Photo by ArtsySF and used with her permission.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Roselani Ice Cream

My new friend Cathy Nobriga Kim at Roselani Ice Cream on the island of Maui has a great story. Her company has been in the business of making ice cream for 76 years. They are available in only in Hawaii and have developed loyal customers that demand their product throughout the USA. Unfortunately, shipping ice cream from Hawaii is very expensive, but it doesn’t stop people from as far away as Wisconsin and New York from calling and pleading to get her ice cream. As Cathy described it for me, “people look for my ice cream because it brings back wonderful memories from their time on the Islands.”

Cathy is also a breast cancer survivor. She created a flavor, Aloha Cherry Truffle, specifically to raise money for breast cancer. Seeing as how this is breast cancer month, I thought it is a perfect time to share her story.

What makes this so great is that her flavor development and usage was a community event. In making it a reality, she worked with the Maui Medical Center Foundation and the Maui Community College Culinary Program. In fact, the latter now produces the truffle for her ice cream.

17 food service establishments used her ice cream as the main ingredient for a creative dessert event called the “A.C.T. Sweet Now to Beat Breast Cancer” campaign. The restaurants created imaginative dessert preparations and donated portions of or all the proceeds to a fund specifically created through the foundation to raise community awareness about the importance of early detection of breast cancer. The program was so successful that Cathy is now offering the flavor in cartons for retail. Here is a picture of the carton, as designed by award winning designer Sadene Ota:

One of the hot trends found in big business today is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). It is about understanding that corporations are also forces with the power to positively affect change for the better in their local communities. All companies engage in charity because it makes good business sense and it feels good, but this is just step one of the process. In the future companies will probably have to align themselves with communities in which they do business. Some of this is happening now. One example is what Nestle did when it opened a plant in India. Another example is Starbucks, who pioneered fair trade for coffee growers. Donating funds to a museum and the local soup kitchen are worthy causes, but citizens of the world are demanding more active roles for corporations on larger scales.

It is great to know that this is trickling down to smaller companies. Roselani is ahead of the curve. Not only is Cathy helping to fund breast cancer research; she is providing an excellent educational experience too!

An entire community joined together to use ice cream to do good for the world. Is there anything ice cream can’t do?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I did the TV Show!

It went well. The whole thing took a couple of hours. I really like the host, Gary Unger. His idea is great. I can't wait to see the final result. I'll let you know when it is going to air.

The show is about creativity and I had to show some at the last second. Gary had asked for me to bring some samples of my ice cream. I chose the Peanut Butter with Jam Sandwiches and the Chocolate with Blueberry Port Wine Swirl. Unfortunately, I took my eye off the blueberry reduction and it got too hot. The result was the sugar went to the hard crack phase and I was left with a pan full of blueberry port wine lollipop. So I improvised at the last minute. Below is the recipe for tequila chipotle raisins which I used as an add-in to the chocolate ice cream. Spicy ice cream is confusing to the brain so it is important not to overdue the heat. Between bites you feel the chipotle at the back of your throat, but it isn't overpowering.

2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons of tequila
1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup of raisins (I measured 80 grams, which is about 1/4 cup)

1. Place all ingredients in a small sauce pan. Bring it to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes until a syrup is formed.
2. Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit until it reaches room temperature.
Add to chocolate ice cream after mixing.

One more thing to note. I had leftover bases for both the chocolate and the peanut butter. I was going to layer them in a terrine and show you a really pretty picture. Instead, I remembered I had a lot of dry ice left over from my transport to the TV shoot so I decided to try Chef Blaise's dry ice freezing method in my Kitchen Aid mixer. I mixed the two bases together in the mixing bowl and threw in about a pound of the dry ice which I had crushed to small pieces. The ice cream froze in less than a minute. Its texture was perfect. Give it a try some time, just be careful not to eat the dry ice. It is very cold.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

I am going to be on TV

On Monday I record a segment for TV about creativity. I am very excited, but they do not provide a make up artist. The Fellow desperately needs someone to help powder his shaved head.

I am going to bring a couple of samples of my work. The flavors I am picking are Mango-Lime with Gingered Carrots and Peanut Butter and Jelly.

In the spirit of Halloween a pumpkin recipe will be coming soon.

I just made a new friend, Cathy Nobriga Kim at Roselani Ice Cream in Hawaii. She has a great story that I will share with you soon...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Apple Cider Caramel Ice Cream

I have made some great recipes from the book The Sweet Life, by Kate Zuckerman, the pastry chef at Chanterelle in NYC. Her recipes are usually a bit complicated, but they don’t seem especially difficult for me. The flavors are always amazing. The next recipe is an adaptation of her Apple Cider and Caramel Ice Cream. I added bourbon because I thought it would be a great complimentary flavor, and I was right. Sorry, but the digital camera is still not replaced. Pictures will return soon.

I have to note a few things about this recipe.

• You might notice a bit of similarity to Chef Blais’s recipe – Reduced liquid, lots of eggs. I am beginning to think that I have to revisit my basic ratio of eggs to dairy. The texture is much better than my way.

• I didn’t like it out of the machine. It was sour and lacked sweetness which is odd considering that ¾ cup of sugar was used to make the caramel. After it sat for a couple of days, I retasted it and it was much better.

• The texture is out of this world great. The finished product is so soft and creamy because she uses 8 egg yolks and one whole egg.

• You can’t really taste the bourbon in the final product, but it helps mellow the sourness of the cider.

Apple Cider and Caramel Ice Cream:

5 cups of fresh apple cider, reduced to about 1.5 cups
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of cream of tartar
1/3 cup water
1.5 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
8 egg yolks
1 egg
pinch of salt
1 tbl of bourbon

1. Use my caramel technique from this post. This time, use the 3/4 cup of sugar, 1/3 cup of water, and the pinch of cream of tartar. DO NOT ADD THE CREAM YET!!!!

2. When the caramel is finished, return the pan to medium high heat add the cider until smooth. Then add the cream and milk. Heat the whole mixture up until it is at a bare simmer.

3. Whisk together the egg, egg yolks, and salt.

4. Temper the eggs by mixing in a small amount of the cider mixture, stir thoroughly, and repeat three times. You should use about 1/3 of a cup of cider mixture in total. Then pour the complete egg mixture into the cider pot.

5. Heat to 175 degrees F.

6. Remove from the heat, strain, add the bourbon, cool, and chill. Then freeze.