Valentine’s Day: A celebration of love and all things red and pink and sweetly delicious.
I have always loved Valentine’s Day. It might sound peculiar because I was never the girl in elementary school or high school with the boyfriend or secret admirer. I didn’t receive candy-grams or roses at school from an overzealous mother. I don’t even think I have ever been on a real date on Valentine’s Day. I would have loved a secret admirer, a candy gram and a real date but despite not having those things, I loved and still love Valentine’s Day. I love it because of the homemade cards that I labored over with my grandma when I was little. I love it because my favorite childhood candy shop (Electric Avenue Gifts in Bigfork) still stocks sour gummy hearts and I love it even more now because I get to create delicious holiday themed ice cream treats. Red, pink and chocolate treats will soon be created as lovingly as were those glittery doily layered cards I would make with my grandma.
Creating new flavors at Sweet Peaks just might be one of the best things about my “job”. I dream in ice cream flavors. I have a little red (I also love the color red) notebook where I write all our recipes and all my future flavors. So many flavors, so little time. Lately, I have been thinking about one particular flavor thanks to the suggestion of my friend Shama: Red Velvet Cake Batter Ice Cream. I can imagine it now scooped into a waffle cone and shared between sweethearts or devoured from a pint container while watching a romantic comedy. Just imagine… chocolate cake batter with a required tinge of red and a creamy ripple of butter cream frosting. The frosting is going to be the key here. I have seen a few recipes for either butter cream or cream cheese frosting on red velvet cakes. We will be churning a few test batches of each before they are unveiled. But -I will say that I am a slave to the cream cheese frosting. It had me at “Carrot Cake and Cream Cheese Frosting”. (Do not fret – I have Carrot and Cream Cheese ice cream on the flavor list!)
Our Candy Cane Mint was a hit during the holidays and while we have pulled it from the dipping cabinet to make room for more seasonal flavors, its popularity has me thinking. What Valentine’s Day candy makes me swoon? Candy hearts? No, thank you. I will keep the chalky message hearts in the box. Dove Chocolates? Yes, they are melt-in-your-mouth delish but, no. This is something that appeals to my love and need for spice. RED HOTS! I am thinking that those little red hard candy devils would be quite lovely layered in ice cream. Like their cousin the candy cane, once crushed they are sure to melt in pink and red swirls. I just have to locate these little candies. If anyone happens to know what local grocer keeps a large stock – you know where to find me.
The final touch to a dipping cabinet brimming with holiday love would have to be the classic strawberry – chocolate combination. We have a summer regular who would bring in chocolate sorbet recipes for me whenever she could get her hands on them. I promised I would begin experimenting with a dairy-free chocolate lovers option as soon as I could find the time. The time has come and I have been delving into chocolate sorbet varieties and reveling in my creations. If you love dark chocolate and I mean dream and crave and deeply desire dark chocolate you are going to swoon over my chocolate sorbet. You might actually fall over in a fit of Valentine’s Day flavor inspired passion when you try my chocolate sorbet with chunks of Strawberry. Seriously, I am warning you. It is that good.
February 1st we will be unveiling new flavors and as always I welcome your flavor suggestions as I continue to create. Your flavor could make it into my little red book and then wind up in the dipping cabinet for all to try. Take a look at our Facebook page to see what our customers are requesting and craving this winter.
I recently asked one of my pint-sized customers what he thought would be good for V-Day. He devoutly responded, “Chocolate Love!” He is right. We will have plenty of Chocolate Love on hand and some lovely chocolate ice cream cupcakes, too!
Did you know that two ice-cream-entrepreneurs sat in the First Lady’s box during the State-of-the-Union? Their scoop shop in Santa Cruz opened in August thanks to an SBA Loan. The pair created a YouTube video saying thanks for the loan and it made its way to the VP’s desk and then an invite from the First Lady Michelle came quickly after. Ice Cream owners are the new cool and the new face of small business. Hip Hip Horray for ice cream makers everywhere! Do you think Sam and I could get invited next year?