Confession: I have an ice cream problem. I just love the stuff, always have, always will. Apparently, the good folks at Ketchum knew that, because they invited me to come to their kitchen to gorge on the stuff. Specifically, they were promoting ice creams made entirely of California milk. It seemed like a good way to boost the state economy. What can I say? I'm a giver.
I'm perfectly content to sit down with a bowl (read: trough) of good old vanilla ice cream, but Ketchum had engaged pastry chef Tim Nugent of Scala's Bistro (you may recall him as the Snow Queen from the inaugural season of Top Chef: Just Desserts) to come up with clever and interesting topping pairings of toppings to dress up your workaday sundae. Chef Nugent doled out bowl after bowl of combos like chocolate ice cream with bitter chocolate syrup, smoked salt and pink peppercorns; coconut-pineapple syrup with lemongrass syrup, grilled pineapple and toasted shaved coconut; and lemon chiffon ice cream with limoncello, whipped cream and salted marcona almonds.
Did I mention I hadn't eaten lunch beforehand? I developed a serious sugar high, fast.
But it got me thinking: As DIY enthusiasts, we always have a jar or 50 of this or that in the house looking for a cause. Ice cream is the perfect palate on which to paint our homemade goods.