International Incident Party: Sundaes

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).

Next up: Crema gelato with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of coarse sea salt crystals (that I received last year from Miss Trix herself – also participating in the Party!)

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,
United States
(415) 695-1199

Beretta on Urbanspoon

Don’t forget to check out what everyone else brought to the Party this month!


58 thoughts on “International Incident Party: Sundaes”

  1. Olive oil? Interesting ingredient but not sure how I feel about it. Must try to find out. Love that mini macaron!

  2. Olive oil with gelato sounds like quite an interesting combination, something definitely worth trying out. I love how creamy the gelato looks, I need to get myself an ice cream maker!

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  4. I still don’t have an ice cream maker and I’m green with envy that you got to review this Cuisinart machine… Can I do a review too? :-). Your crema gelato looks so smooth and heavenly, and I’m dying to try out the olive oil and sea salt topping!

  5. I have that ice cream maker; whenever I recall hand cranking and rock salt it’s evident we’ve come a long way!

    I might agree with Neil; I’ve tried olive oil in bread with success but as adventurous as I might be in tasting…I want my ice cream sweet without savory tones so that first one; that one with the chocolate and macaron…oh yeah.

  6. Brilliant, Mardi! Oh my gosh…so ambitious of you, and looks absolutely divine. Not sure if I’ve told you that my very favorite food in the entire world is ice cream. When in Italy, I’m generally a ‘3 gelatos a day’ kind of gal. I’m in awe that you took this on. You go, girl!

  7. A great read, gorgeous photos, loved the way you slipped the mini mac in and am really curious about the olive oil and sea salt one. I think served as like an amuse bouche, it would fabulous, just a tiny serve served on a ceramic spoon or something like that – maybe a bowl full would be way too much?! I think I shall have to try your crema gelato.

  8. mmmmmm that one with the fudge looks sooo good!
    Yesterday I made banana/nut/chocolate ice cream and I drizzled olive oil on top with a bit of sea salt… I loved it! Husband didn’t agree…shrug…more for me. 🙂

  9. We used to pair olive oil ice cream with chocolate bavarians at a restaurant I worked for, so I am totally digging this ! Looks lovely.

  10. I’ve only tried to recreate Italian gelato once…and it was nothing like I remembered. I’m going to try your recipe (once it gets a little warmer…it’s sleeting here currently!)…it looks fabulous (especially with that cute macaron).

  11. I have an ice cream maker by Cuisinart, but I haven’t used it much, but when I think about it it is much preferable to buying premium ice cream since you won’t have a whole half-gallon sitting around calling to you.

  12. what an interesting combination – i wouldn’t have been able to resist ordering it either – love that salty/sweet combo! so glad you liked the cuisinart too. we’ve got one that we use all the time in the summer – the girls love making homemade ice cream and it’s so easy with all of the fresh fruit available in the summer. like you, we store it in the basement, as it is rather large, and only keep the drum in the freezer during those summer months as well. we’ll have to share ice cream recipes this summer!

  13. Despite Neil’s misgivings, I am curious to try this olive oil creation. I’ve had some interesting dishes in degustations that have involved an ice cream or sorbet component.. makes me wonder what savoury dishes you could use this in?

    Uh, yeah, as to the idea of keeping your ice cream bowl constantly in the freezer? I wish too! My freezer is so full of other crap (so many overripe bananas at the moment, yeesh) that this is never going to happen.

  14. I’ve never had olive oil with gelato, it is an idea that makes me go hmn…….. both daring and creative! Congrats on the ice cream maker, We’ve had both the kind you keep in the freezer and the kind that sits on the counter. I’m never going back to the freezer kind, we LOVE not having to plan. Oh yes, the mac is adorable 🙂

  15. Mardi, I don’t know how it would taste but the image is so lovely. And I’ve seen combinations of salt and olive oil that worked when you wouldn’t think they would.

    I think it’s time I went out and picked up an ice cream machine.

  16. I can kick myself now for giving away my ice cream maker to my brother in Serbia. I am a bit skeptical about addition of olive oil, but my adventurous spirit would definitely prevail:) I love how your little red macaron is nestling on top, pretending to be a cherry (I despise those maraschino cherries, but would gulp down the macaron:)

  17. The little mac on top of your crema gelato is so cute!

    The olive oil sundae sounds interesting… I can see how it could work, as a pure virgin olive oil does have a slightly sweet taste. I’ll have to give it a try sometime 🙂

  18. M ardi
    I’d be interested to know how the $$ work out? Ice cream bought at a retail outlet can be hugely expensive these days but can you give us some idea as to how competitive it is to make your own by comparison? Much cheaper, about the same, more expensive?

    • The ingredients themselves are pretty cheap, so for me, the idea of having freshly churned ice cream (and only a small amount) is perfect. When we buy ice cream, we don’t buy the cheap stuff. And then, you know, it’s there so you have to eat it. Smaller quantities of home made stuff works better for me!


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