Sobeys Recipe Corner: 10 Ways to Make Vanilla Ice Cream a Little Less Vanilla
There's nothing like the creamy taste of vanilla ice cream, and there’s a reason it’s one of Canada’s top flavours. Not only does it taste great on its own, but it’s also like a blank canvas waiting to be embellished with toppings that suit your dessert mood.
Peel and slice ripe, in-season peaches over a scoop of Sensations by Compliments Madagascar Vanilla Ice Cream, drizzle with maple syrup and garnish with chopped candied ginger for a medley of sweet summer flavours and a hint of spice.
Send vanilla on a Greek holiday with a handful of chopped pistachios, a dollop of honey and, as the pièce de résistance, a square of mini baklava. This combo is especially tasty with a bowlful of tangy Compliments Naturally Simple Frozen Vanilla Yogourt.
Use the creamy mildness of vanilla ice cream to complement chocolate toppings such as crunchy chocolate-covered toffee bits, chewy two-bite brownies (chopped), and luscious melted chocolate hazelnut spread.
Trip to the Tropics
Did you know: Vanilla beans are actually the fruit of an orchid vine that’s native to Central America and the West Indies? Take vanilla back to its roots with a spoonful of puréed mango, a scoop of freshly chopped pineapple and a sprinkle of toasted coconut.
Stir up a batch of balsamic glaze and pour it over vanilla ice cream, then top with sliced strawberries and basil cut into thin ribbons. The tangy glaze is a great contrast to the ice cream, while the strawberries and basil are a hit of fresh flavour.
The classic pairing of banana and peanut butter gets even better when you add vanilla ice cream to the mix. Slice a banana over your ice cream, drizzle with melted peanut butter and finish with roasted peanuts for crunchy texture.
Make your own version of classic rocky road by topping vanilla ice cream with a generous splash of fudge sauce, a spoonful or two of chopped nuts and a fistful of mini marshmallows. Tip: Swap vanilla with strawberry ice cream for a kid-friendly twist.
Create the irresistible combo of sweet and salty by stirring rich dulce de leche and sticky caramel corn into vanilla ice cream. Finish with a pinch of flaked sea salt.
Put a frozen twist on a classic summertime treat: Swirl marshmallow crème or frozen dessert topping into your vanilla ice cream, drizzle with melted milk chocolate or chocolate sauce and top with crumbled graham crackers. Or if you have chocolate chip cookies or leftovers of our S’mores Skillet Cookie, break it into chunks and serve atop vanilla ice cream with a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
Give yourself a taste of la dolce vita by dusting ice cream with chocolate shavings and chopped toasted hazelnuts. Just before serving, douse it with a shot of fresh-brewed espresso or double-brewed coffee for a homemade take on the traditional Italian dessert.
Mastering the art of the perfect scoop is the first step. And getting that perfect scoop relies on one simple trick: hot water. Before you start serving, boil water in a kettle and pour into a mug, then stick your ice cream scoop in. When the scoop is hot, it will slice through frozen treats with ease. If you’re scooping for a crowd, replace the water as it cools.
How to Store Your Ice Cream
Beware of freezer burn — the nemesis of frozen food everywhere. Protect your tub with these important tips:
- Ice cream likes to be stored at -11ºF (-24ºC), so make sure your freezer is set accordingly.
- Remember to never refreeze melted ice cream.
- Don’t store ice cream on the door of your freezer; kept inside, it will be exposed to fewer temperature changes.
- When you’re done scooping, return ice cream to the freezer ASAP and cover its surface with plastic wrap for an extra layer of protection.