Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Incredible Ice Cream Cake

Just what is it about an ice cream cake that makes people crave it? Maybe it’s the perfect balance between cake, ice cream, and frosting, all sweet and chilled in the freezer. It could also be the fact that you can enjoy your two favorite birthday celebration desserts—cake and ice cream—in a single delicious serving. For whatever reason, ice cream cakes seem to have made the transition from exciting new fad to established favorite dessert in the United States.

The CEO of the popular ice cream maker Baskin-Robbins says that its ice cream cake line is one of its leading sellers, and plans to develop it further if possible. You can find the cakes in freezers at nearly any ice cream shop, or order them custom-made. The new tradition has also taken hold in another country, Australia, where ice cream enthusiasts look forward to June 6. Queensland Day, the official birthday of the province of Queensland, is marked each year by a brand new, limited-edition ice cream cake made by a popular ice cream company.

As you may have already guessed, it’s not necessary to go to your local ice cream shop in order to serve one of these delicious cakes at your next party. In fact, there are many reasons to make one yourself. If you have enough preparation time, you can make an incredible cake layered with your family’s favorite homemade ice cream flavors. For a quick version that’s still delicious, pick up two pints of your preferred brand (or combination of brands) from the grocery store.

Our ice cream cake recipe has all the direction you need to put together a fantastic cake. Decorate it however you like, but we suggest using toppings that you would normally put on an ice cream sundae. Before you begin, make sure there is room in your freezer; there’s nothing worse than building a masterpiece of an ice cream cake and then letting it melt all over the counter while you rush to clear the freezer out!

Whether you make your own or pick up one of the legendary Carvel’s or Baskin-Robbins cakes, you’ll be glad you made this delicious tradition part of your family. In fact, why not begin celebrating Queensland Day, even if you don’t live in Australia? Any excuse to get an ice cream cake sounds good to us.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Ice Cream For the Flu

Do you eat ice cream when you’re sick? You don’t have to answer that out loud, especially if you don’t want your kids to know about it. We all know that ice cream isn’t the best thing to snack on when we’re under the weather, but the soothing, cold texture feels so good that sometimes it’s just impossible to resist. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a healthy ice cream that would actually help you while also tasting good?

A small ice cream company in Columbus, Ohio, has come up with just such a flavor, just in time for the unusually severe flu season. Drawing from memories of home flu remedies and adding a little scientific knowledge to the mix, the company’s designers have invented a healthy ice cream that sounds like it is also delicious.
The flavor is actually a sorbet, based on orange, lemon, and honey—all great natural ingredients for boosting the immune system and vitamin C levels, not to mention soothing the throat. Ginger and cayenne pepper help clear the sinus passages, so keep some tissues handy! Finally, a contribution that grandmothers from times gone by would heartily approve of: a little bit of bourbon to fill the role of cough medicine.

The flavor, originally titled “Influenza RX Sorbet,” also contains fruit pectin. Pectin helps to give the throat some relief from scratchiness, so you feel great even after the cold and creaminess of the ice cream wears off. Who wouldn’t walk right by the medicine aisle and pick up a pint of this sorbet instead?

If you have some sick folks in your home, you can follow this example and provide a pleasant, creamy, and throat-soothing ice cream for them. Start with our basic honey ice cream recipe, which results in an exceptionally good texture. Add a little lemon and orange flavorings, and you’ve got a treat that will bring a contented smile to the face of even the grumpiest flu victim.

If you visit the company’s website, you’ll find that they have actually changed the name of the ice cream from “Influenza RX” to “Hot Toddy” sorbet. It’s spicy enough to earn its new name, and the carefully mixed ingredients are a good start toward feeling better fast. The Columbus-based company is known for its adventurous gourmet flavors, which include “Goat cheese with red cherries” and “Sweet potato with torched marshmallows.” Delicious!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Are You Ready For Some Ice Cream?

Everyone has their favorite ice cream, and more often than not, it comes from a small, local ice cream shop in their home town. We spend lots of summer evenings at that little shop with our family, and whenever we host visitors, we make sure they get a scoop to taste for themselves just how great it is. And if our local ice cream gets national exposure, we get very, very excited. That’s the excitement that residents of Youngstown, Ohio, are feeling right now.

In Youngstown, that favorite local shop is Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt. A pro football team from clear across the country has caught the Handel’s fever, and when they made it to the playoffs, Handel’s put on the face paint and got to work helping the team make it to the Super Bowl.

The San Francisco 49ers were delighted to find a full supply
of Handel’s ice cream waiting for them before their game against the Packers. Apparently, there was some magic in that local ice cream, because they ate up the Packers like they were a scoop of Handel’s “Spouse Like a House” ice cream. For their next game, they traveled to Atlanta to face the Falcons. Handel’s came through again, shipping the players’ favorite flavors down south. The margin of victory was narrower this time, but the delicious taste of “Graham Central Station” was enough to push the 49ers over the top and into the Super Bowl.

Any guesses as to what the San Francisco 49ers might be snacking on before they hit the field against the Baltimore Ravens?

Do you have what it takes to make the best local ice cream around? If you love making ice cream and making your customers happy, a career as an ice cream shop owner just might be for you. Your little place could become the center of activity on Saturday evenings during the summer, and who knows? Your rich, unique flavor creations might catch the eye of a pro sports team. Handel’s Homemade Ice Cream & Yogurt has to be excited about the publicity boost they will get from feeding the 49ers before the big game—especially if they win!

It’s true that opening a local ice cream shop takes a lot of planning, a lot of commitment, and a lot of great ice cream recipes. But with a solid business plan and a love for ice cream, you can start a fantastic career making people smile every day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Latest Trends in Ice Cream

Here at, we’re always on the lookout for ice cream news that our readers will find interesting. There are exciting things going on in the ice cream world that most people don’t know about, but they’re changing the way we think about our favorite frozen dessert. This week, we came across two different ice cream news stories that highlighted the same state: Utah. We think that these stories could both lead to big changes in ice cream, and we want you to be in on the news before everyone else. So, here’s our scoop:

Ice Cream on Iron Chef

If you’ve ever seen the Food Network show “Iron Chef America,” you know that it always gets interesting when the competing chefs use the ice cream machine. On the show, two chefs race against the clock to create the best meal, using a single provided ingredient in each course. On a recent episode, a Utah restaurant owner won a contest against Bobby Flay, one of the most fearsome Iron Chefs. The dish he used to top off his prize-winning meal? Beef fat ice cream. You see, the required ingredient was ground meat, and the Utah chef decided that ice cream was the best way to incorporate it into a dessert. The judges loved it, and we think that hip ice cream store owners just might pick up on the trend.

Ice Cream on Shark Tank

In another TV show, ABC’s “Shark Tank,” entrepreneurs with innovative business ideas pitch themselves to wealthy investors. On an upcoming episode, another Utah ice cream news maker will have the opportunity to introduce his idea to the world: An ice cream parlor that freezes its product using liquid nitrogen. The fun, scientific freezing method has been gaining traction in both Utah and Florida, and exposure on national TV will probably give it a boost. Look for one of these fascinating shops to open up near you before too long!

Ice Cream in Your Kitchen

Feeling inspired by these innovative ice cream news stories from Utah? Try your own hand at creating a new flavor, inventing a brand new freezing method, or simply improving an old favorite with some minor adjustments. The sky’s the limit! Perhaps even host an ice cream party, awarding prizes for the most creative and most delicious creations. You might not end up on national TV, but you might start a trend that will sweep the country.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

An Ice Cream Resolution You Can Keep

It’s that time again…time to keep scribbling out “2012” and correcting it to “2013;” time to go to the gym at least until after your friends give up, so that you will look like the dedicated one; and time to make some real changes to your diet. New Year’s resolutions frequently target unhealthy foods, and desserts are usually at the top of that list. And one of America’s favorite desserts is—you guessed it—ice cream. Resolutions are great, especially when they actually help you reach your goals for the year, but do they really have to be the arch-enemy of your favorite frozen treat?

Far be it from us to say that your diet depends on cutting out ice cream. Resolutions fail when we try to bite off more than we can chew, like pledging to go to the gym four times a week or to never eat dessert again. Those are simply too difficult for anyone to keep, and as soon as we fail once we feel that there is no point in trying to do our best with it for the remainder of the year.

The answer to this dilemma? You can keep ice cream in your life without letting it add pounds. One of the best ways to do so is to buy your own ice cream maker. At home, you can make ice cream that has far less fat and sugar than store-bought brands, without sacrificing taste or quality. This benefit compounds itself: When you really feel like a dessert, pass up the high-calorie brownies and have a bowl of low-fat, homemade ice cream instead.

In fact, you may find that making ice cream yourself unleashes your creativity in a way that buying it at the store does not. By experimenting with different cookie and candy mix-ins, you might just discover your own favorite ice cream flavor. For example: that secret peanut butter cookie recipe of yours could turn into an award-winning cookie-dough ice cream!

A high-quality ice cream maker like the Kitchen Aid StandMixer carries some unexpected advantages for your kitchen, too. You can use it to make all kinds of healthy treats like juice and smoothies, saving even more money and helping your family eat healthier all year long.

This year, make some ice cream resolutions that make sense! Commit to making your own, lower-calorie ice cream at home, and watch your other fitness goals fall into place as well.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Is that Ice Cream Illegal?

It probably seems to you like it would take quite a lot of effort to make something like chocolate ice cream politically controversial. It’s one of the two top ice cream flavors, along with vanilla, and people all over the world love it. A small ice cream manufacturer in California, though, is churning up a batch of chocolate, cinnamon, and politics that might spark a few arguments about immigration—or help bring people together on the issue!

Grocery store customers in California enjoy buying ice cream made by the company “Three Twins.” As a San Francisco-based company, Three Twins was understandably excited about the Giants’ World Series championship this past fall. Looking to capitalize on the victory with a new ice cream flavor, advertisers hit upon a headline-grabbing idea for chocolate ice cream, sparked by a bold statement by one of the Giants’ star pitchers.
During the Giants’ victory parade, pitcher Sergio Romo wore a black T-shirt with the words “I only look illegal” printed in white. A descendant of migrant workers from Mexico, Romo wanted to emphasize that it is dangerous to make assumptions about a person’s legal or illegal immigration status on the basis of their appearance. Three Twins wants to turn Romo’s statement into a marketing campaign, placing an idea on the Web publicly and asking for Romo’s approval.

The package for Three Twins’ proposed Mexican chocolate ice cream flavor would include Romo’s face, a Mexican-decorated baseball, and the words “It only tastes illegal.” Romo fans and pro-immigration activists would presumably line up to buy the ice cream, as well as anyone who thinks the combination of chocolate and cinnamon in ice cream form sounds absolutely delicious.

You don’t have to wait to see if Sergio Romo is willing to lend his face to Three Twins’ ice cream before enjoying cinnamon chocolate ice cream. The combination creates a unique sweet and spicy flavor, the perfect conclusion to taco night or a Mexican-themed social event. Just add cinnamon to our fantastic chocolate ice cream recipe according to your taste, and enjoy your very own Mexican treat—with immigration arguments optional.

Is it a good idea for Three Twins to insert itself into the immigration debate with its proposed ice cream flavor? Would it be a good move for Romo to become a public spokesman for Mexican migrant workers? Call us selfish, but if it means that cinnamon chocolate ice cream will become a more popular flavor, we say yes!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

You've Never Had Egg Nog Like This

There is a long list of treats that we typically only enjoy during the Christmas holidays. Gingerbread, candy canes, fruitcake, pumpkin pie, perhaps a yule log cake—and maybe your family has a specialty all its own. Most of these desserts can be translated into ice cream form with delightful results, and the topic of this post is no exception!

Egg nog ice cream takes a holiday favorite to a whole new level. When drinking regular egg nog, you might very well imagine that it would be great in ice cream form. But it can be rather difficult to actually make egg nog ice cream, keeping all the ingredients in the correct proportions and textures. We’ve got you covered, though; just visit our website for two equally delicious recipes and take your pick. Each one will create a delicious frozen dessert with a variety of creative serving ideas.

Our recipes use some creative approaches to duplicate the flavor of egg nog. For one thing, imitation rum extract adds the signature flavor of egg nog without the alcoholic content. The real trick, though, is getting the egg into your egg nog ice cream without changing its texture. The secret ingredient? A powdered egg substitute. The Philadelphia style recipe will end up packing less calories on, but the custard style recipe will result in a more “authentic” egg nog texture.

Whether or not they enjoy it, most people have little knowledge of the history behind the rich holiday drink with the funny name. Egg nog is the all-American version of spiced, alcoholic punches that appeared at parties all over Europe at Christmas. Instead of wine, which was hard to find in colonial America, people added rum or whiskey to their cold egg drink. Of course, hosts differed on their preference of alcoholic content, with George Washington reportedly dumping three different kinds of liquor into his! The unusual name of the drink appears to be a shortened version of “egg and grog,” or perhaps “egg in a noggin.”

You can certainly leave alcohol out of your egg nog if you choose, but there’s one thing you can’t change: it has to be made and served cold! This makes it a perfect candidate for ice cream treatment. Make this year’s Christmas party a little different by serving egg nog ice cream, perhaps accompanied by some of those other great seasonal desserts: gingerbread cookies or a big slice of pumpkin pie.