It's hard for us to believe that our 2020 Adventure Club has already drawn to a close! Every year, our Test Kitchen team goes deep into R&D mode in the winter to come up with 10 totally new ice cream flavors and 5 little bonus treats to share with our 160 club members. This year, in retrospect, was particularly 'fruity,' but (and?) we're thrilled with how some of these flavors turned out, and can't wait to include them in our ice cream line-up this coming year!
Here's a bit of background about some of the flavors!
This flavor is bursting with juiciness! The flavor comes from pounds upon pounds of lychee, a tropical fruit native to southeast China and grown in other warm regions from southeast Asia to South Africa to Hawaii. (While this fruit is obviously not a local Alaskan one, this is one of the flavors we get countless requests for!). We puree lychees and add a touch of beet powder to make this ice cream cheerily pink, an allusion to the bumpy reddish-pink skin of the lychee (though the edible flesh itself is white and semi-translucent). Then we throw in little bits of mochi, a Japanese rice cake. Mochi is made from glutinous rice, giving it a characteristic chewiness that is surprisingly addictive when frozen in ice cream.
This flavor comes to us from the nostalgia of the Wild Scoops’ Kitchen Operations Manager, Marna. In her words: “When I was in high school at Dimond, there was seldom a time when I came home from school without the smell of a freshly baked goodie in the air. One time, my mom made Butterscotch Brownies (back then, the term "Blondies" wasn’t common lingo). I absolutely LOVED them, so she made batch after batch until I finally couldn't eat any more! I never had them again, and sadly, my mom passed away in 1997. Now… ALL these years later I get to pay loving tribute to the many bites of deliciousness she gave me with my own amped-up version of a smoky, salty, super-butterscotchy and walnutty ice cream!”
This flavor has a sweet cream base with a butterscotch ganache made with alder-smoked sea salt from Summit Spice & Tea and a small splash of bourbon. We also throw in chunks of chewy walnut blondies that we hope would make Marna’s mom proud!
Bonus: Rhubarb Sorbet
Surprise! We’d been saving some of our summer’s rhubarb stash just for a Club treat! Every year, we trade neighborhood rhubarb for ice cream coupons and then make gallon upon gallon of a few different rhubarb-based ice creams. To balance out the lychee, this fruity flavor is 100% local! For those of you who love our Tart Rhubarb flavor, this one might remind you of it. The difference is that this flavor is a sorbet, meaning it is totally dairy-free, using fruit juice and sugar as the main base. We think the absence of dairy makes this extra refreshing and really lets that classic, tart rhubarb flavor shine. We can’t wait to bring out this flavor in the heat of July!
Ube + Toasted Coconut
This vividly violet flavor is ready to take you on a tropical adventure. It stars ube, a naturally purple yam, and flakes of coconut toasted to perfection in our Test Kitchen. Ube is a staple dessert flavor from the Philippines, used in everything from cakes and donuts to traditional halo halo and halaya. We roasted pounds of it in-house and then pureed it into our ice cream base. We hope this flavor brings some purple paradise to your winter -- these aren’t your gram’s yams!
Churros con Chocolate
A note from our Community Liaison, Meneka, who helped develop this flavor. Meneka studied abroad in Spain and, later, lived there a year teaching English. She writes:
“Sundays in Spain were the most leisurely days I've experienced. Almost everything was closed - grocery stores, banks, pharmacies - so Sunday was not a day for running errands. Instead, we would stroll through downtown to one of the only things that was open - the chocolaterias. There, we'd get a cup of thick dark drinking chocolate and an order of churros, which were freshly made, crispy and piping hot. The combination felt such a decadent treat and quickly became a weekly tradition. It was a time to enjoy a wonderful treat, enjoy the company of friends, and relax a little before the week ahead.
To make this flavor, we prepared our own churros in our Test Kitchen. We steeped some of these in the base with a touch of cinnamon to infuse the ice cream with a delightful sweet, spiced-custardy essence of churro. We toasted the rest of the churros with more cinnamon sugar and crumbled them in to give a bit of crispy crunch and swirled in our homemade fudge to emulate European style drinking chocolate.”
This ice cream was developed by Wild Scoops baker, Jacob, in an attempt to capture the essence of baklava, but with an Alaskan touch (we worked on developing it in the depth of winter, inspiring the name :-). As a dessert, baklava is centuries old, with Roman Empire roots and both Greece and Turkey claiming it as their own. It is typically a multilayered treat, with flaky phyllo dough, finely chopped nuts, and butter, honey or syrup throughout. For our ice cream, we made a ‘deconstructed’ baklava -- we started with a light rose-honey base, and then scattered homemade phyllo chips and toasted walnuts throughout. Eat this one at home and let it transport you far away! (Greek, Turkey, your call!)
Fun fact: Phyllo (also sometimes written “filo”) means “leaf” or “sheet” in Greek.
Local flair: We used some of our special Alaskan honey stash from Gabel Family Farms in the Mat-Su Valley.
Strawberry Honey Balsamic + White Chocolate Freckle
This flavor is a classic with a twist! We started by oven-roasting strawberries to evaporate some of the extra water content in the fruit and make a beautifully rich strawberry puree. We love the combination of balsamic vinegar and fruit, so we added a touch of balsamic to highlight the natural tartness of the strawberries -- don’t be scared, though; this flavor is still quite approachable. We rounded the flavor out with some honey (I guess it is a honey sort of month for the Club!). Lastly, we added some white chocolate flecks for a touch of sweetness and a little crunch. The result is a fantastic strawberry ice cream that will get you excited for warm spring days to come.
Bonus: Ice Cream Stuffed Oreo Bite
One of our most popular ice cream flavors is our White Raven, a sweet cream base loaded with Oreos. There’s something about that classic cookies & cream combo that’s just so timeless! For each of these mini treats, we twisted an Oreo apart, scooped our White Raven ice cream inside, and closed it back up again. Bite-sized and irresistible!
Key Lime Pie
This ice cream flavor is like a deconstructed key lime pie! We started by immersion blending crumbled graham crackers into our dairy for a comforting, nostalgic base flavor. After all, the graham cracker crust is one of the best parts of this dessert! Then, we zested and juiced 10 lbs of limes and made the creamy, custardy key lime pie filling, loaded with sour cream and sweetened condensed milk. After churning the graham cracker ice cream, we layered the filling in for a refreshing flavor with a bit of pucker.
This flavor was conceived and developed by our Midtown Scoop Shop Manager, Miranda. Here’s what she writes about its inspiration: “A big part of my childhood was visiting my grandparents in Florida for Christmas every other year, and one thing that always sticks out in my mind is how much my grandmother loves key lime pie. She would make it for us, and whenever we went out to eat she would get excited when it was on the menu, insisting that we order it for dessert. I wanted to turn the pie into an ice cream flavor as a tribute to my grandma and my childhood memories of visiting her and my grandpa in Florida.”
Banillatella (Banana base + Nilla wafers + Nutella ganache)
Yes, that is a made up, mash-up word...but it seemed only fitting for a flavor that is the mash-up celebration of all our favorite banana combos. Bananas and Nilla wafers are a common pairing for banana cream pies...but how could we leave out chocolate?! Of course there's banana and peanut butter, but since we already have a popular flavor with this combo, we went with hazelnuts instead, in the form of Nutella. For this flavor, we bought industrial-size 6-lb containers of Nutella (who knew this was a thing?!) and made it into a rich ganache with heavy cream. In the ice cream, it almost tastes like a truffle! We chopped Nilla wafers into large chunks and threw them into the organic banana base as well for the chunkiest monkey flavor ever!
Bonus: Cucumber Lime Mint sorbet
The sun came out a few weeks ago and got us into major summer-thinking mode! The result was this flavor, which made our whole Test Kitchen smell like a fancy juice bar. We juiced LOTS of cucumbers (we’ll use local ones this summer!), steeped local spearmint leaves in a simple syrup, and added a bold splash of lime juice. We get our mint from Seeds of Change, a hydroponic facility that employs and empowers local youth while teaching vocational and personal skills. When the sun is out, this flavor can't be beat!