Eventually and inevitably, I got an offer too good to refuse. The chance to attend a lunch, cooked by a Masterchef winner, to launch the Häagen-Dazs summer campaign. As I don't actually watch Masterchef, I had no idea who Natalie Coleman was, but it sounded impressive. Plus the event was being co-hosted by Great British Chefs and I bloody love that site.
When I arrived, a little late and a little discombobulated, I was shown to a roof terrace and plied with booze. A good start. They were serving cocktails designed to fit in with the ice cream flavours, so I started with a Rossini, which went down very easily and followed it up with a salted caramel martini. Then we were invited down to watch Natalie demonstrate how to make a classic vanilla custard-based ice cream. The emphasis for this Häagen-Dazs campaign is real ice cream, showcasing the natural ingredients they use, hence showing us how to make it from scratch.
|"nestergen leaf" = nasturtium - and I don't know who got the crab, but it sounded good!|
Kerstin Rodgers/Ms Marmite Lover her vegetarian option - the pumpkin ravioli looked superb.
|The vegetarian option|
The event drew to a close with opportunities to taste all the flavours, which I was in no state to appreciate, and we were sent home with little wicker hampers of the ingredients for real ice cream and Natalie's recipe.
Which meant that when I saw this quote from Matt O'Connor of the Licktators in our local magazine, I bristled:
|Optima magazine No. 550 August 2nd 2014|
So, as a little comparison, here is a screenshot of the Häagen-Dazs ingredients list for their vanilla ice cream, as sold on Ocado.
Fresh cream, condensed skimmed milk, sugar, egg yolk and natural vanilla.
And here is a screenshot of the Licktator's vanilla ice cream:
Wow. He really showed the big boys what real ice cream was all about, hey?...
So, to get rid of the taste of sour grapes, here is a recipe for one of the cocktails I particularly enjoyed. To be drunk with real ice cream, or by itself.
Salted Caramel Martini
35ml Butterscotch Schnapps
35ml Vanilla Vodka
15m Dry White Vermouth
Shake over ice and serve in a cocktail glass rimmed with salt
Edited to add: Daniel Young, of Young and Foodish, asked the Licktators on Twitter to comment on this comparison, and they stated that they were misquoted by Optima, that they were commenting about "Fake 99" ice cream in general.