Olive Oil Ice Cream

As our summer experiments with frozen dessert development continues we find ourselves pushing the envelope. Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin, Michael Laiskonis, is the catalyst for the basic idea of using olives, basil and olive oil as a dessert match. His Workbook site is a creative source that tempers thought provoking ideas with the formulations of a scientist.

Of course, with this idea, like any good idea, we began to expand the parameters and move beyond the base idea and traditional thinking as we approached these desserts.

Fromage Blanc Ice Cream Infused with Basil & Olive Oil
Mediterranean olive “cannoli”, strawberries, mangos, dark cherries, julienne of basil.

Black Olive “Taco” Tuile
Seasonal fruit, basil and olive oil infused fromage blanc ice cream, mango puree.

Fruit Compote with Mango Coulis
Olive oil-basil ice cream, black olive tuile with orange zest.

Passion Fruit Ice

This simple passion fruit granite is a quick dessert or intermezzo for the summer. Passion fruit >> strain pulp >> add adjusted version of simple syrup >> freeze >> "Rake" often during the freezing process with a fork to produce large pieces of "Ice".

Artisan Chocolates & Port

A simple ending to a meal. Five Christopher Elbow chocolates with a 20 year port.

Venezuelan Dark, Tanzanie, Strawberry-Balsamic Caramel, Bourbon Pecan and Yuzu.

Strawberry Shortcake Reinvented

As our experimentation with frozen desserts continues we came up with a unique concept. Last week we made a strawberry foam and decided to freeze some of it in cylinder molds, the result was an ultra light and flavor packed morsel. This week we were experimenting with a classic French Madeleine recipe, somewhat crisp on the exterior and moist on the inside. Then came the idea to marry the two components into a strawberry shortcake spinoff.

Strawberry Shortcake
Frozen strawberry foam cylinder, madeleine's, sweetened whipped cream, fresh strawberries.

Experimentation In Frozen Flavors

This past weekend we began a series of frozen dessert experiments. It began with ideas provided by Michael Laiskonis, the Pastry Chef at Le Bernardin in NYC.

The concept starts with a simple thought; olive oil is a natural match to balsamic vinegar. With that thought in mind, it then evolved into a series of desserts.

The first experiment was to produce an age balsamic vinegar ice cream, followed by the second act of making a frozen vanilla & extra virgin olive oil parfait with lemon. And finally we made strawberry foam.

With these three components in place the dessert ideas began to flow.

The balsamic ice cream churning in the ice cream maker.

Aged Balsamic Ice Cream, Vanilla Olive Oil Parfait, Strawberry Foam, Reduced Balsamic Glaze, Christopher Elbow Raspberry Gelee.

Balsamic Ice Cream, Fresh Strawberries, Mint, Strawberry Foam, Crushed Biscotti’s.

Cylinder of Vanilla Olive Oil Parfait, Balsamic Ice Cream, Fresh Strawberries, Strawberry Foam, Balsamic reduction.

Vanilla Olive Oil Parfait Embedded With Strawberries, Strawberry Foam.

Vanilla Olive Oil Parfait Embedded With Strawberries, Balsamic Ice Cream, Strawberry Foam.

Spring In Napa

It's an exciting time in the Napa Valley when the vines begin to show early signs of producing fruit. The weather is still very cool in the evenings and there's intermittent rain during the day. Then suddenly the rain will stop for the rest of the growing season, which is what the grapes prefer.