Yup it’s time for another International Incident Party and this time, Penny challenged us to work with sundaes.
According to the Oxford Dictionary online, a sundae is a dish of ice cream with added ingredients such as fruit, nuts, and syrup. First used in the late 19th century, originally in the US, it is perhaps an alteration of Sunday, either because the dish was made with ice cream left over from Sunday and sold cheaply on the Monday, or because it was sold only on Sundays, a practice devised (according to some accounts) to circumvent Sunday legislation.
I didn’t think I could get away with another IIP contribution involving macarons (like, ahem, February, December and October), and happened to be in the fortunate position of having received the Cuisinart Pure Indulgence 2 Qt. Frozen Yogurt-Sorbet & Ice Cream Maker from CSN Stores to review. So this month, it’s a little more of a traditional take on the theme!
During last summer’s road trip to California, I was fortunate enough to meet up with friends Denise of Chez Us and Megan of A Sweet Spoonful and Marge Bakery for a bite to eat at Beretta, a funky little restaurant in the Mission District (San Francisco). There are no photos of this meal, there was so much chatting and laughing (and some to-die-for food and cocktails!) and I seem to remember we *nearly* didn’t order dessert. Until we saw this item on the menu: Panna gelato with extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt. To odd to *not* order, right? All three of us swooned over this dish, strange as it sounds, it just really worked. The peppery olive oil, the salt and the sweet gelato – perfection. And this was the inspiration for my Sundae Party contribution!
On returning home, I hunted around on the internet to no avail, looking for a recipe. All I found were some reviews and a photo – and everyone seemed to be in agreement about the taste. So I set about figuring it out for myself. Of course, panna is not a flavour, simply meaning “cream” in Italian. So, cream flavoured gelato? Sounds like cream flavoured ice cream, right? Well doing a little reading, I discovered that gelato typically does not contain cream (even though many people say gelato is Italian for ice cream), so this started to make sense. (the Why Gelato? site is very informative for those of you interested in some extra reading). The gelato at Beretta was quite sweet and creamy and I was wondering how to replicate that, and racked my brains back to the summer of 2005 when we were in Italy and remembered a popular flavour – “Crema” which is a little bit like a frozen custard and how it had been similar in taste.
When my ice-cream maker arrived, I tested out this recipe from Epicurious for Custard Gelato, and whilst it was not an exact replica of Beretta’s (and probably some Italians might take me to task over its authenticity), it was pretty close (of course having said that, now probably someone who does know what Beretta uses will be reading this and scoffing!).
As far as making the ice cream, I cannot imagine why I have not purchased an ice cream maker before. So, so, so easy! Once you have frozen the bowl, it take less than 30 minutes to churn up a batch of whatever your heart desires. I couldn’t stop looking at it as it churned…
It was quite soft after the 30 minutes and I put it back in the freezer (in a separate bowl) for about an hour when it was perfect consistency. I was so excited, it looked like “real” ice cream! The machine is pretty quiet (we managed to watch TV in the next room with the volume at a relatively normal level) and easy to clean. It is not small, however, so it will have to live in the basement in our house and I will have to bring it up when I need it. The bowl should stay in the freezer at all times, however, until we have completed operation “clean out the freezer” it’s not going to happen. After that, I think I will have to make sure I have it in my freezer at all times to whip up some frozen yoghurt, gelato, ice-cream or sorbet on a whim!
So, my “sundaes”? First up, a classic: Crema gelato with chocolate sauce and a mini-macaron (ok, ok, I said I wasn’t going to include macarons here but I had them leftover from my Mac-Candy apple).
I *loved* this. A lot.
Neil did not like this. At all. He loved the ice cream by itself but thought the olive oil addition was “nasty”. True, it wasn’t the most peppery – I think you need a really sharp peppery oil to *really* pull this off, but I thought it worked well. And for a first attempt, not bad.
In any case, the ice cream maker? A must if you like ice cream or other frozen concoctions…. You can find it here on CSN Stores (they will ship to Canada) or here on Amazon US (they won’t ship to Canada).
If you’re in San Francisco, I highly recommend you check out Beretta…
1199 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110,
Don’t forget to check out what everyone else brought to the Party this month!