Fairy Puff Ice Cream Toastie

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Fairy Puff Ice Cream Toastie

The main draw here is the machine which makes this treat possible – a sort of toasted sandwich maker but with a domed lid. Somehow it manages to toast and seal 2 halves of a bread bun whilst NOT melting the ice cream that forms the filling.

Everything else is window dressing and here there was some serious ‘unicorn’ going on.

The bread was a riot of colourful swirls, the ice cream was bright blue, and the decoration was multi-coloured sprinkles.

In days gone by (and sometimes still today if you are lucky enough to find a traditional ‘ice cream uncle’) a scoop of ice cream in Singapore came folded inside a slice of pink and green coloured bread.

As a modern update, this rainbow ‘fairy puff’ manages perfectly both to hark back to the old ways and appeal to the inexplicable current trend for all things cute and fairy-tale. The S$8 price tag was a shocker, though.

And don’t ask me what it actually tasted like…


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Chocolate ‘Chip’ Ice Cream

Chocolate chip ice cream, but not as you know it!

The ‘chips’ are actually bits of crinkle cut potato crisp, mixed with the molten chocolate into which the soft serve cone is dipped.

Chocolate covered potato chips are increasingly common – a lot of Asian confectionary companies are now producing them in a variety of different of different forms and flavours – so I suppose this is a logical next step.

There are 2 versions here, so you can choose either milk chocolate on vanilla ice cream or white chocolate on frozen yoghurt. A serving costs just 18 baht, from KFC in Thailand.

The ice cream is pretty horrible, of course (what would you expect at that price?) and it had a disconcerting way of forcing itself out in shiny beads through the chocolate coating. The crispy bits in the chocolate are surprisingly palatable, however. Eating this was rather like eating one of those ice creams with bits of crushed nut in the chocolate coating, except these crunchy bits left a potato rather than an almond aftertaste. It’s obviously very popular, and honestly, not half as bad as I was expecting.


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Ninja Ice Cream

You know you always wanted to try ice cream ‘based on ninja stealth and invisibility technique’…. Here was my chance, with the exclusive ‘black gold’ cone from Kyorollen, at Emporium in Bangkok.

It comes at the premium price of 159 Thai baht, but for that you get a creation which is put together by hand like an artistic masterpiece and served in its own wooden stand.

Everything here is black – the cone made with sumi bamboo charcoal, the kuromame black soya beans, the sticky ball of mochi, even the ‘raw’ chocolate cube. Well, I suppose the ice cream itself was slightly on the grey side, but considering it is made with the famously creamy milk from Hokkaido, this was not surprising.

I could probably have done without the soya bean and mocha components of this treat, but they looked great and I very much enjoyed the rest. Japanese ‘raw’ chocolate is always delicious and this one had a fudgy texture which I particularly enjoyed.

It was an expensive indulgence but definitely worth it.


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Eyescream

This is so silly it was irresistible.

New in Singapore, apparently from Barcelona, this is shaved ice cream presented like a cute and swirly monster.

Big cylinders of the ice cream are stored in freezers at the back of the stall – choose your flavour and it is popped into a machine which spins to carve the top off in big folded ‘shavings’. Next you choose 2 toppings from the vast range under the counter, then let the server bring it all to life with 2 big sugar eyes. There you have it, a sweet treat to chuckle over for less than $7.

I went for chocolate ice cream with chocolate chips and salted caramel sauce. But there’s a huge choice, and I could have had wildberry yoghurt, mango or cheesecake, with the likes of gummy bears, sugared peanuts, cookie crumbs or marshmallows on top.

The ice cream was a bit watery and tasteless for me, but this is a cool idea and clearly very popular. First in Asia – you heard it here!

 


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Ice Cream Tuk Tuk

When I was young, long summer afternoons were punctuated by the arrival of the ice cream van, its unique jingle heard from streets away so that every child in blast range ran home for sixpence to spend on frozen treats.

By the time the van had parked and the driver opened up the side to turn his van into a shop, we would be standing in line debating what to buy. It might be the multi-coloured Rocket lolly, the pink and white Fab dipped in chocolate and dusted with sprinkles… I always loved the ‘99’, a cornet with a swirl of soft ice cream stuck with a Cadbury’s Flake.

So I was really happy to see this ice cream tuk tuk in Bangkok. Sure, it was not moving but was parked in the middle of a mall, and I realised later it was a ‘chain’ with tuk tuks in a number of shopping areas. But it was selling a wonderful range of decorated ices like the Coconut Cool Cat and Angels Berry, and quite transported me back in time for some very happy memories.

 


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Coolish

This is such a clever and amusing idea I found it impossible to resist – ice cream that you suck from a pouch. It’s the definitive answer to the nuisance of a melting double scoop dripping down your hand, or simply being knocked off the cone to the floor. The total lack of mess involved also makes it perfect for small children or the adult klutz in your life. Even better, because it has a reseal-able cap, you can stick it back into the freezer to finish off another day.

Coolish is Japanese, and comes in a range of flavours including mango, coffee and Belgian chocolate as well as plain vanilla. You can buy it in convenience stores all over Japan, and also in supermarkets in other Asian countries.

You have to squeeze the pouch fairly hard to break up the ice cream inside before you can suck it from the tube at the top, but it is well worth the effort. And because it is in a cold pouch rather than out in the open air, it melts very slowly so lasts a long time.

We all really like this particular treat, and snap it up whenever possible.


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Cookie Ice Cream

And not just any old cookie, but cute decorated cookies like bears, frogs and your favourite cartoon characters. Add ears or hair made from cheerios and multi coloured sprinkles, and you have a work of art in your hand rather than just a naughty snack.

These ice cream sandwiches are from Bonca in Thailand, and despite their appearance, take just minutes to put together. You choose your cookie and ice cream flavour, point out your favourite sprinkles, and get a huge portion in return for only 125 baht. It was actually too much for me to finish, even though the strawberry ice cream I settled on was full of real strawberry pieces and seriously delicious.

I know, I really should be buying things like this for the children in my life rather than myself but mai pen rai… some treats are simply too adorable to resist.


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Magic Ice Cream

 

OK, I admit, I should have known better, but there is something in me which finds it hard to resist the off-beat and bizarre.

This packet of instant, easy, DIY ice cream called to me from the shelf of an Indonesian supermarket, and was in my kitchen before I knew it. Luckily, the instructions on the back came in English, too, so there was no problem puzzling out what to do.

Basically, you measure out 300cc of iced milk or water, whisk in the contents of the sachet of powder for 5 to 10 minutes (an electric mixer of some sort is clearly needed here…) then add the chocolate chips and freeze for 5 hours.

Simple!

Hmm… In truth, you cannot beat fresh and lovingly sourced ingredients for something like this, rather than opening up a packet of premixed powder whose main ingredient seems to be sugar. This was never going to be as delicious as the carton claimed, but in fact it was so tasteless and weird that it was binned after 2 spoonsful.

Luckily I went for the chocolate flavour rather than the durian or mung bean varieties that were also on sale. This was from Pondam, but I don’t expect any other manufacturer can do a better job.


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J Cone

j-cone-2 j-cone

Rumour has it this spectacularly bizarre ice cream ‘cone’ was invented in the Philippines, but it swiftly became so popular in Seoul that it is now inextricably linked with Korea instead.

Order a J Cone and what you get is a long crunchy tube with a curve at the bottom – hence the J – which has soft ice cream pumped in from end to end. The main ingredient is puffed corn, and it is thick enough not to go soggy when the ice cream starts to melt, plus it contains any potential drips.

Those are the good points. The only trouble is, the J Cone tastes a lot like a rather nasty breakfast cereal, and there is far more cone to ice cream than you find in the regular version. A lot depends on how nice the filling is, and as this is a very cheap treat, you are not getting gourmet ice cream. Also, it looks pretty silly.

Final verdict? This was fun to try but not tasty enough to eat more than a small sample. The Koreans can keep it!


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Brown Rice Milk Ice Cream

rice-ice-1 rice-ice-2 rice-ice-3

It’s low fat, lactose and cholesterol free, suitable for vegans and full of healthy nutrients – especially B vitamins. Rice milk can be made by boiling, blending and straining rice, and it is a useful alternative to normal milk.

And though it sounds like it would taste a little strange, having sampled it I have to say I could not have told the difference between brown rice milk ice cream and the regular variety.

This one came from a food stall selling all sorts of similarly healthy alternative products, in the basement of a Singapore mall. For only S$4 a scoop, and with flavours ranging from green tea to coconut or black sesame, I would call it a bargain as well as unusually healthy. I had the chocolate, naturally, and could well be back for more…


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