Ready to move beyond basic vanilla or chocolate this ice cream season?
Much as we love those classics, with so many crazy - and crazy delicious - flavor combinations flooding the freezer aisle of the supermarket, it's hard to resist making some big, boldly flavored frozen concoctions of our own. We started with a bee sting parfait, inspired by the honey, almond and coconut-studded pastry of the same name.
For a cool and so-very-adult frappe, we combine strawberry ice cream with elderflower liqueur. And to cool off a crowd, we layer on the flavor with a salted caramel malted mocha ice cream cake.
BEE STING PARFAIT
Start to finish: 20 minutes
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
2 tablespoons grated coconut, large flakes if available
2 tablespoons honey
1 banana, diced
1 pint vanilla ice cream
Heat the oven to 350 F. Spread the almonds and coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Place in the freezer to chill for 5 minutes.
To assemble the parfaits, add a teaspoon of coconut and almonds to the bottom of each parfait glass. Top with a tablespoon of banana and a drizzle of honey. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Continue layering in this order until you've used all the ingredients and filled the glass. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving: 460 calories; 200 calories from fat (43 percent of total calories); 22 g fat (12 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 60 mg cholesterol; 65 g carbohydrate; 4 g fiber; 53 g sugar; 7 g protein; 110 mg sodium.
STRAWBERRY ELDERFLOWER FRAPPE
The elderflower liqueur makes this a grown-up frappe. For a kid-friendly version, substitute an equal amount of juice or milk.
Start to finish: 5 minutes
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup strawberry ice cream
2 ounces elderflower liqueur
Zest of 1/2 orange
In a blender, combine all ingredients. Puree until very smooth. Serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving: 260 calories; 50 calories from fat (19 percent of total calories); 6 g fat (3.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 36 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 27 g sugar; 3 g protein; 45 mg sodium.
SALTED CARAMEL MALTED MOCHA ICE CREAM CAKE
Start to finish: 2 hours (30 minutes active)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1/2 cup Ovaltine Classic Malt mix
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon cider or white vinegar
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 pint coffee ice cream
1/2 cup caramel sauce
Coarse or flake sea salt
Heat the oven to 350 F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and line it with kitchen parchment.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, brown sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the instant coffee, malt powder, water and vinegar. Add the oil, then add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Whisk until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted at the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
When ready to assemble the cake, microwave the ice cream in 10-second increments until just slightly softened. Flip the cake out of the pan onto a cutting board. Remove the parchment and trim the edges off to make a neat rectangle. Cut the cake in half down the center (the short way), then cut each half in half again to create 4 even rectangles.
Place 1 piece of cake on a serving platter, then spread a third of the coffee ice cream over it. Top with a second piece of cake, then spread another third of ice cream over that. Repeat one more time, finishing with the last piece of cake. Place the assembled cake in the freezer to firm up for 20 minutes. The cake also can be tightly wrapped in plastic and frozen overnight. If so, let stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before slicing.
To serve, slice the cake into squares, then drizzle each serving with caramel sauce. Sprinkle with a few grains of sea salt and serve with fresh berries.
Nutrition information per serving: 590 calories; 170 calories from fat (29 percent of total calories); 19 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 102 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 66 g sugar; 8 g protein; 540 mg sodium.