When the sun’s out and the sky’s blue, who doesn’t love an ice-cream? And with many an independent ice-cream establishment round and about here in Cheshire, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to flavours. There’s no need to choose either vanilla, chocolate or strawberry anymore – or if we fancy it, some combination of the three.
So yes, there’s loads of choice for ice cream flavours now, but however exotic they might appear compared with years ago, the many and varied flavour combinations do make sense. Rhubarb and custard? Yes. Coffee and walnut? Why not? White chocolate and pistachio? Of course.
But when it comes to shows like Masterchef, it seems that the contestants’ imaginations know no bounds when inventing ice-cream flavours - and some of them really test the limits of taste exploration.
So, does ice-cream have to be sweet to be ice-cream? Or is it just soup that’s been churned, frozen and scooped anyway?
Have a look at these quirky flavours from the last few years of Masterchef and decide for yourself!
Coriander ice cream with crispy curry leaves and spiced brik pastry.
Traditionally quite divisive as plenty of people think that coriander can be quite soapy in flavour (in fact, this has been backed by scientific research) – so the argument that it’s a possible replacement for caramel ice-cream might not wash with many.
It might not sound that appealing to start with, but George Calombaris’ idea of mixing oyster ice-cream and apple puree with a rye crumb appears to have made safe harbour in the crossing of these flavours.
Wasabi ice-cream with honey and yam fondants and nutmeg biscuit.
Now Ben Ungermann’s idea of hot wasabi with the cooling sensation of ice-cream has a certain appeal. (Does it have the same appeal if you swap the wasabi for mustard or horseradish though?). What if you add some honey (sweet), yam (sweet) fondants and nutmeg biscuits (presumably sweet)?
Eggless mustard ice-cream with bacon and French fries.
Speaking of mustard…well, it’s self-explanatory really, but how do you eat it? Cone? Waffle? Carton? Plate? It’s a challenge.
Pumpkin ice-cream stack, cumin tuile and pancetta praline.
Elena Duggan knows that pumpkin, cumin and pancetta are a fabulous combination by any standards – it’s just that they’d be more likely to be found in a soup. And yet, it’s only a hop, skip and a jump to the freezer to make it salty dessert, and no-one’s arguing with salted caramel or salted chocolate…
Fennel ice-cream and smashed wild rice shortbread
Another one from Ben Ungermann – if we called it rice pudding with licorice syrup it’s a bit easier to imagine as a pudding. Actually, it sounds pretty good as fennel ice-cream with smashed wild rice shortbread.
So, the challenge is on. Which would you try?