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Marcie’s Ice Cream Sandwich Adventure

September 9, 2012

Yesterday was a windy and rain filled day at the Saratoga Wine & Food and Fall Ferrari Festival. It was great. Thankfully, they had a tent and I got to weather the storm with a bunch of amazing food people, including but not limited to Albany Jane, The Cheese Traveler, Druthers Brewing and Garnish Marketing.

The Chefs Consortium wasn’t so lucky. Their event was postponed to the rain date which is later today. The original winner could not make the rain date, so others have been contacted. Apologies if there has been any confusion.

Anyway, last night I was tired as all get out from spending the better part of twelve hours talking about wine and food, and experiencing some of these things first hand. You’ll hear the complete rundown in the days and weeks to come. But in the meantime, I’m going to hand over the reins to Marcie who attended a killer event at Adventure in Food Trading on my behalf. The gang there was really excited about the ice cream sandwich throwdown. While they couldn’t compete, that didn’t mean they weren’t inspired. Here’s how it all went down from Marcie’s perspective.

She writes:

Last month, Daniel posted a mysterious late night message on facebook:

I’ve got an amazing food adventure for up to five Albany food lovers.
– It’s a secret.
– It’s maybe a wee bit dangerous.
– You need to be there at 11am on Friday, August 10.
– I suspect given the people involved it will be delicious.

First people to get to me, get the deets and can go. The rest will have to read about it in the future. Not for children or the lactose/gluten intolerant. Must like sweets. And danger.

Having that Friday off from work, I immediately sent him a message.  I love sweet danger.  Daniel filled me in the the details.

The next day I found myself at Adventures in Food Trading for an ice cream sandwich experiment.  AiFT was not a participant in the Ice Cream Sandwich Throwdown, but still wanted in on some action.

When I got there, I met Danielle, an employee, and her sister Jenn, a student scientist.  We got right to business when Jenn pulled out a container of liquid nitrogen.  The plan — a scientific ice cream adventure: create homemade liquid nitrogen ice cream.

The ingredients were simple: milk, half and half, and sugar. It was flavored with white peach puree which is carried by Adventures in Food. The process was simple: 1) combine the ingredients; 2) pour liquid nitrogen directly onto the mixture; and 3) mix.

Action Shot

Once the “smoke” cleared, ice cream was revealed.  It was a pretty rapid process.  The peach flavor was a nice compliment to the batch of maple pecan shortbread bars to use as the cookie part of the sandwich that Danielle made the night before.

Those also contained AiFT supplies:
– Maple syrup from Bixby’s Best in Bolton Landing, NY
– Lightly salted chef’s roll butter from Vermont Butter and Cream
– Pecans that are Adventure In Food brand

We assembled the sandwiches and shared with the other AiFT employees. The ice cream was a bit melty, but that also softened the maple bars. It was a delicious, scientific sandwich.

So why liquid nitrogen? Jenn, as mentioned, is a scientist and has previously studied and written a paper on the “Preparation Method and Temperature Influence on the Nucleation and Growth of Ice Crystals in Model Systems”, cowritten by Jennifer Gagner, Delia Bearup, and Katelyn Parker. The idea of the experiment was to explore the crystal evolution of ice cream using various freezing methods.  Stewarts® and Dippin’ Dots© were compared to the homemade liquid nitrogen ice cream. The freezing method (slow and steady vs. quick and extremely cold) has an effect on the final product.  Liquid Nitrogen ice cream is more similar to Dippin’ Dots©.

It was very fun to hang out with the Adventures in Food folks.  I had never been to their shop before, but I asked Danielle what she likes about her job.  She noted they just like to have fun. They are a wholesale distributor, but love to be involved in the surrounding communities because New York has so much to offer. While they tend to stay behind the scenes in the restaurant world, every once in a while they can’t help but poke out their heads, whip out some liquid nitrogen and local products and produce a fun, experimental ice cream sandwich.

I was so glad that Marcie could document this event. Thank you very much to her for going and for writing it up so that we could all live vicariously through her experiences. There should be a chance for more things like this in the future. Please stay vigilant and follow the FLB on Twitter and Facebook.

You never know when and where stuff like this will pop up.

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