her own awesome book, CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life. And that was what led us to finally get to meet. We were super excited that her Tour de Sweet made its way to Boston and stopped at Sweet (how appropriate!) so we immediately saved the date and got our books ready to be signed. So fun to finally meet and so fun to see all her hard work come together in this fabulous book. Congrats Jessie!

And if you missed our interview post with CakeSpy you can  check it out here.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

I was super excited to see these ice cream cone cupcakes by Life's a Cupcake at one of the Halloween parties I went to this past weekend. It of course was the first thing I noticed amongst all the treats and the first thing every kid wanted. What's better than cupcake that looks like ice cream! After giving one to my 6 year old and 2 year old I realized this really is a great idea. The cone takes the mess out of cupcakes and is still fun for the kids to eat. Oh and the cute little chocolate pumpkin was the icing on the cake!

I have to give props to Jen from Life's a Cupcake. She is a friend of a friend who has two little ones and recently decided to turn her love for baking into a fun little local business. She is not only a great baker but super creative and adds fun detail and thought into all her creations. She made the Pumpkin cupcakes you can see in the background as well as awesome Frankenstein chocolate cupcakes. If you happen to live in Southern MA or northern RI definitely check her out. Thanks Jen for the fun cupcakes. Can't wait for Tarah to have another party so I can do some more taste testing!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My own private tasting

Lucky me got a great surprise from my co-blogger Bethany, who is my ice cream making idol btw. I unfortunately couldn't make it to her annual ice cream party this summer so she so kindly saved me cute little tastings. Only two in and yum! The even more fun part is that she can't quite remember all the flavors so it's a guessing game too!

Monday, October 24, 2011

CakeSpy's Book: We have a winner!

We are happy to announce that the winner of the book CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life has been chosen. Congrats to a Big Mouthful! Hope you enjoy the recipes and we can't wait to hear what you think of the book!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life

Cuppied Golden Girls!
I "met" Jessie (aka CakeSpy) four years ago on Etsy. I loved her whimsical drawings and her reasonable prices. In fact, I commissioned an AMAZING Cuppie drawing from her for my Golden Girls loving best friend a few years ago, which you can see at right. Jessie does not miss a detail. Look at Blanche's wrapper...

Over the years she has shared amazing recipes, introduced me to sinfully decadant cakes, forged the friendship of Scoopalicious and Spice Dish (which in turn made way for Spice Dish Saturdays), and kept us utterly inspired along the way.

When my copy of CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life arrived in the mail, I was thrilled. The book is beautiful. It's 100% CakeSpy. And having now followed the CakeSpy chronicles from very early on, I feel lucky to be one of those who can say "I knew her when..." Haha! Seriously though, having watched Jessie develop into this success in so many ways has been such a joy, but it was the publication of a book -- a book! -- that really took the cake (yes, of course pun intended!). We at Scoopalicious are so proud of you Jessie -- so well deserved.

There are so many treats I wanted to try (oh if the time allowed for them all!) but I was especially tickled by all the ice cream recipes included. Pudding using ice cream instead of milk?! Oh. My. God. Wow. Sounds heavenly. And. It. Was.

Ice Cream Pudding Pie as attempted by Scoopalicious
I brought the pie ("Ice Cream Pudding Pie," as it is so aptly named) to a dinner I was attending. It was super easy to make and ended up being a hit. The rich chocolate filling (ice cream pudding) was offset by the airiness of the Cool Whip. With the Oreo crust, it kind of reminded me of the chocolate mousse pie they served in the Tufts Dining Hall that I have been trying in vain to either buy or make my own version. Not exactly the same, but it might be good enough to fill the void. My pie isn't as beautiful as the one photographed in Jessie's book, but 1. She had a professional photographer. I had an iPhone. 2. She probably didn't drop the pie on the floor before she brought it to dinner guests. I did. (It just became messier looking. The cover was on so the five-second rule didn't even come up.)

As I was basking in the goodness of the book, something even more magical happened. Jessie's publisher got in touch with me and asked if we wanted to be part of CakeSpy's Virtual Tour de Sweet. I immediately agreed, and decided our leg of the tour would be part interview, part giveaway, part review and total awesomeness!

The best part is, this Virtual Tour de Sweet is eleven days long. You can visit these other fabulous blogs for more reviews and goodies tied in with CakeSpy's new book. Not only are we honored to be on CakeSpy's tour, but to be headlining with these bloggers is the cherry on top.

October 10—Cupcake Project
October 11—Bake It in a Cake!
October 13—Dessert First
October 14—Cookie Madness
October 15—Bake and Destroy
October 16—Piece of Cake
October 17—Not Martha
October 18—Scoopalicious
October 20—Blondie and Brownie

Additionally, you can meet CakeSpy at her live Tour de Sweet book tour. Check out the link for the dates she'll be in a city near you.

Now without further delay, here's our fabulous interview with Jessie "CakeSpy" Oleseon.

Getting Started

You went to art school. I went to art school. Let's talk art. Where did you go to school and what specifically did you study?

CakeSpy: I went to Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, where Law & Order was constantly being filmed on campus. I began as a Graphic Design major, but a course instructor urged me to switch to illustration very early on. It was a good idea.

Scoopalicious: Did you leave school with a life plan of world famous sweet blog, sweet store, sweet book, sweet life? How did you get where you are today? 

CakeSpy: Nope. I left school early--I believe the technical term would be "dropout". My goal was simply to get a job that didn't suck, but what is an art school dropout qualified to do, exactly? Well. I started out working at a rubber stamp store, then graduated to working at a textile company, then was a sort of artistic personal assistant for a while, then I finally landed at a greeting card company, and stuck with the gift and greeting card industry until I started my own business. 

The Blog

How and when did the blog start? 

CakeSpy: It started in the summer of 2007, as a way to unite my three greatest loves: writing, illustration, and baked goods.

Scoopalicious: Why did you start writing a blog? 

CakeSpy: I wanted a project that would unite the aforementioned loves, but I didn't know what. I figured I'd start a blog while I figured it out. I never thought the blog would be the project, but it has been!

Scoopalicious: How did it happen that your blog wasn't just another blog getting lost in the blogosphere? Do you think your readers come for the art? The recipes? The reviews? The interviews? Or a combo of all of the above? 

CakeSpy: I think it's very much a combo. I am not fishing for compliments when I say that quite honestly, there are probably people who can respectively write, illustrate, or bake much better than me. But there are few people who can do all three, and for me, it seems to be what sets me apart. That is to say -- I'm a triple threat!

Your Art Mom

Your (also incredibly talented) mom has a great interview about the technical part of your art, so I am not going to be redundant and I'll have our readers read that interview there. So, I guess this section should be renamed "Your Mom" since now my only art question is about your mom. Your mom is an illustrator and also quite the baker, I've heard. Would you say she has been the greatest inspiration in your career? 

CakeSpy: I think that she's been the greatest catalyst for my career, in that she raised me to love baked goods and with both parents being artistic I was not necessarily urged to do artwork, but it was more just a part of growing up--I never knew a household without paints and crayons at my disposal. However, the writing part I will credit to my 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Hillman (who is my friend on Facebook, btw), who really encouraged me to develop my writing and who introduced me to some of my favorite storytellers like Roald Dahl.

Cuppie and Friends

Let's talk Cuppie. When was he born? 

CakeSpy: Cuppie was born as the result of the tiniest bit of leftover cake batter being baked into one single cupcake. He (yes, it is a he, though I realize there are inconsistencies in my artwork) has always had a chip on his shoulder about not being his own complete cake--I think that's where the snarkiness comes from.

Scoopalicious: The first time you drew Cuppie, did you imagine his future in fame and stardom? 

CakeSpy: I believe the first time I drew this cupcake was probably in the second grade or at the time, I was probably more focused on wanting cake than on wanting fame and fortune.

Scoopalicious: What is your favorite Cuppie drawing? 

CakeSpy: I love the image called "the talk" which is on a card and for sale on my website as a print, which is a three panel cartoon about a cupcake realizing where it came from.

"The Talk"
Scoopalicious: O.M.G. "The Talk" is awesome. So creative. Are you surrounded by (and when I say surrounded by, I mean, eating) cupcakes and other sweets while doing your artwork? 

CakeSpy: All too often, yes. This is a good and a bad thing. It's good because, well, cake rules. It's bad because buttery hands make for smudges and fingerprints on artwork. It's my constant struggle.

The Book

You. Published. A. Book. How exciting! Tell us a little bit about the process of this book coming together. 

CakeSpy: Really, it's the realization of many years' work on the blog, adapting many of my favorite recipes into a curated collection, surrounded by my clever illustrations, color-saturated photos, and of course my witty repartee.

Scoopalicious: The book filled with recipes akin to the adventures of a kid in a candy shop. How do you come up with these magical recipes? 

CakeSpy: I love puns and word play, so a lot of them come to me in that way. Many of them will also be inspired by treats I love simply taken to the next level--like, "how can I make this even more fun?"

Scoopalicious: How did you decide which recipes from the blog belonged in the book? 

Author's Pick:
Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict
CakeSpy: I had a huge list of all of the ones I thought should be in the book, and my very helpful editor Susan Roxborough helped me weed the list to a manageable amount.

Scoopalicious: What's your favorite recipe in the book? 

CakeSpy: Cadbury Creme Eggs Benedict.

Ice Cream

We love ice cream. Duh. What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Ice cream brand? 

CakeSpy: My favorite ice cream is the chocolate-vanilla soft serve swirl that I grew up eating by the Jersey shore (boardwalk food!). When it comes to visiting an ice cream shop or buying a pint or gallon, I generally go with vanilla--I love adding toppings to it. However, I once had the most lovely ice cream experience at a place in Connecticut called Salem Valley Ice Cream. I believe it was an apple spice ice cream, special for the fall, and it still makes me smile to think of this ice cream.

Scoopalicious: What's your favorite ice cream recipe in the book? 

CakeSpy: Red Velvet Cake Shake.

Scoopalicious: That's next on my list to try. Stay tuned for that upcoming post...Anyway, I want to make a CakeSpy inspired ice cream. What would be an ice cream flavor only CakeSpy herself would dream up? 

CakeSpy: Whenever I go to Momofuku Milk Bar I think they've already done the types of ice cream flavors I would come up with. Cereal milk infused ice cream? Red vine soft serve? Be still my beating heart. Some ideas that have occurred to me: Hummingbird Cake ice cream, Pop-tart ice cream, Pain Au Chocolat ice cream, Coconut Cream Pie ice cream...

Scoopalicious: Noted and filed. Keep a look out in the future.

Advice for Our Readers

Sometimes -- er, um, always -- I think of you as Superwoman. The baking and testing, the blog, the art, the shop, the book...and you still manage to be great at replying to each and every email. How do you do it? Do you sleep? Do you ever see your husband? 

CakeSpy: I won't lie: although this is the funnest job I've ever had, it's also the most demanding--and time consuming, because it's not just a job, it's more like a lifestyle. It's almost like I made myself into a sort of superhero alter ego. On my days off, I eat brussels sprouts.

Scoopalicious: Any advice on coming up with new and creative recipes? 

CakeSpy: Start with a recipe or elements of recipes that you trust, so that you have good building blocks. That is to say--learn the rules before you break them.

Scoopalicious: Anything else to add? 

CakeSpy: Don't be scared to eat cake. So many people swear off of dessert--I think it's a dangerous idea. Much better to let yourself have a joy-filled dessert experience than to deny yourself and then stuff your face later because you're feeling deprived. I feel like people do that way too often.

Scoopalicious: Thank you to our favorite Spy! We you and your fabulously decadent treats and your adorable drawings!

Dear readers, I encourage you to buy the book for your sweet-loving self and all your sweet-loving friends and family. You won't be disappointed and even if you never make a recipe from the book, you can drool over the pictures and be magically transported to a land of cupcakes and unicorns. You can buy the book at Amazon, or spend a few extra bucks and get a signed copy of the book on CakeSpy's site. (Or visit this link for more resellers.)

And you can win. We are giving away a copy of the book as well. To enter, simply tell us your ideal Cuppie scene. Is it Cuppie starring in a favorite TV show? Maybe Cuppie visiting your favorite city? Perhaps it's Cuppie in a more daring role -- engaging in battle with a hated food? Leave us a comment by Friday, October 21, 2011 at 11:59 PM PST for a chance to be a winner. Winner will be chosen at random. You MUST include your email address. You can either leave it in your comment or email us at Unfortunately, we have learned from past experience that even though Blogger asks for your email address in the form, there is no way for me to access it. If we do not have your address, we unfortunately cannot award you the prize.

All images © Jessie Oleson and may not be used without her permission.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Recipe: Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

I mentioned on Facebook that I may have found the ultimate pumpkin ice cream recipe but I wouldn't know until I froze it. I finally froze it.'s amazing!

Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream

  • 1 can minus 2 tablespoons canned pumpkin (you could use the whole can, and I am sure it would be fine. See below as to why I didn't.)
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • a dash of ground cloves 

Mix all ingredients and chill. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and churn according to your machine's instructions.

Here are my thoughts on this ice cream. It's fantastic. My friend and I tried it tonight and we both agreed. It tastes like a perfect frozen pumpkin pie.

My complaints? For some reason a ton of this ice cream stuck to the edges of the canister as it froze and so I had about 1/8 inch of hard frozen base against my canister that didn't get any air mixed in. In fact, the ice cream as a whole was really dense, so with the loss of the ice cream along the edge of the canister, and the denseness of the ice cream, I only got about two good cups.

Secondly, the after the ice cream was churned, I put it in the freezer to ripen. When I took it out of the freezer, it was rock hard. Once I let it soften for about ten minutes, the ice cream was perfect scooping temperature, and ended up being perfect on our palettes. Problem is, I didn't really want to wait ten minutes for my ice cream. I wanted it when I wanted it. But alas, this wait was a small price to pay for the ice cream we were able to savor

As you see, I garnished the ice cream with little star cookies. These cookies -- actually, graham crackers -- are the reason I am short two tablespoons of pumpkin from the can. I wanted to make graham crackers for Violet. I came across Stef from Cupcake Project's recipe for Pumpkin Graham Crackers. Yum! (To be honest though, I couldn't really taste the pumpkin and they really tasted like gingerbread cookies to me, but either way, I really like them!) Problem was, what to do with one can minus two tablespoons of pumpkin. I could have put it in the fridge for another day, but last time I did that, I forgot about it and it got to old to use -- and with the price I paid for a can of pumpkin (I am not sure why it was so high at my grocery store, seeing as there wasn't a shortage this year), I didn't want to waste it. Soooooo, I used it for the recipe that I have been dying to experiment -- pumpkin ice cream made with the simple combo of sweetened condensed milk.

And what a successful experiment it was!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Review: Breyers, Klondike, Reeses, and Popsicle Treats

I have an apology. I love getting samples. I love sharing samples with friends. I then have a bad habit of taking a while to actually write about the samples.

It's not that I don't want to. I do. Here's the thing. This blog, though it's a passion of mine and Tina's, isn't a paid gig. While we love samples, they don't put supper on the table -- well, once in a while we like to consider ice cream our supper, but it can't be all the time! So long story short, it's a hobby for us, and sometimes (all too often) it gets put on the back burner and then sometimes a post gets misplaced until I find the photos on the camera. So Breyers, Klondike, Popsicle and Reese’s, thanks for the treats and sorry for the delay in this post.

A few months ago, the rep for Breyers, Klondike, Popsicle and Reese’s sent us some lovely treats. We broke open the treats during one of our monthly playdates with our daughter's friend Rebecca and her parents.

My favorites were the Breyers Blasts. As Breyers describes the line, the ice creams feature "delicious mix-ins from America’s best-loved candy and cookie brands blasted into every bite." I love love love Oreo ice cream. I usually get it in vanilla or cake base, but I actually really liked the new twist on an old treat with a chocolate base. So my favorite of the bunch was the Oreo Ice Cream.

Husband was a huge fan of the Whoppers Ice Cream. I don't think he was thrilled when the rest of us dipped into the carton -- less for him! As he tasted the first bite he said "It's like Whopper Ice Cream and then there are actual Whoppers in it." Deep, husband, very deep thoughts. But it was. It was a perfect marriage of a Whopper (or malted milk) base dotted with actual Whoppers.

Fifteen month old Rebecca also gave the Whopper's Ice Cream glowing reviews. As her mom said, "Rebecca, who only likes strawberry [ice cream] now officially likes malted milk ball [ice cream]...sans milk balls." So she liked the flavor, just not the chunks. Chunks might be a bit much for a toddler. Either way, Rebecca, who is most definitely a picky eater, chose to include Whopper Ice Cream into her discerning list of foods she will eat. Husband will be hiding that ice cream next time Rebecca comes to visit.

While I wasn't a huge fan of the What the Fudge? Brownie Sandwich, the rest of the gang was. "It's like soft cookies, except they're soft when frozen. It's magic!" "The right combination of gooey and gooey." "Double gooey -- so good!" "Gooey goodness." "Like gooey brownies right out of the oven except their cold." 'Nuff said.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups fantastic. Ice Cream is fantastic. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups + Ice Cream = Super Fantastic. Quote of the evening: "Where's mine?!...oooooooooh!"

The Jolly Rancher Awesome Twosome Popsicles weren't shared that night because I think we reached our limit on treats! But, I tried those on my own. They brought back fond memories of fifth grade, where Jolly Ranchers were the candy of choice that year. I'm not a huge popsicle eater (I prefer ice cream when I go into the freezer for a frozen treat) but these popsicles made me happy in taste and in memories!

The samples I got in the mail didn't disappoint and I certainly felt like hostess of the year as I brought the treats to the table! Thanks Breyers, Klondike, Popsicle and Reese’s!

P.S. This isn't really relevant to this post, but as I was gathering the links for this post, I saw this little thumbnail of a sundae that looked super yummy. The I followed the link and there were lots of little thumbnails of sundaes that look super yummy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Interview with Jeni of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams

When my friend Pam lived in Ohio, I told her about Denise's Ice Cream (now closed), that had moved from Somerville, MA to Columbus, Ohio. I had loved Denise's and was so sad when they left us to move "west". When I told Pam about it, she said she had never been because she lived on the same block as Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams. I'd never heard of it, but clearly she thought it trumped even "thinking" about other Columbus ice cream, so it was something I had to look into.

Years later, Pam now lives in New England, and though I have never had the opportunity to visit a Jeni's, I have made a few of her fabulous recipes from her new book, and I too am now a fan, and Tina and I were so honored to have Jeni herself grant us an interview.

In the next week or so I head to visit Pam and her new(ish) baby girl, so in honor of that occasion and the person who first told me about Jeni's, here's the wonderful interview we conducted over email. And do read all the way through -- not only is the interview great, but she has so graciously supplied us with one of their recipes. Thanks Jeni! (Oh, and thanks Pam, for making the "introduction"!)

Getting Started...

Scoopalicious: Before you started making your own ice cream, what was your go to ice cream?

Jeni: Haagen-Dazs.

Scoopalicious: How did you make the leap from home churner to selling your ice cream?

Jeni: In the mid ‘90s I was experimenting for a few months at home—always with the intention to start a business, but for a party one evening I blended cayenne essential oil with store-bought milk chocolate ice cream and my guests went crazy—“It’s hot! It’s cold!” That flavor, made today of course with our ice cream base, is Queen City Cayenne, a nod to Cincinnati and it’s spicy chili (made with a touch of chocolate and pepper).

Scoopalicious: What equipment did you need to buy to make the leap?

Jeni: A really awesome stainless steel ice cream machine from Italy, some ice cream cabinets, and freezers.

Scoopalicious: Did you still make your ice creams out of your home or then move to a commercial space?

Jeni: When I opened Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 2002 in the North Market, a public market city market that’s a ready-made, entry level commercial space, I made and sold everything there pretty much by myself. Great time, very long days.

Design and Ice Cream (our two favorite things!)

Scoopalicious: Your book is gorgeous. We read you went to art school—did you design it?

Jeni: Thank you very much. I studied art for a bit at the Ohio State University but dropped out. I would say that I art directed the book. I had a pretty well-formed idea of what I wanted it to look like and I worked with our in-house designer at the time, Casey Carmell, freelance photographer Stacy Newgent, and our publisher, Artisan Books, to pull it off. We did a lot of sample layouts here in our office, and the end papers. Artisan has an awesome design team, so we worked with them closely. I also styled the photos in the book on our office’s conference table with Stacy Newgent.

The flavors...

Scoopalicious: How did you decide which recipes to put into your book?

Jeni: Most are just my favorites from over the years. You’ll notice that fall and winter have the most flavors; it’s because those are my favorite flavor seasons.

Scoopalicious: Your flavors are not run-of -the-mill. Do you find kids to be turned off by the flavors? Are there any flavors that kids really love?

Jeni: Kids are a lot more open-minded than people give them credit for. People assume kids won’t like certain flavors all the time. It’s ice cream. Kids like it. I never treat kids as kids. I treat them as thinkers. Allow them to explore the same way grown-ups do. Many kids love bitterness—many people don’t realize that—but they do. They love stout, coffee, grapefruit, and, like grown-ups they like anything with bright colors or chocolate.

Scoopalicious: Do you create all the flavors yourself or do you have help?

Jeni: I create them all, but I’m not opposed to anyone’s ideas. Of course, I have a kick-ass team who helps bring it all to life. We tweak and taste together, but we are very secretive during the process so there are only about 7 people working on new collections at any given time. One artist, two ice cream makers, one writer, one project director, and myself. The first batches start with me in my test kitchen, which is upstairs from my office. Then I work with my other ice cream makers and we taste together. When it’s almost perfect, we invite the rest of the team in for tasting. Then the process of design begins and eventually we will train the kitchen team to make the flavors and our shop keepers how to serve. We operate under a very strict schedule and deadlines or we won’t make the three month flavor drops. We don’t think everything has to be perfect or appeal to everyone. We see every collection as temporary, experimental. When it’s gone—poof! It’s gone, probably forever unless I can’t live without it.

Scoopalicious: How often do you introduce new flavors?

Jeni: We release six new flavors every three months. Our next collection will be available Nov. 2011 through Jan. 2012, followed by a collection Feb-April, May-July, and Aug.-Oct.

Scoopalicious: How often do you rotate flavors?

Jeni: See collections answer above. Signature Flavors are around all year, but something isn’t selling or if I decide it’s time to go, it’s time to go.

Scoopalicious: Are all your signature flavors constants on the menu in your shops?

Jeni: Every single day. We never run out. Which isn’t exactly easy, but we are committed to making sure those flavors are always available to anyone who walks into a shop and orders online.

Scoopalicious: How do you decide which are your "signature" flavors?

Jeni: Whatever is the most crave-able has made the list. Some have always been Signature (Salty Caramel), others made the list through demand (Brambleberry Crisp, which initially was introduced as a seasonal flavor).

Scoopalicious: Do you ever take flavor suggestions from your customers?

Jeni: My inbox is loaded with them. But the truth is I have a backlog of flavor ideas that will last years. I’ve got to get through all those first. That’s why I wrote the book and shared the recipe for a great base: so anyone can make the ice cream of their dreams.

Scoopalicious: What is your favorite flavor among your creations?

Jeni: Meyer Lemon Yogurt. I never get sick of it, probably because it’s so uncomplicated.

The "Business of Ice Cream"...

Scoopalicious: What part of Jeni's are you involved in on a day to day?

Jeni: Almost every part. Once I develop new flavor collection, I work with our creative team to do photography, artwork, and copy. Then we train the kitchen and our shop ambassadors how to make it and talk about it. And then the process repeats.

What I don’t do is worry about something like how to get Ugandan vanilla beans through customs/homeland security, or manage ice cream distribution, our 401k program, etc. That’s what we hired CEO, John Lowe who does that stuff and so much more.

Scoopalicious: Is your current role at Jeni's what you want to be doing? I mean, are you now wrapped up in the business when you'd rather still be doing the creative, etc?

Jeni: I’m right where I want to be.

Scoopalicious: How many people work in your kitchen helping with the creations and the production?

Jeni: About 40.

Advice from a Pro...

Scoopalicious: How do you keep from eating all of your ice cream all the time?!

Jeni: I eat ice cream all the time. I do not try to prevent it. I love it very much.

Scoopalicious: Any ice cream-making advice for our readers?

Jeni: All you need is the perfect base. Mine from the book is scoopable, and super creamy even on home machines. Then you can adapt the recipes in the book to make any flavor you can dream up.

Looking forward...

Scoopalicious: Do you have plans to expand retail stores outside of Ohio (like, um, Boston and Providence!)?

Jeni: Hell, yes. Can’t wait! But, we are not in a hurry to open another shop and we’re definitely not going to franchise. We own all 10 of our shops and manage them.

Scoopalicious: We cannot wait for you to come our way! Your 10th anniversary is coming up at the end of the year. Any big plans to celebrate?

Jeni: No plans yet, but we will have to think of something! I’m thinking we ought to throw a concert. Can you hook us up with Foreigner, the Civil Wars, Glen Campbell, Van Halen, what’s left of Queen, and Burt Reynolds to emcee?

Scoopalicious: Seriously, wish we had the connections so maybe we could bargain some free ice cream out of the hook up!

In case we forgot to ask...

Scoopalicious: Anything we haven't covered that you want to add?

Jeni: Not that I can think of! Thanks for the interview!

Thank you, Jeni! And thanks for the recipe! By the way I love the black raspberry part. My parents have tons of black raspberries growing on their property, but while you find many recipes for raspberries or blackberries, there are relatively few for the sweet black gems of a black raspberry -- which are truly my favorite.

Oh, and one other thing I forgot to mention...the forum on Jeni's site is AWESOME. It's full of great advice for people using her book. What a great ancillary to the book -- I wish more cookbooks came with something like it! Check it out if you have any questions or concerns with the recipes in the book!

Sweet Corn & Black Raspberry Ice Cream

A sublime summer match—initial hits of milky sweet corn give way to the floral nose of sweet black raspberry.

Ohio sweet corn is milky-tasting and shockingly sweet. I like to eat it raw straight off the truck. We add sea salt and fresh cream and milk to make a delightful peak-harvest ice cream, then swirl it with black raspberry sauce. This is the taste of summertime in Ohio, especially in Columbus, where this flavor has had a loyal following since I first made it over ten years ago.

Sweet corn ice cream is delicious on its own. My initial reason for adding black raspberries was visual, but black raspberries offer a perfect sweet-tart perfume to the flavor (complementary colors often make complementary flavors). If you can’t find good black raspberries for the sauce (some years they are all seeds—don’t bother), use half blackberries and half red raspberries, so the color is still a deep purple to complement the yellow corn.

Makes a generous 1 quart

1 ear sweet corn, husked
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Black Raspberry Sauce (see below)

Pairs well with: Blue corn cakes with lots of powdered sugar and Queen City Cayenne Ice Cream. Bumbleberry crumble. Honey Butterscotch Sauce

Slice the kernels from the corn cob, then “milk” the cob by scraping it with the back of your knife to extract the liquid; reserve the kernels and liquid.Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.

Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Combine the remaining milk, the cream, sugar, corn and juices, and corn syrup in a 4-quart saucepan, bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and force the mixture through a sieve into a bowl, leaving the corn “cases” behind. Return the mixture to the saucepan and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat.

Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.

Pack the ice cream into a storage container, alternating it with layers of the black raspberry sauce and ending with a spoonful of sauce; do not mix. Press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid. Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Black Raspberry Sauce
This sauce will not freeze fully when it’s frozen, so it’s perfect to swirl through any ice cream. Makes about 1 1/4 cups.

2 cups black raspberries
1 cup sugar

Combine the berries and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue boiling, stirring occasionally, until it reaches 220°F (5 to 8 minutes). Let cool slightly, then force through a sieve to remove the seeds. (Or leave a few seeds in there just to prove you made it.) Refrigerate until cold before using.

Excerpted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer (Artisan Books). © 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

CakeSpy's awesome book comes with 4 weeks of giveaways

So excited one of our favorite bloggers has an awesome new book that just arrived...CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life. We are so proud of you CakeSpy! It looks amazing. Stay tuned for our very own write up on Scoopalicious about this yummy book!

And she is in the Halloween spirit and wants to share the joys of sweets with all of you. So this month CakeSpy is raffling off one book a week for four weeks. All you have to do is answer her one simple question....Candy Corn or Mellowcreme Pumpkins on her blog or her Facebook page.

I know what my answer is...Mellowcreme pumpkins all the way! Mellowcreme topping on pumpkin ice cream sounds even better!

Friday, September 30, 2011

A Sweet Car Named Desire Ice Cream Trolley in Old Forge, NY. Closed for the season :( but hopefully we'll make it back here next summer to try.


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