Wednesday, 20 February 2013

I Scream for Ice-cream!

This is what I saw when I drove up the driveway to the Agrarian Kitchen.  Isn't she just beauuuuutiful?  Say hello to Big Bessie, the ice cream truck of your dreams, from the brilliant Alistair Wise of Sweet Envy.  See the chook in the photo?  I love that so much :)  Ice cream truck on the farm!  Could it get any better than this?   (Yes, and boy did it get better!)

This is the first ice cream class at the Agrarian Kitchen, and I suspect will become a bit of a tradition.  The day was spent making ice creams, granite, sorbet, parfait.  It featured some of Sweet Envy's ice creams, including the burnt honey ice cream, and strawberry and szechwan sorbet.  Summer is definitely here, and we cooked with the garden's bounty: lemon verbena, basil of all kinds, mint, rosemary, strawberries and peaches, just to name a few,  and we used fresh milk from the growing herd of goats in the front paddock. 

What's a sundae without condiments?  We made jellies (with Pimms!), honeycomb and crazy 2-minute sponge cake.  This honeycomb is definitely worth the effort, and made extra special by using honey harvested from the honey bees at the Agrarian Kitchen.  It crunches and crumbles with every bite.  It's really wonderful, and I'll definitely give this a try at home.

In the middle of ice cream making Rodney and Alistair put on some rather attractive safety gear for some experimentation.  Because gadgets are fun, we made ice cream with liquid nitrogen, courtesy of Garagistes.  The liquid nitrogen poured in the bowl with the raspberry sorbet mixture, then hand whisked.  It took a bit of work though, but how cool does this look?  It's like magic.

Then we took it outside.  Because, why not?  Free range ice cream on a farm, using liquid nitrogen, in the open air!  Ooooh, Yeeeeeah! :)

With all the various iced desserts chilling and churning away, we settled back into the kitchen for lunch.  We were so spoilt!  Rodney cooked us grilled Robins Island Wagyu steaks, along with an endless array of salads and veg: grilled zucchini & eggplant, tomatoes, cucumber, lettuce.  I never knew potatoes could taste so good with shisho (unpronounceable herb, but it's so delicious).  All the vegetables were grown at the Agrarian Kitchen, of course.

After lunch the beautiful lunch, it was time for Alistair to fire up the ice cream truck.  As if we haven't had enough to eat, we all got a Joy's Prickly Box soft serve for dessert.  With the 2.4 metre ice cream sundae looming, was it a good idea to have another ice cream?  Probably not.  But, well, could I say no to this...?

We then went for a tour around the farm, to errr, make room for the sundae.  Look at the new life on the farm!  Baby piglets!  Two litters have just arrived.  It's the first time the farm had excess pigs and they may be featured in coming classes.  Suckling pigs?  Baby back ribs?  Oh the possibilities...

The rest of the garden is in full bloom, and summer on the farm is amazing.  The edible garden is overtaking whatever available space there is for growing.   What used to be flower beds have turned into food producing areas.  There's all kinds of heirloom vegetables growing.  I love the names of them too, like Lacy Lady peas.  What I wasn't quite prepared for was the polytunnels.  Oh.  My.  God.  You can grow anything in them.  Honeydew melon and rockmelon?  No problems!  I would include photos, but this post is getting way too long already, and we haven't even gotten to the sundae!

After the stroll through the garden, it was back in the kitchen to finish off the condiments and ensemble the sundae.  My (other) highlight for the day was watching Tristan and the fairy floss machine.  The first few moments after the machine had started up was priceless!  Really, words couldn't really express how ridiculously cute he was:

Finally, it was time to construct the 2.4 metre sundae.  Here's a before shot.  Yes, that clear plastic "trough" is almost as long as the table.

At first we meandered from the kitchen to the dinning room, but Alistair spurred us into action. "Quickly, before it melts!".  Then it was all go, go, go!  Everyone took a frozen dessert of choice and ran from the kitchen to the dinning room.  They worked quickly, and soon scoops of ice cream filled the vessel.  This was followed by toppings of sponges, honeycomb, milk crumb and chocolate brownies, all were scattered on feverishly.  Then came lashings of salty caramel.  Finally, fairy floss were strategically placed along the sundae.  It all came together so quickly, I hardly had enough time to take any photos!

(Apologies for the blurry photo, I was standing unsteadily on top of a ladder!)

And the finished sundae.  Ta daaaa!

With a few more seconds to take a photo of the final sundae, it was time to dig in!  We eagerly took our bowls, engaged our second ice cream stomach, and ate without abandon. 

It was such a crazy and over the top day!  This class is definitely one for the ice cream lover, or anyone who wants to feel like a kid again, let loose and have some fun. 

Thank you Alistair, Rodney and Severine for making this ridiculously fun class :)  I don't think I will experience anything quite like this again.  What a privilege it was to attend the inaugural ice cream class!



  1. Looks awesome Pauline! Fabulous photos as ever. Although I think the steak and salads look the most delicious to me!

  2. The salads were amazing and the beef was tender and succulent. This lunch has made be a little obsessive about eggplants...

  3. oooooh - I want to come next time!!

  4. Those icecreams looks amazing, but I just feel sorry for those poor little piglets :(