When you think about Portland’s artisan ice cream scene, chances are Salt & Straw is one of the first places to come to mind. And for good reason – their deliciously crazy concoctions draw crowds from around the world. Here, Salt & Straw’s head ice cream maker Tyler Malek gives some suggestions for toppings that will help you bring the magic of Salt & Straw home.
Chocolate Magic Shell: Melt a really nice chocolate with a little coconut oil to make homemade magic shell. It’s magic! Top with sprinkles or homemade candied nuts.
Candied Apples: Make a syrup using about ½ c water + ½ c apple juice + 1Tbsp Lemon Juice + ½ c sugar; slice apples thin and uniform and store in the syrup overnight. These make the perfect topping for a good vanilla ice cream. To really pump it up, crumble some Ritz crackers & cinnamon on top. As an adult bonus: the leftover juice makes the perfect syrup to combine with a bit of brandy and bourbon.
Candied Hazelnuts & Honey: Make a simple syrup of ¾ c sugar + ½ cup hot water. Toss chopped hazelnuts in the syrup and then dry them in the oven at about 350F. Once the nuts have dried, candied, and cooled, use as a topping for ice cream combined with a drizzle of fresh honey.
Pear & Blue Cheese: Chop a fresh pear into ¼” cubes and store them in a syrup (of 1 part water + 1 part sugar) overnight in the refrigerator. Sprinkle the pears and a pinch of crumbled blue cheese on top of the ice cream. Tyler’s recommendation: Rogue Creamery’s Crater Lake Blue Cheese.
- Graham Cracker Crunch: Toss graham cracker pieces with melted butter, sugar and a little salt (maybe some cinnamon, too…). Bake until crunchy. Put a spoonful of this delicious treat with a handful of fresh berries on top of ice cream for the perfect summer treat!
Salt & Straw has Portland locations on NW 23rd, NE Alberta and SE Division. They have also just opened Wiz Bang Bar as part of the new Pine Street Market. Wiz Bang Bar takes soft-serve ice cream to the next level, putting fresh spins on the childhood swirl.