Ice-cream induced brain freeze is one of the greatest invisible battle wounds a kid can vaunt. But what if we told you that your local ice creamery might not have been serving you the ‘real deal’ all those years?
“Everybody has had ice-cream in their lives but I found that they haven’t had the real ice-cream in the sense that the majority of ice-cream uses pre mixes,” says Christy Tania. “Which means the powder is already there, so all the manufacturer has to do is add milk or puree or water and a bit of sugar, then put it in the pasteuriser.”
There, in one fell scoop, Tania has us questioning the authenticity of our favourite after school treat. The MasterChef regular, who earned her pastry stripes at some of Melbourne's best (Vue de Monde, Jacques Reymond) has just opened Glacé, an artisanal ice-creamery honouring the French method traditionalé – that is, churning crème anglaise with careful attention to ratios.
“Ice-cream is little bit of a mad scientist in progress – you have to calculate the amount of dairy, the amount of fat solids, the amount of fat non-solids (protein), sugar and water. That’s what the original technique was like, paying attention to the ratios,” Tania says.
“Every other restaurant provides ice-cream and they consider that the easiest way to serve dessert. But I think it’s actually not easy.”
It sounds methodical but the end product is anything but: Tania is making activated ash cones, frozen S’mores, éclairs and ice-cream macarons, and that’s just the tip of the ice (cream) berg. The Wonka-inspired Charlie Bucket sees banana ice-cream laced with house-baked banana bread, butterscotch and peanut butter. Then there’s the Turkish-inspired Ispahan: lychee rosewater sorbet with raspberry sorbet; a 72 per cent dark chocolate ice-cream; and the green tea and sweet red soy bean flavoured Matcha Adzuki.
Nowhere is this clash between old and new more obvious than in Glacé's ice-cream push pop: Tania's take on the 90s lolly aisle hit sees cake sponge layered with ice-cream, presented in the same push-up style packaging as the original confection.
“We have traditional tastes and traditional techniques, but we are reinventing the way people eat it,” she explains. “We are taking it back to the glory days of ice-cream.”