Tag Archives: ice cream

Jeni’s Spendid Ice Creams: Askinosie Dark Milk Chocolate

10 Mar

I’m a lucky girl. For 35 of the 43 months that I’ve lived in Columbus, I’ve had the good fortune of living directly across the street from a Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams location. I wasn’t very appreciative at first: the Wildberry Lavender didn’t really click with me (tho, I love an un-seeded berry ice cream); I bought an off batch of Bangkok Peanut (previously known as Thai Chili) that had too much almond extract; and the Lapsong Suchong with Armagnac Prunes was seriously weird.

But then I discovered flavors that appealed to my ice cream proclivities (chunky but not overly, chocolate and caramel not fruit based) and I fell in love. In particular: summer’s Backyard Mint paired with Dark Chocolate Gelato or Strawberry Buttermilk (an exception to the fruit rule); Madagascar Chocolate Stracciatella, which has spawned a couple “freckle” flavors such as the Buckeye; and winter’s Roxbury Road, smoked dark chocolate ice cream with homemade marshmallows, a caramel swirl, and Krema Nut Company’s smoked almonds. Drool.

But this post isn’t about those other delicious flavors. It’s about the single best chocolate ice cream in the world. Yes, THE WORLD. I’m sure there are plenty of other fantastic ice creameries (R.I.P. Denise’s) that made delicious chocolate ice cream (hell, Jeni’s also has Dark Chocolate Peppermint, Dark Chocolate, and aforementioned Roxbury Road in its repetoire), but they do not source Snowville Creamery cream from happy grass munching cows, and they do not source top tier, single origin, fair trade, Askinosie chocolate. This is singlehandedly the best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had. It isn’t just the ingredients, it’s also the churn, the density, of the ice cream. With very little air, it’s thick but gives easily to a spoon warmed by the tongue. The scattered chunks (more like giant freckles) of Ashkinosie chocolate imparts a fruity, almost tangy, edge to the creamy milk chocolate base. The description on the container suggests letting the dark chocolate melt on the tongue but I’m greedy and satisfyingly crumble the freckles into my molars if only to savor the flavor for a few more minutes. Given the high quality ingredients, this pint was worth far more than the $10 its sold for. Get it now! It’s (winter) seasonal, unavailable in scoops, and only sometimes available in pints because Askinosie’s having a hard time meeting demand!

Columbus Alive: Cocktail Contest

22 Oct

I am a terrible blogger. I’ve had this draft in its own web browser tab for weeks now. There’s nothing like a direct link from the Columbus Alive to motivate me. HA.

When Shelley Mann (EOC of the Alive) first asked me to do a signature cocktail for the Alive, I was literally panic stricken. Thoughts like “But I make vaguely Southeast Asian themed adult beverages!” and “But I just moved to Ohio a whole thirty six months ago so I’m totally not qualified to make an Ohio themed cocktail!” flew through my head. After some thought (and a little encouragement from the peanut gallery), this was a challenge I couldn’t wait to take on.

First, I brainstormed some classically Ohio and seasonal ingredients: pawpaws, nah, too hard to find; apples, nah, didn’t want to bring out my crutch, the juicer; OYO vodka, nah, too obvious choice. I wanted something that would give taste buds a spin and I knew I wasn’t going to use vodka. Since I have been really loving light and dark rums, and brandy recently, I was halfway there by narrowing down my choice of spirits.

Jim Ellison over at CMH Gourmand has long maintained that Columbus is the “Ice Cream Capital of the World” and that title has always stuck with me. We have a fine selection of local ice creams between Graeter’s, Denise’s, Mardi Gras, and of course, Jeni’s. I ruled out Graeter’s and Denise’s because I knew their ice creams would be too rich (too much milk fat) and none of their sorbets or yogurts appealed to me for this project. My brother and I used this project as an excuse to take a trip to Mardi Gras to sample some of their more unusual offerings. Unfortunately, the flavors at Mardi Gras were a little too delicate and were completely overwhelmed by the alcohol (although, their fig ice cream is PHENOMENAL).

I had heard about a collection of syrups from Bear over at Slow Food Columbus and tracked down this Cleveland company, The Lounging Gourmet, for some samples. I haven’t tried the Lavender or Rose Elixirs just yet, but I knew the Fire Orchid and the Hibiscus was the direction I was heading for this cocktail.

Finally, I stopped by Jeni’s on the way home to peruse their seasonal selections. I’ve always loved the Mango Lassi (and thought it would pair well with the Fire Orchid) and was awe-struck by the floral and tart flavors of the Plum Cassis Lambis Sorbet. Both of those flavors came home with me.

Now, play time! Let me tell you, this experiment was not without fallen soldiers. I learned the hard way: mango yogurt and dark rum are not good friends; you try to get them to play nice but they just make a pukey looking mess and it’s best to enjoy each one separately. I’ll refrain from posting pics of the finished product because Jodi’s pic, hotlinked above (my apologies!!) are FAR better than mine. If you click on the picture, it will link to the Alive article and recipe.

A final note: photoshoot glass was purchased at thrift store on Cleveland Ave., ribbon was purchased from On Paper at High & Buttles, John Glenn button was purchased at Eclectiques Antique Mall in Clintonville on High St.