This ice cream is something special. The flavor of tonka bean makes the ice cream taste surprisingly like my favorite storebought flavor, Cherry Garcia. And though the caramel contains no butter, the caramel swirl is decidedly buttery and savory from the smoky scotch.
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The Mr. Softee truck is how I learned the phrase "bat out of hell." As in, "Max, don't run out there like a bat out of hell. It's just ice cream and I want to see you live to your 11th birthday." Sorry, Dad, but this isn't ice cream. This is Mr. Softee. It's bigger than me—it's bigger than both of us.
This is one of the best ice creams to come out of my kitchen, and is on the short list for best vanilla ice cream I've had anywhere. It's a classic French vanilla: flavors of butter and custard slink into the honeyed, floral, caramel notes of vanilla bean. The texture is pure silk. The aftertaste lingers and lingers. As for the Scotch, consider it vanilla enhancement.
This had to be one of my favorite Serious Chocolate columns to write: a scotch and chocolate pairing session with Marcia of Sip Smoke Savor. She sent me seven bottles of nice single malt scotch, a box of nine Chuao chocolates, and guided me through the pairing. It was very edifying, especially for someone like me who has long been intimidated by single malt scotch ("do you detect a hint of saddle leather, Wilfred?" "Quite so, Algernon, quite so"). The chocolate mitigates the alcohol burn and more medicinal flavors in some of the whiskies, so you can taste other notes more clearly than you might alone, especially if you're not already an expert. Here are seven pairings.