Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Maybe it was the helado post I did while I was in Barcelona, but we've been asked to try a lot of ice cream recently. Fine with me, I love eating and making ice cream. Brunch clubbers this week are in for a treat as we're making avocado helado, a flavour I fell in love with while in Spain. Its a brilliantly versatile flavour able to pair with both sweet or savoury dishes, we'll be serving it as a dessert.

As well as that I've dabbled in pumpkin pie ice cream and saffron and pistachio before and Nick made blue cheese ice cream for his last brunch club!  So we are fans.

So when we were invited to test a new flavour in a new restaurant naturally we said yes! Bens Canteen a cafe/ restaurant in Clapham Junction has been open for just over 9 weeks and is run by Ben, a nice guy who has created a warm, inviting place serving modern British cuisine. We should say we've yet to try the food, we were just eating ice cream, but what we saw looked rather appetising. Home made sausage rolls, pies, sliders of mini burgers, roast pork belly. Im getting hungry just describing it....
And they have a new brunch menu, so we're excited!

Ben has made of point of using local, independent suppliers. The likes of Square Mile coffee, Teapigs, Brew Dog, and Gelupo Gelato, which was what we were there to taste.

The guys from Gelupo were really friendly and they were passionate and excited about their ice cream. Just like Nick and I they like experimenting with new sometimes unexpected flavours. Their shop in Soho sells almost 20 varieties of gelato, sorbet and granita and they even deliver! Yes if you're stuck for a dessert they said they'll deliver up till 1am, for an extra cost of course.

We got to learn a little about the science behind their ice cream, tips on the right sugars and best ingredients to use and we got to taste 3 flavours.

The flavour created specifically for Bens Canteen was a smokey whiskey with hints of tea. Made using Laphroaig whiskey which if you know whiskey really packs a punch. Drinking Laphroaig is like drinking a bacon sandwich, its full on. The ice cream was a hit, at first you taste the tea which was quite subtle and there was a bit of texture as well, little bits of biscuit added to the mix for bite. When the after taste hits you you get a strong Whiskey flavour.

Its an ice cream, so naturally I think of it as a summer time treat, but as a dessert idea I actually think you'd enjoy this flavour all year round. I associate whiskey with being quite a warming drink, I could happily eat this ice cream as a dessert all through winter and still finish with that really warm feeling you get with whiskey and with winter desserts.

Lucky for us we were also able to try two other flavours, salted caramel and fresh mint stracciatela (which is on sale at Gelupo). Both powerful flavours.

So ice cream for dinner was a success and we'll certainly be heading to both Gelupo and Bens Canteen for further investigations. Check out the awesome deal which I know all my friends would be in to, 10% off when you bike to Bens. We'll have to take a Sunday ride down south soon.

I really enjoyed bouncing ideas around with the group, as Nick and I would love to have our own business in food and catering one day its always great to get advice from those in the know.

More ice cream testing happening else where next week! Keep it coming, Im happy to be your taster!



Anonymous said...

Great icecream.) Always on teh menu:))

Nick P said...

Can I say and reinforce how fricken a-maz-ing the salted caramel flavour was.

Blew my mind. Definitely give this one a try.

Nick ;)

meemers said...

I LOVE avocado ice cream! It's def one of my faves! I have a feeling whiskey ice cream would be right up JB's alley!

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