Well, folks there’s a new chef series ice cream in the dipping case and it’s not to be missed!  We love Terra Plata Restaurant, so much so we’ve held manager appreciation dinners and even purchased gift cards for our team members to dine there.  What is better than showing gratitude for their handwork than to send them to a brilliant local restaurant?  Chef Tamara Murphy of Terra Plata has featured Cupcake Royale Ice Cream on her menu from the day we started hand churning it. We’ve created special sorbets and ice cream flavors just for her dessert menu.  So it seemed like business as usual working with her to create a Chef’s Series Ice Cream for our series.

She responded right away to our e-mail and pitched the idea of Saffron with Honey Almond Crunch- bam sounded just too good not to put into development.  Each ingredient needed to be highlighted for it’s own glory.  Saffron can be a powerful weapon, so we restrained our excitement to really allow the honey, almonds and hint of orange to shine through.

A bit on Saffron-

Saffron is the dried yellow stigmas (threads) from a small purple crocus (flower). Each flower provides only three stigmas, which must be carefully handpicked and then dried, an extremely labor-intensive process. It takes 225,000 stigmas to make one pound of saffron, making saffron the most expensive spice in the world. Fortunately for us, a little saffron goes a long way as due to its flavor and aroma. Saffron is native to the Mediterranean, and most imported saffron comes from Spain.  It’s a key ingredient in Paella, some curries and bouillabaisses- mostly savory dishes.

Back to the ice cream-

We do a hot and cold infusion to draw out as much flavor as we can from the spendy saffron threads.  Heating up our fresh cream to just to slightly warm (92 degrees) to re-hydrate the saffron, but not cook our cream is key- we do not boil, we warm.  Letting it cool down in refriderator for at least 24 hours is the key to get the proper flavor.  Because our ice cream has 13% butterfat it can be tricky to get flavors to shine through like we want so adding acid and salt is key to every ice cream we make.  Once the saffron cream is cool we add in a little fresh orange zest, salt and begin to pour the mix into our ice cream machine.  As it’s extracting out of the machine we add in out house made honey almond brittle.

We’ve heard all sorts of reactions by customers-

“Best Ice Cream Flavor I’ve ever had” “I didn’t know I liked Saffron so much” “I need more of this” “Will you carry this all the time?” “Oh, I taste saffron, oh now orange, yay crunchy almonds and oh, yes there’s the honey”

We are so honered to work with Tamara Murphy everyday, but she went above and beyond with this unique flavor and we’re pretty sure Seattle is loving her even harder!  All stores are carrying pints through August.  Ballard, QA, Capitol Hill and 108 pine are selling it by the scoops and pints, but after that it’s done- so hurry in and try some!