Ivanna Sample
The ice creams and sorbets featured for this wonderful night are the yummy results of the most fun that we have had in the kitchen in a long time. I think that we do a great job of making unique and whimsical flavors for our everyday lists, but there are so many more that deserve to be attempted. These special flavors might be either too labor intensive, costly to produce in larger quantities or just not felt to be appreciated enough to be made on a regular rotation. Most of the following flavors are being made for the
first time and we hope that you enjoy them.

1. Balsamic Blackberry
True balsamic vinegar is beautiful, and bears very little resemblance to what you find on the grocery store shelves. It is thick, sweet and just wonderful to work with. Each Christmas, I treat myself to a couple of indulgent bottles of the best that I can justify and then they sit on the shelf as I try to come up with the absolutely tastiest use for them. We usually make a couple of batches of “balsamic strawberry” for the regular board, but it hurts my heart when I hear an unthinking comment of “yuck, vinegar…” from the other side of the counter. I happened across a box of plump, dark and sweet looking blackberries and immediately wondered why we hadn’t made a balsamic blackberry combination,. Now we have!

2. Thai Ginger Cashew
I was scanning the shelves of the refrigerator and saw a tub of candied ginger fruit, but for the oddest reason (middle age, tiredness, or just smudgey glasses) I read it as “cashew ginger”. It sounded great and so I thought we should make some. As I startedthinking about the tastes involved, I mentally added some thai chili into the sweetness and saltiness. It was only natural to add a touch of lime and lemongrass to the idea and it is even better in real life than I imagined.

3. Chocolate Guinness Birthday Cake
February 28 happens to be William’s birthday. Having this event partnered with the William G. Lauer Foundation is what gave me enough structure and inspiration to actually commit and make this a real evening. One of the earliest conversations that I had with him was about a good pint of Guinness (I take a good pint of Guinness very seriously…) and his favorite birthday cake is chocolate. The sprinkles are added to lend seriousness. Fun fact: We use 5 pints of Guinness in each three gallon batch.

4. English Spring Pea Mint
I had seen mention of pea ice cream and thought “why not”, my kidlets could think of many reasons why this is a bad idea, but I was intrigued by the challenge. I started with steeping peppermint leaves in cream for a few days, flash cooked a whole bunch of happy English peas, pureed everything together and strained through a sieve. This was then added to our sweet cream base and frozen. I like it very much, but the amount of peas and time needed to make this ice cream might keep it from being featured too often (unless there is enough demand)

5. Black Pepper Strawberry
A few years ago I had a great conversation with a customer. He encouraged me to try Black Pepper Chocolate ice cream, and it stuck with me. I haven’t made the chocolate version yet, but I thought that sweet, pure strawberries would make a fun balance to the black pepper. I think that this one will be made again, and again!

6. Saffron
Saffron is a truly decadent ingredient. It comes from the stigma of the crocus flower and takes about 80,000 flowers to provide one pound of saffron. Because of this, it is one of the most expensive spices. The lovely color and subtle flavor of saffron makes a beautiful ice cream. Saffron is also used for medicinal benefits and overall “well being”. It makes sense that it should be a natural fit for ice cream!

7. Dark Chocolate Candied Ginger
One of our favorite “coneheads” has been requesting this ice cream for at least a year. This is for you, Jessica!

8. Honey Rose
Even though this is not really a new flavor for us, it is one that is greeted with suspicion by quite a few customers. We use a mixture of local honey, rose petal jam, and rose water to get a subtle balance of fragrance and taste. Those that love this ice cream are some of the most wonderful people!

9. Uberchocolate
This is an extension of our already fantastic Dutch Chocolate. In addition to the four kinds of chocolate used to make our house chocolate, we also melt in some very fine European chocolate. This batch is proudto use Callebaut dark chocolate. It is one of our most expensive flavors and is made because of our of love for chocolate (and those of you that love our chocolate).

10. Chocolate Beet
It was last spring that Community CROPS approached us to make some ice cream for their open “garden/house”. I wanted to be able to feature some of their hard work, and since the only crops that were ready were carrots and beets, we found a way to make ice cream with them. Slow roasting in butter and a sprinkling of sugar turned us into huge fans of vegetables in ice cream. The beets with the starring role in this batch come from our friends at ShadowBrook Farm.

11. Curried Carrot
We have made carrot ice cream in all sorts of forms, “carrot cake” is one of our favorites. The curry powder was cooked into a simple sugar syrup and just adds even more interesting flavors to this flavor. I expect that the curry will make it into more ice creams this year…I am already thinking about a coconut curry, and maybe a lovely French custard with curry!

12. Wasabi
For those who love wasabi. We could have made it hotter…

13. Crème Fraiche Fig
(Krem fresh) This base is less sweet, but even richer than our regular sweet cream base. Crème Fraiche is a very subtle sour cream that can pair in either the sweet or savory world. The figs fit perfectly in both worlds also.

14. White Chocolate Honey Lavender
Honey made by local bees at Valhalla Bee Farm and melted white chocolate is steeped with organic lavender flowers. It is just a beautiful mood when we make this ice cream.

15. Avocado Cinnamon
I have been wanting to make avocado ice cream for a long time, and this was the perfect excuse. It was the first flavor on my list when I started thinking about this event (it very well may have been the whole reason that I wanted to start the project). It is such a smooth and rich ice cream that I just couldn’t leave it alone and so I threw in some cinnamon. I also imagine it with fresh raspberries or toasted almonds, or chocolate chips…

16. Pineapple Ricotta Jalapeno
Even though this is a full fat, incredibly rich base, it has a lightness that pairs well with the tanginess of the pineapple. The jalapeno jumps out and wakes up your taste buds.

17. Prosecco Pear Tart
Prosecco is a crisp sparkling wine and it helps balance the sweetness of the pastry cream base. Pureed Anjou pears, a touch of vanilla and crushed vanilla wafers make this a decadent winter treat.

18. Blue Cheese Honey
Combining savory and sweet is so satisfying. The tanginess and bite of the blue cheese is mellowed in the sweet cream base and the honey from our neighborhood bees at Valhalla Bee Farm smoothes out the finish.
This flavor may be the one met with the most resistance, but it will surprise you.

19. Winter Squash Maple Sorbet
Dairy free, and vegan friendly. A combination of roasted butternut and acorn squash is sweetened with maple. This might even qualify as “healthy”!

20. Dark Chocolate Sorbet
I LOVE this one. This dairy free, vegan friendly sorbet is so rich and smooth that it seems impossible. It is made with Droste cocoa powder and dark Belgium chocolate. The amount of chocolate and the process of preparing the sorbet kept the batch pretty small (too small, because I could eat all of it myself). I will have to make this again, but it will be considered a special treat and if you see it on the list of flavors, you will know that it won’t be there long!