It’s so exciting being involved – even in a small way – with a business as it is starting up. IceSmith is a luxury ice cream brand based in Chipping Campden. We were asked to spend an evening trying some of the flavours that Jake Gadsby, the owner has created. The business is in its pre-launch phase.
I’ll bet you’ve never had an ice cream tasting menu before. In the spirit of the best restaurant tasting menus, ours was full of flavours and teased and tempted our palates. We tried a dozen different sorbets, ice creams and sherbets. (A sherbets contain small percentage of cream and sit between a sorbet and ice cream).
We began trying to decide which ice cream was our favourite. But because they were so varied, that idea was soon forgotten. The favourite for what occasion? After all, when and how should we eat ice cream? Is it something that you eat in the summertime? Do you eat it as dessert only?
Our Tasting Menu
Our tasting menu featured an astonishing variety of flavours. We were asked to give our impressions as we tasted, and to make suggestions of further flavours.
I am one of those people who love fresh strawberries but am not a big fan of strawberry flavoured foods – just too synthetic for me. Jake managed to change my perception. Our first strawberry ice tasted pure and simply of fresh, ripe strawberries – lovely. The second was strawberry and balsamic. This was simply incredible. The balsamic really enhanced the strawberry flavour but it was very subtle. If we hadn’t been told it was there, you might not have realised, but without it wouldn’t have had quite the same result – a real triumph.
Alcoholic ice cream – Prosecco and Wild Blackberry
A particularly more-ish ice that managed to combine the fruitiness with the alcohol so well. It was almost like eating a cocktail.
You may have eaten at restaurants where a palate cleanser is served between courses or to serve as a transition between meats and desserts maybe. IceSmith create some fascinating flavours.
- We particularly liked the mango and lime. This was unexpected, as it tasted of fresh mango rather than the over sweet juices we are familiar with. It was only just sweet and so refreshing.
- The black garlic flavour had deep molasses flavours, a subtle savouryness – again surprising, but very enjoyable.
- Melon sorbet was served in a carved out melon skin. I can imagine this sorbet being made with a canteloupe melon for extra flavour. Pear and cumin “sweets” had echoes of the fennel coated seeds served at the end of a meal in India.
Textures were added by incorporating ingredients into the mixture, or at the point of serving.
- Jake set fire to the marshmallow to toast sticking out of a shot glass of ice cream. We then tucked into the ice cream which had soft yielding pieces of marshmallow it and the addition of toasted marshmallow.
- Cinnamon flavoured custard with caramelised brioche folded through it made a a divine French Toast flavour. I particularly liked the contrast of textures.
- Guinness ice cream was served between cookies – a great way to serve and eat ice cream, but the cookies did overpower the ice cream a little.
Show time! Imagine an ice cream bomb full of gorgeous raspberry sherbet, coated in chocolate ganache. Simply set fire to it for added effect!
I’ve not described all that we tasted, I leave the others to your imagination. The only one I was not so fond of had horseradish in it!
Where to find IceSmith
Initially, Ice Smith ice cream will be sold through Toke’s in Chipping Campden. There are intriguing ideas for local delivery which will be expanded nationally. How fabulous it would be to receive a tasting pack once a month. Or create a bespoke flavour just for yourself. These are all ideas Jake intends to take forward.
Find out more
Many thanks to Jake for the most enjoyable evening.