Rhubarb with Brandy Orange Caramel

Although you may not able to tell by the weather we’ve been having this year, it is actually Spring in Minnesota. Whatever the temperatures are, it doesn’t matter, it’s time to celebrate the beginning of the new growing season. And to start it all off, one of the first things out of the ground every spring is the beloved rhubarb. So let’s get this celebration started with this week’s flavor: Rhubarb with Brandy Orange Caramel.

 

 

Heirloom Rhubarb

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is heirloom rhubarb. The original plant started on my wife’s grandparents farm near Milwaukee, WI. It’s been split many times, but I have to say, this plant likes to get crazy in our yard, and if left alone would grow upwards of four to five feet in height. We twist and pull out the younger stalks for cooking.

 

 

Rhubarb PureeReducing Rhubarb PureeReduced Rhubarb Puree

 

 

 

 

 

We first puree the rhubarb completely. So you’re probably wondering why the puree is green and not pink in color? For the ice cream, I decided to peal the rhubarb first, to eliminate the posibility of retaining any stringing fiberous material. Because the puree will eventually end up in the ice cream, I wanted to make sure that fiberous material didn’t affect texture. In hind site, it didn’t matter, because we processed it fully, but I assure you, this green puree has evey bit of rhubard flavor. The puree goes into a sauce pan and is reduced with a squeeze of lemon juice until nearly all the liquid has boiled off. At this point, we set the puree in a fine mesh strainer and allow it to drain any left over liquid. Any residual liquid could potentially make this an icy rhubarb ice cream instead of a creamy one. The finished/drained puree is added into our organic cane sugar ice cream base.

 



Caramel BrandyOrange Zest

 

 

 

 

 

Brandy Orange Caramel  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the caramel, as we almost always do, we start by caramelzing plain white sugar over high heat. Once caramelized, we whisk in our cream. And since we’re celebrating the beginning of the growing season, I thought we should probably throw in a party favor. Citrus and rhubarb are a classic combination, which gave way to exactly what party favor to use? Another classic combo – brandy and orange. And so it goes. We finish the caramel with brandy, orange zest and a generous salting.

 

 

Rhubarb with Brandy Orange Caramel

 

 

 

Creamy rhubarb ice cream layered with a zesty brandy orange caramel. Let’s tip our glasses and celebrate the beginning of Minnesota’s growing season, FrozBroz style!

Want to try it? You can win one of the only two pints in the world, filled with this fabulous, scratch made craft ice cream in our weekly pint giveaway. Enter your name in the comments section here, or on our facebook page under the posted contest. 2 lucky winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 6/7/13 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally and give us feedback. Pints must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. ūüôā Good luck!

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Lilac

Easily my favorite flower, Lilacs mark the beginning of spring, or in the case of this year – summer. Once they are in bloom their smell is unmistakeable. ¬†In my opinion, it’s the best time of the year for many reasons, and lilacs are a pretty awesome part of it.

Lilacs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve toyed with exploring floral flavors before, such as with our valentines day inspired flavor earlier this year –¬†Rose with Cinnamon Honey. ¬†The idea of lilac ice cream has been percolating since last spring, but since their blooming season is so short we didn’t have enough time to get it done. ¬†With a whole year to prepare, (and big thanks to Erik’s neighbor for letting us steal from her tree) it was time to make it happen.

Lilac pedals

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The first step to making this ice cream is to pick the little flowers from the lilac branch and make sure that there is no green stem left.  Any green part at all adds a bitterness to the cream and taints the lilac flavor.  Its a very laborious process because so many tiny flower buds have to be plucked perfectly to provide enough of the lilac flavor Рbut with some patience, and a good cup of coffee, its cathartic.

Lilac ice cream base

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cream base is made using our standard recipe with organic cane sugar.  I toyed with the idea of using coconut milk or adding chevre, but in the end kept it clean to maximize the flavor of the lilac.  The lilac flowers are steeped in the base to suck out every ounce of flavor we can get.  After the steep, the flowers are strained out right before the churning process begins.

Lilac

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally, Lilac ice cream. ¬†It’s a light, delicately floral bite that tastes ever so subtly like that wonderful lilac fragrance, without being overpowering.
Want to try it? You can win one of the only two pints in the world, filled with this fabulous, scratch made craft ice cream in our weekly pint giveaway. Enter your name in the comments section here, or on our facebook page under the posted contest. 2 lucky winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 5/31/13 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally and give us feedback. Pints must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. ūüôā Good luck!

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Irish Soda

OK fine – so we’re a little late to the St. Patrick’s Day parade, but this flavor was dreamt up in the spirit of the green day of drinking, and we’re going to post it anyway. ¬†We’ve been scheming beer flavors quite a bit over the last few months and released one of our first a few weeks back with the Brown Ale and Bacon Marmalade¬†ice cream. ¬†The original plan for this pint of ice cream was an irish drink using a Guinness base, but the rest of the ingredients ended up changing at the last minute, a decision possibly influenced by a pint (or two) of Guinness.

While preparing a meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage for ourselves and the rest of the Froz family oe’r the weekend, we snacked on this wonderful Irish soda bread along with some Irish cheddar from the Seward Co-op. ¬†Actually, I should rephrase that for factual accuracy -“while Erik prepared a fantastic irish meal of Corned Beef and Cabbage for the rest of us”….anyway, back to the story.

Irish Soda Bread

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We enjoyed the soda bread so much, we decided to lay waste to the orignal plans and make it a co-star of this week’s flavor with the Guinness base.

Soda Bread Croutons

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Like we’ve done many many times before, we cube the soda bread, toss it in butter and sugar, and bake it into crunchy little croutons to add the textural element to the ice cream. ¬†It’s like having an ice cream cone built in, except this ice cream cone is made of Irish Soda bread and tastes really good.

Guinness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The base of the ice cream was none other than everyone’s favorite Irish stout. ¬†To flavor the ice cream we reduce the beer down with some sugar and create an extract of sorts, then mix it in to our standard ice cream base.

Irish Soda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magically delicious.  A malty Guinness ice cream studded with crunchy bits of irish soda bread.  We call it Irish Soda.
Want to try it? You can win one of the only two pints in the world, filled with this fabulous, scratch made craft ice cream in our weekly pint giveaway. Enter your name in the comments section here, or on our facebook page under the posted contest. 2 lucky winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 3/22 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally and give us feedback. Pints must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. ūüôā Good luck!

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Coconut Bar Banana Caramel

Ok, so it’s March here in Minnesota and this is where the winter starts really dragging arrss. Fortunately, at the end of January I was able to break up the monotony of winter on a family trip to Mexico. It was there

Mexican Coconut Barthat my sister-in-law purchased one of these coconut bars from the local grocery. I love coconut, so this bar was absolutely aaamaaazing! It’s ingredients: coconut, sweetened condensed milk, and sugar. Simple. Don’t ask what the pink stuff is on top, but the bar itself, is basically a bar version of a macaroon. The coconut is ground, so the texture ends up being chewy and much less course than a macaroon. It’s everything a coconut lover wants their coconut to be. And this is just the inspiration needed for this weeks flavor: Coconut Bar Banana Caramel. Lets do this…

 

 

Coconut

Sweet and Condensed MilkCoconut

 

 

 

 

 

In keeping with the simplicity of the original coconut bar, we stuck with plain unsweetened coconut and sweetened condensed milk. They both get pulverized in the food processor.

 

 

Coconut bars ready for baking

Lime Zest and Cane SugarLime Sugar Br√Ľl√©ed Coconut Bars

 

 

 

 

 

Next, the coconut mixture is pressed into a glass baking dish lined with parchment and baked at a low temperature. Once out of the oven, we puree lime zest and cane sugar in the food processor. The lime sugar is sprinkled over the top of the bars and br√Ľl√©ed with a torch. These bars? These ones are good. Really good! They get chopped up and added into our plain sugar cane ice cream base. Did I mention that we’re gonna add a banana caramel to this thing? Well, we are.

 

 

Frozen Ripe BananaBanana Slices

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to work on the banana caramel. Yes, the banana pictured above doesn’t look that appealing, but it has more flavor than any good-looking banana I’ve ever tasted. It’s actually an overly ripe banana that has been preserved in the freezer. I throw all of our over-ripe bananas in the freeze and they are fantastic for smoothies, banana bread, or any other baking recipe. The bananas get sliced, placed on parchment, and slowly roasted in a low heat oven.

 

 

Roasted BananasCaramel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When they come out, we’re left with beautiful caramelized bananas that have lost much of their moisture content, but have retained all of their natural sugars and flavor. We make a traditional caramel by boiling granulated sugar. The caramel is finished with cream, and the bananas are added in after getting mashed, making for banana caramel ridiculousness. It’s just a lovely caramel. Banana caramel. Hot! It gets layered into the pints during packaging.

 

 

Coconut Bar Banana Caramel

 

 

 

And here it is! Coconut Bar Banana Caramel! Just enough to make you forget that it’s STILL winter here in Minnesota, and enough to have you start thinking about eating ice cream dripping down your face in the months to come.

 

Want to try it? You can win one of the only two pints in the world, filled with this fabulous, scratch made craft ice cream in our weekly pint giveaway. Enter your name in the comments section here, or on our facebook page under the posted contest. 2 lucky winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 3/15 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally and give us feedback. Pints must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. ūüôā Good luck!

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Caramel Popcorn Candied Almond

Its been awhile since we’ve done a collaboration, so we’re excited to be back at it with none other than Twin Cities fantastic Stephanie Meyer. ¬†When she isn’t running her spectacular blog Fresh Tart, she’s writing for Andrew Zimmern’s Kitchen Adventures on¬†FoodandWine.com, contributing to Minneosta Monthly, and can generally be found somewhere around town, cooking, taking photos, writing, dining or ¬†all of the above. ¬†Let’s just say she’s scrubbed laziness from the¬†Thesaurus. ¬†¬†Anyway, we met a few years back and our mutual passion for all things food quickly had us scheming on flavors. ¬†Talks of collaboration on a flavor followed, ¬†so I asked Steph to send us some of her current favorite flavors or ingredients as a catalyst for this collab. ¬†An email returned to my inbox with the following:

Popcorn

Almonds

Caramel

Brown Butter

There were more potential flavors on this list, but these were the only ones that I saw. ¬†Translation: Poppycock! ¬†At least that’s how I first imagined it – popcorn (awesome) and nuts (even better) all covered in caramel and/or toffee (party). ¬†We were going to ¬†hearken back to one of our first flavors on this blog -Brown Butter Popcorn – and make a Poppycock version of it. ¬†Time to make some ice cream.

First. The popcorn. ¬†Popcorn is a mutual staple in Steph’s and our households and we’re both fans of flavoring it with brown butter. ¬†It was an obvious choice as the main elements of the ice cream base.

Popcorn Pulverized popcorn

 

 

 

 

 

The first step in making this particular base is taking fresh pan popped pop corn, not microwave popcorn, or air popped, but popped old school in a pot with hot oil. ¬†Why? ¬†Because you get the most natural, classic popcorn flavor from the oil cooking the corn over heat. ¬†Microwave popcorn is totally out of the question for many reasons, (no thanks butter “flavor”) and airpopped just won’t provide enough oomph. ¬†Once it’s popped, we pulverized it in a blender and then mixed into the base and steeped to extract as much of the flavor into the cream as possible.

Brown Butter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the base is heating/steeping, brown butter is whisked in.  The brown butter is such an incredible flavor on its own, and combined with salt makes the popped corn flavor much more prevalent, which is exactly what we want.

Caramel

 

 

 

 

Boiling sugar.

 

 

For this flavor we’re sticking with a classic caramel – with plenty of salt.

almonds, caramel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We chose to candy the almonds whole, since the true prize of poppycock is the toffee coated nuts.  The caramel is swirled into the brown butter popcorn base and the nuts are peppered throughout.

Caramel Popcorn and Candied Almond

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The moral of the story?  Ice Cream is just as right for a cold, snowy night in March as it is a warm dusk in late June. Popcorn, Brown Butter, Almonds, Caramel mean victory.  This one is a champ.  A buttery, popcorn infused ice cream with heaps of whole, candied almonds and ribbons of salty, gooey caramel.

Want to try it? You can win one of the only two pints in the world, filled with this fabulous, scratch made craft ice cream in our weekly pint giveaway. Enter your name in the comments section here, or on our facebook page under the posted contest. 2 lucky winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 3/8 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally and give us feedback. Pints must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. ūüôā Good luck!

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