What’s hot in ice cream? A scoop on new flavours
From kokum to motichoor, chefs are going all out experimenting with ice cream flavours. Here’s how your favourite dessert is taking on new avatars.
From the humble vanilla and mango flavours, ice creams today have moved to more experimental tastes such as avocado, pumpkin spice, pani puri and more. A universal favourite, chefs believe it is easier to mix and match flavours when it comes to ice creams.
There are a number of unique — and sometimes weird — flavours that are making the rounds, avocado, masala chai and pumpkin spice to name a few.
Srinivas Kamath, director-retail at an ice-cream brand says, “There is even a chicken tikka ice cream flavour.”
Sundeep Nunes, sous bakery chef, says, “Since ice creams are loved by kids and adults alike, new innovations in flavours catch our eye every now and then. While mango is the king of the season, some other interesting flavours are Curry and Mint ice cream, Raita ice cream with Pistachio Brittle , Honey Rhubard and Goat Cheddar ice cream.”
Then, of course, there are flavours such as pani puri and tamarind. “Pani puri flavour is the perfect blend of tangy and sweet and gives a taste of coriander, mint and rock salt, exciting the taste buds. The imli ice cream, which also offers a mixture of tangy, sour and sweet, is refreshing. It’s interesting to see savoury elements being incorporated into desserts these days to make unique flavours, which, if made to perfection, are even better than the classic chocolate, vanilla and fruity flavour,” says executive chef Abhishek Basu. Bacon ice-cream, Kala Jamun ice-cream, Malai Korma ice cream, Old Monk infused ice-cream, Unicorn ice-cream, Masala Chai, Gold-coated ice-cream are recommended by chef Prashant Adsul.
Regional ice cream specials
The craving for ice cream transcends seasons and regions but there are some flavours that really leave a mark. “A few of these are gajar halwa, chocolate wasabi, charcoal ice cream and a special Mexicano cheese ice cream,” says executive chef Ashivini Kumar. Combining regional traditional sweets with ice cream is very popular. For example, in the north, there is moong dal halwa ice cream, in the south, Gadbad is a favourite, in the east, there is Nalen Gur and in the west, there is the Modak inspired ice cream. Basu adds, “A few interesting ones are chikki ice cream, paan and gulkand ice cream and the supremely popular Chowpatty gola ice. All of these have unique flavours and are adored by the Indian palate.”
While the world has even more bizarre ice cream flavours, regional ice cream flavours are a hit among customers of all age groups. These include ice apple, tender coconut, motichoor ice cream, lychee raspberry and lastly, chilli ice cream.
Executive chef Nishesh Seth, says, “Kokum is the local superfood of the coastal belt. It’s the perfect ingredient to work with for the summer since it has cooling properties. Kokum ice cream packs a punch with its sweet and sour taste, offering an enhanced flavour for those who seek ‘something different’ and makes for the perfect regional delight.”
Quirky serving techniques
Some popular ice cream brands have also created the experience zone that features live churning machines at their counters. Kamath adds, “It’s a refreshing experience to see the ingredients turn into ice cream. Children and adults both have been enjoying this visual delight. The Turkish way of serving ice cream too is quite amusing. After all, ice cream is all about having a little fun and joy.”
While some places let you enjoy the visual treat of your ice cream being churned in front of you, there are other places that have come up with innovative ways to serve them. Kumar adds, “From syringes filled with your favourite sauce to ice creams presented in paan leaves, wafers, cookies or cupcakes, ice cream lovers are surely going to enjoy every bit of it.”
Coffee and Vanilla Ice cream
10gm Cafe Brazil protein powder, 100ml almond milk, 200ml fresh cream, 1.25tsp vanilla essence, 5gm dark chocolate chips
Use a beater machine to mix all the ingredients. Freeze mixture for 2-3 hours till it’s thick. After the mixture has settled, beat it till it’s in soft serve state. Put the ice-cream in an air tight container and keep it in the freezer for few hours. Serve it in a bowl and garnish it with 90% dark chocolate chips.
By Anirudh Generiwal
Healthy ice cream
Given the rise in health consciousness among people today, it is only fitting that we now have healthy options in desserts as well, one of them being vegetable ice creams and sorbets. Basu adds, “Incorporating vegetables with a mild flavour such as spinach in mint chip ice cream, cauliflower in chocolate, beetroot in cotton candy, carrot in strawberry ice cream and zucchini in vanilla is a good idea.”
Nunes adds that the shifting trend in ice cream consumption talks of the merits of vegan ice creams where instead of dairy products, soy, almond and coconut milk is used for ice cream preparation. In order to sweeten the ice cream, honey, dates and jaggery are used instead of traditional sugar.
“Healthy ice creams can be made with non-diary product as well as no sugar and sugar natural sugar instead. For flavours, stick to fresh fruits as well as 70% and above dark gluten free and vegan chocolates,” says Adsul.
How to make ice cream at home
1 cup milk, 1.5 tbsp sugar, ½ tsp vanilla, 2–3 cups ice, crushed or cubed, ⅓ cup kosher or coarse salt, 1 litre plastic zip lock bag, 3 litre plastic zip lock freezer bag
Combine milk, vanilla, and sugar in the small plastic bag.
Seal the bag tightly, making sure to press out any air trapped inside the bag.
Mix ice and salt in the gallon-sized plastic bag. Place the small bag into the large plastic bag and seal tightly. Shake the bag vigorously for about five minutes.
After about five minutes, you will see that the liquid inside the smaller bag has hardened. Without opening the bags, let them sit on a plate or towel for another few minutes, rearranging the ice in the larger bag so that it’s surrounding the smaller bag.
Open them up and scoop out the ice cream from inside the small bag. Serve immediately.
By Sundeep Nunes, sous bakery chef
Kokum ice cream
20gm kokum, 500ml full cream milk, 150gm castor sugar, 5gm vanilla pods, 2gm salt, 60gm condensed milk
Combine condensed milk, full cream milk, vanilla, kokum, salt and sugar into the freezer canister of the ice cream maker, and stir well. Add enough milk to bring mixture to the fill line on canister. Freeze.
By Nishesh Seth, executive chef, Le Meridien Goa