It’s the start of March, and we’re in a spring state of mind. (Let’s just ignore the little sprinkling of snow outside, shall we?) We can’t wait to see the flowers bloom, smell that wet grass scent, and hear the gentle buzz of the bees. It was with this image in mind when pastry chef Amy finalized our spring feature ice cream flavour: the Salted Honey Crackle.
Featuring a luscious sweet cream base streaked with caramlized honey and morsels of sponge toffee, this new flavour captures all the delightful notes of spring. Read on for an inside look at the process behind developing the Salted Honey Crackle ice cream!
What’s the inspiration behind our new spring ice cream flavour?
When I think of spring I immediately think of honey, flowers, and berries. Additionally, one of my favourite childhood foods is honey and buttered toast (is that a thing?). I really wanted to capture that flavour of honey on toast in the ice cream, which is what led us down the path to this flavour. That being said, I also ate a lot of peanut butter and pickle sandwiches back in the day… but that’s not something we’ll be playing around with in the foreseeable future.
How difficult was it process-wise to get to the final product?
I can’t tell you how long we have entertained a honey flavoured ice cream – but honey is a difficult ingredient to use with ice cream because it can alter the texture of it. To get around this issue, we captured the unique floral honey flavour by caramelizing the honey first. Then we added a dash of salt to balance the sweetness. The toast part was a lot harder to execute than we originally predicted. We tried an endless amount of combinations – at one point there were literally over 60 different flavour combinations in our freezer that I forced everyone to try. [Interviewer’s note: it was a delicious problem to have.] Some of the trials actually turned out pretty well, so I’ll be looking at those for later seasons.
What are some of the toppings that we can expect to see with this new spring ice cream?
We are featuring a berry compote with raspberries and strawberries that we’re making in-house with only 4 ingredients. It strikes a perfect balance between sweet and tart, not veering too far in either direction. We also have a light milk chocolate mousse that makes a delicious addition to our Jersey S’more cheesecake. Finally, my favourite topping this season is the roasted almond slices. We simply toast them with a light seasoning until they’re crispy, unlike those overly sugared candied nuts found in grocery stores everywhere. I find that they’re a great addition to any dessert really, and honestly just a great snack on their own. [Interviewer’s note: yes they’re pretty dope.]
What other flavours are on your radar right now? Can you give us a clue as to what we can expect in the near future?
[laughs] I literally asked this questions to my family, friends, and even my students at a community centre that I teach at. Someone suggested a waffle ice cream, which is an interesting idea that I have already been playing with. For the summer menu, I am thinking along the lines of another tropical fruit sorbet, and perhaps something that incorporates cake in it? I am so open to hearing suggestions from our lovely followers, so if you have ideas, send them to us!