It’s birthday time! Every year since I started this blog, I’ve posted the sweet treat that I make for my partner’s birthday (apparently I also use the exact same candle in the photos every year). He’s not into traditional birthday cake, so I always try to make something different, especially delicious and a little over the top. It needs to be special. Normally, I make something that has a nostalgic feel to it. Two years ago it was a bienenstich cake that harkened back to his days working at a German bakery and last year I made chocolate babka, which was something that we both loved growing up. This year, I decided to go with ice cream. Without a doubt, it is his favourite sweet food. Of course, since I was making it from scratch, everything was possible in terms of the flavours and add-ins. I decided to play around with chocolate and hazelnut and ended up with this triple hazelnut ice cream.
When I think of certain foods, I marvel at human ingenuity to be able to transform the raw products into some of our most beloved foods. Chocolate is a great example. How did people look at a pod on a tree and decide to ferment, dry, roast, and liquify it into chocolate? How did people think that fermenting cabbage in a clay pot and burying it underground for months would be delicious? But alas, Kimchi proves us wrong. On the other hand, ice cream and it’s whole family, which includes frozen yogurt and sorbet, I understand. As I sit in my apartment, baking in the stifling heat, I understand why we figured out a way to freeze dairy, churning it until it is silky smooth and flavouring it with a countless number of delicious, fresh, vibrant flavors to enjoy during these hot summer months. I have been waiting for this type of weather for a long time now to try out this raspberry cardamom frozen yogurt.
Some of my greatest food loves are ones that my boyfriend does not share (artichokes, very dark chocolate, and tea or coffee flavoured desserts), especially in the ice cream department. So, when he goes for Stracciatella (which I don’t deny is delicious), I go for coffee or tea flavours. I am sure I have mentioned it before, but the ice cream at Bella Gelateria in Vancouver is by far the best I’ve tasted. They have so many great flavours, it was always hard to choose, I never had the luxury of trying them all. I have, however, tried the Earl Grey gelato and it is out of this world. So, really, there is only one thing to do: time to turn to my trusty ice cream maker.
I grew up watching my dad eat handfuls of pistachios at a time, but I never associated them with cooking. I think the first time I actually made something with the beautiful green nuts was this granola. But since then, I never thought of actually cooking with them until we went to Italy this past July. In Sicily, pistachios are in everything: savoury pasta dishes, sweet cookies, and best of all, gelato. I have no shame in saying that it was a requirement to get gelato every night after dinner. There were so many flavours to try and there is really nothing that compares to eating good quality gelato, in a handmade cone, walking the streets of Europe.