Thursday, February 14, 2013

Coolhaus Ice Cream

We all scream for ice scream

We’re not big fans of DIY, but we do love homemade ice cream. So Monday night we bundled up in our wool sweaters—yes, this has been an unusually cold winter (frost on our roof several mornings!)—and drove to Coolhaus, the hip ice cream store located in east Culver City’s art district. An ice-cream-making class was being offered through BlackboardEats, the online restaurant coupon service. It was the perfect marriage of Coolhaus and BlackboardEats, two of my favorite things.

What started as a refurbished food truck, Coolhaus is now a four-state phenomenon (Texas, Florida, and NY) that is HQ’d right here in Culver City.  Their custom flavors range from ginger molasses to peanut butter Captain Crunch and are usually served as an ice cream sandwich on hand-picked cookies, like butterscotch potato chip or just regular ol’ snickerdoodle. Last summer I had a persistent crave for Meyer lemon ice cream on flapjack (i.e., maple) cookies. Tim and I have since graduated to baked apple ice cream.

The Coolhaus store is tiny. And yet some thirty people managed to squeeze inside, Monday night, to learn how to make six of Coolhaus’ more interesting flavors, including fried chicken and waffles, whiskey Lucky Charms, balsamic fig and mascarpone, and brown butter candied bacon. Very trendy. We were, by far, the oldest people there.

First, the owners cooked-up some ice cream “base” (milk, heavy cream, egg yolks, and sugar). We then self-selected which flavor we wanted to make. Most people flocked to the more exotic flavors, but we only had eyes for baked apple. Following the owners’ recipes, each group added special ingredients (ours: apple sauce, cinnamon, brown sugar, nutmeg, clove, salt, and vanilla extract) to the base, which was then churned inside individual Cuisinart ice cream makers. We watched in fascination as our concoction slowly took the shape of ice cream. We were all encouraged to taste each other’s creations by dipping the end of long skinny sticks inside the ice cream makers (no double-dipping!). By the end of the night, the consensus was that baked apple was the best, though the bacon ice cream was damn good, too.

Starting to look like ice cream

While we waited for our creations to harden, the staff brought out big tubs of real Coolhaus ice cream, which we then got to scoop into pint containers—an arduous task called “pinting.” After about 10 minutes, our hand-made ice creams emerged from the Coolhaus freezer in a semi-hardened state and we all descended like locusts—muy yummy!

The next day, Tim and I went straight to Williams Sonoma and bought our own Cuisinart ice cream maker. I see an ice-cream-making party in our near future.

Coolhaus logo neon: 8588 Washington Blvd.
Go right now!

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