In this summer heat, we’re consuming so much ice cream that even I am shocked. I’m scooping ice cream for my midnight snack, for goodness sakes. Because even at midnight, you feel the heat once you step out of the air-conditioned room. So, I thought I’d revisit an old post that makes a scoop of ice cream ten times more exciting. Nut-crusted ice cream balls.
Wherever did the idea come from? From an experiment I did way back in 2011. It was New Year’s Eve, there was ice cream and, as usual, the texture of plain ice cream bored me to tears. Sounds strange for someone who come from a family of ice cream lovers.
When I was a child, no Christmas or New Year family reunion was complete without ice cream. We’d drive to the Magnolia ice cream factory behind the ice cream parlor along Aurora Boulevard in Quezon City, buy four gallons in different flavors and bring home the ice cream packed in boxes with dry ice. That was before ice cream became available in neighborhood grocery stores. My grandparents would serve the ice cream in small squat glasses and that was that.
When Speedy and I were dating, the first time I was invited to a family celebration, there was ice cream and how his family enjoyed their ice cream gave me quite a shock. His mother had those ice cream boats, the kind used in ice cream parlors to serve banana splits and each person was handed a boat with three scoops of ice cream. Alongside the ice cream boat was a dessert plate with a generous slice of cake. Apparently, they always ate their ice cream with cake.
I do like ice cream occasionally but I’m really not a huge fan. I like making ice cream better than actually eating the stuff. And on those occasions when I eat ice cream, one big scoop or two small ones are usually quite enough for me. And as I grew up, I realized that ice cream by itself was too cloying for me — I prefer it topped with whipped cream, drizzled with syrup and sprinkled with something crisp or crunchy like nuts, puffed rice or even toasted coconut. In short, I like variety and contrast in texture.
With those two things in mind — small servings and textural variety — I experimented with different ways on how ice cream can be served. I treated the scoops of ice cream as though they were chocolate truffles and I rolled them in crushed nuts, puffed rice and crushed cookies.
Nut-crusted Ice Cream Balls
Updated from a post originally published on December 21, 2011.
- 1 pint ice cream homemade or store bought
- 1/2 cup toasted crushed nuts
- 1/4 cup crushed chocolate cookies
- 1/2 cup puffed rice
- 1/4 cup toasted coconut
- 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
Using an ice cream scoop (how large or small is up to you), form the ice cream into balls. Arrange the balls side by side on a tray and stick the tray in the freezer until the ice cream balls are really firm, about two hours.
Place the nuts, cookies, puffed rice, toasted coconut and sweetened coconut flakes in shallow bowls.
Roll each ice cream ball in any one of them.
Rearrange the crusted ice cream balls on the tray and put back in the freezer.
- When ready to serve, simply drop the ice cream balls into cones or place them in small bowls.
- Optionally, depending on the flavor of your ice cream, you may want to drizzle the ice cream balls with salted caramel, chocolate syrup or even strawberry syrup.