Bi-Rite, Humphrey Slocombe, Full Tilt & Molly Moon
Arrived home today from a quick trip up north and of course, I had to visit the local ice creameries!
Our first stop was the famous Bi-Rite Creamery. There was a long line out the door which meant no time for me to sample every flavor.
Everyone raves about Bi-Rite’s Salted Caramel so that was what we ordered, along with a Malted Vanilla with Peanut Brittle. Both flavors were absolutely amazing. Uber rich, creamy, luscious, decadent to-die-for ice cream. Totally worth the hype!
Unfortunately we were only doing a quick stop in SF so there was no time to try one of their signature sundaes. How amazing does this sound? —> “Dainty gentleman: honey lavender ice cream, hot fudge, blood orange olive oil & maldon sea salt”.
The next morning, we delayed our departure time from SF so that we could visit Humphry Slocombe - famous for their adventurous flavors. I was so excited I had already bought their book even before visiting the shop.
After sampling almost all the flavors on the menu that day, I was particularly blown away by the Jesus Juice Sorbet (coke and red wine) which I paired with some Secret Breakfast (bourbon, vanilla, cornflakes). Yes, it was a boozy start to the morning. The Black Sesame that Nathan ordered was really good too.
Full Tilt Ice Cream is an old school pinball arcade type ice cream shop. My friend Julissa and I visited the Columbia City location and we sampled a few flavors including the Vegan Blue Moon, Horchata and Salted Caramel. We ended up sharing an enormous scoop of the Birthday Cake ice cream which had cake (thumbs up!) and colorful sprinkles in it.
We had time left for only one more - Molly Moon - Seattle’s most famous artisanal ice cream shop, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a Boston Terrier in their logo!!! :)
The cute shop on Capitol Hill was very busy when we arrived so we didn’t sample too many flavors. I found most of the fruity flavors a bit too subtle but the Salted Caramel was delicious. Nathan enjoyed the Stumptown Coffee and I got the Honey Lavender.
Of all the ice creams tasted, I would say that Bi Rite and Humphrey Slocombe were my favorites.
Now back in L.A. I feel the need to organize some sort of ice cream tasting tour. Mashti Malones, Carmelas, Fosselmans, Scoops Westside, Coolhaus…Who wants to join me?
Jeni Britton Bauer is the James Beard award-winning author of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams At Home - the wonderful book (now in its 9th printing!) that inspired me to make delicious ice creams, experiment with flavors and start this blog.
Jeni was in L.A. this weekend as part of her national book signing tour. I had the pleasure of meeting her at Gelson’s Supermarket, Silverlake. It was a big thrill, and I was so chuffed. She complimented me on my illustrated ice cream recipes and signed my food-stained copy of her book…
The authors use at least 1/2 cup of alcohol in their boozy ice creams - which is usually too much alcohol for ice cream to freeze properly. (The typical amount is 1/4 cup per quart)
Their answer is gelatin, which is first dissolved in water, then mixed with alcohol and used to spike the chilled ice cream base before churning.
Alas, I am a weekday vegetarian and have many vegetarian friends so gelatin is a problem. I have been Googling around for a replacement ratio for xanthan gum, and all I could find was this article, which says “Measure out half the amount of xanthan gum in lieu of the full amount of gelatin that a recipe calls for”.
In most cases, the boozy ice cream recipes in Ice Cream Happy Hour call for 1/2 to 1 tablespoon of gelatin. 1/4 - 1/2 tablespoon of xanthan gum seems like a lot…
Anyway, I am sharing here my first extra boozy ice cream experiment: White Russian Ice Cream, adapting the recipe from Ice Cream Happy Hour where I thicken the base with Jeni’s method (corn starch instead of eggs) and replace the gelatin with half the amount of xanthan gum.
Whew. This looks more like a normal ice cream custard now.
30 minutes later, I am perturbed to report that the thick and creamy mixture had not firmed up any more in the machine. However, this is exactly how the ice cream looks in the authors’ own ‘White Russian ice cream’ video so maybe I got it right. Let’s hope it firms up in the freezer in a few hours from now. So far, it has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel and I will not be driving any time soon.
If you have any tips to share on making extra boozy ice creams, please do! Especially on combining alcohol with xanthan gum. I am also curious if agar would be a better replacement for gelatin.
Next: Chocolatini Ice Cream.
*PS. I will be making the White Russian ice cream again and experimenting with way less xanthan gum and also agar and/or guar gum.
I am proud to be featured on the charming Dessert Girl blog. Thank you to Erin for featuring my artwork in The Mixing Bowl (a collection of recipes by her favorite artists), and I hope you all enjoy the Blue Hawaiian ice cream recipe!
The Pasadena Food Swap is coming soon on June 24th. Sadly I won’t be able to make it. If you live in the Los Angeles area and would like to do a private swap for ice cream, email me. I have done private swaps before with other LA foodswappers. You can request a flavor, of course.
The Pawfect Parfait can be made without an ice cream maker (just stick in the freezer), but I used an ice cream maker anyway because my Boston Terrier is an extremely picky eater and I wanted to get the creamiest texture possible. Might I add, this ice cream can also be enjoyed by humans.
A week ago, I had my third LA Food Swap experience, and this one was right in my neighborhood at Reform School, Silverlake. I brought 11 ice cream flavors, got rid of everything, met some lovely people, and came home with wonderful homemade goodies: grapefruit curd, mungbean jelly, cornmeal rum cakes, elderflower cordial, apple cobblers, ginger-rose kombucha, artisanal chocolate, homegrown avocado, jams and dips… Yum!
To be honest, I don’t feel like an ice cream making expert. I am just a regular person who enjoys making ice creams, drawing faces on food items… and sharing. I often get asked if I plan to sell ice creams - the answer is No. This is all a fun hobby as much as it is a fun personal illustration project.
I returned home from Japan yesterday, and one of the highlights of my trip was a visit to ICE CREAM CITY in Tokyo!
Yep, an “ice cream theme park” offering hundreds of ice cream flavors, some of which were pretty weird…
What does Viper ice cream taste like? I have no idea and I didn’t find out.
If I hadn’t been feeling so sick already with a nasty head cold (ie, diminished sense of smell and taste), I would’ve added Viper to our selection. And also Eggplant, Oxtongue, Soybean Milk, Flat Wheat Noodles, Soy Sauce, Beer, Octopus…
Even a flavor translated as: “The Cake Which Fried A Sweet Potato” (???)
The flavors that we did try were:
Dracula Cool (Garlic and Mint): Surprisingly, we all liked this! Super minty with no discernible garlic taste.
Ginger: Nice. I mean, how can you go wrong with ginger?
Tulip: Not knowing what Tulip is supposed to taste like, this was quite nice. A light floral and sweet, almost-citrussy flavor.
Hokkaido Cheese: Like Cheesecake.
Sunflower: Very rich, nutty flavor of Sunflower seeds. I might try to make this at home.
Shochu: None of us liked this. Not sure how to describe it… slightly sour, didn’t really taste like anything.
Crab: The ice cream has bright pink flecks in it, and the crab aftertaste is very subtle. Not as bad as you might think, but neither of us were crazy about this one. A bit bland.
BBQ Chicken Wing: I detected an aftertaste of deep fryer oil and there are some chewy (meat?) pieces in the ice cream. Gross.
We had a lot of fun and interestingly, all these Japanese ice creams were way LESS SWEET than what we are used to in America. Especially the ‘savory’ flavors. Next time I visit Tokyo, I will definitely return to Ice Cream City to try more flavors!
My apologies… nothing will be happening on this blog for a while as I will be leaving town soon.
I haven’t stopped thinking about ice cream flavors though. In addition to the Eggnog and Christmas Plum Pudding flavors that I’d like to make when I return, I am also toying with the idea of a red, white and green Christmas-themed ice cream terrine.
I suppose that the most obvious flavors for the RED ice cream would be cranberry, cherry or beet, and peppermint or pistachio for GREEN, but I want to do flavors that I haven’t done before so …..
I have a new ice cream maker! It’s the newest Cuisinart model, the ICE21, in RED, with a RED freezer bowl. This item has been on my Amazon Wishlist for months and it was so nice to receive this as a surprise gift from Nathan who tells me it’s “an investment”. Yes, he will be enjoying homemade ice cream for the rest of his life.
"The new machines are pretty great - they freeze much quicker than the old ones. And the dasher gets all the ice cream off the wall so you won’t have the butterfat buildup on the side of the canister"
Yep. Totally true! In only 15 MINUTES (as opposed to the old machine’s 30 minutes) my Blue Hawaiian ice cream was done! And mind you, this particular ice cream is loaded with liquor so it was extra exciting to see it freeze so quickly.
Photo on the left: 5 minutes later. On the right: 10 minutes later.
I love that the ICE21’s opening spout is large and round = mess-free and easier to clean! This machine is also very noisy… it makes a very loud whirring sound as it churns which is something I’m sure I’ll get used to. What’s more, the old ICE20 canister is compatible with this machine so now I can churn TWO flavors a day if I wanted to… :)