Soft serve ice cream holds nostalgic Summer time memories for me. My late mother used to take me to the basement of the department store after shopping in town and she bought me a cone and left me there while she looked for ready made food for supper. The basement of a department store is now called depachika (デパ地下). These modern day depachika are bright and dedicated entire floor with all sorts of foods and drinks, no comparison to my childhood of shabby place with poor selections. Many stores deeply discount their food after 6 PM. When I go to Japan alone and if I don’t particularly want to go to a restaurant then I pick up something after 6 at depachika. Only problem is so many choices! Overwhelmed with selections but joyful. My mother magically showed up when I finished eating and no one questioned her risky move of leaving an adorable (?) 5 year-old by themselves. It was the norm those days, I on the other hand, often questioned and disapproved of her purchases. What? It’s all nimono (cooked vegetables) and no sweets? Not even my favorite croquette? But she never once asked me for my opinion. Ever!
This lovable, inexpensive smooth textured ice cream was one of my favorite Summer treats after shaved ice. Japanese simply call it soft cream. If I wanted soft cream here I just went to Dairy Queen but they moved further away to another town some 10 years ago. Too bad, I liked their peanut buster parfait. I usually chose to whack my craving rather than a 15 to 20 minutes drive to calm it. Baskin Robin is also a good alternative.
Lately I see lots of yogurt shops popping up and many are self serve. Our city has already THREE self serve yogurt shops. Though I visited all three I wasn’t wowed by any of them. Red Mango yogurt shop in Provo Utah is not self serve but has great yogurt. This is popular as a BYU student hang out place. But oh boy! After adding toppings it is not so cheap.
- Powdered gelatin 10g
- 1/2 cup water
- Heavy cream 200ml
- Sugar 70g
- Plain yogurt 350g
- Milk 50ml
- Ice cream cone
- Pure water In a small microwave safe cup then sprinkle in gelatin, stir and dissolve. Microwave for 50 seconds with 50% power. Set it aside
- Put cream and sugar in bowl of stand mixer and whip till very soft peak
- In a medium bowl mix yogurt and milk then add to heavy cream mixture.
- Add gelatin mixture to yogurt/cream mixture and mix well.
- Put in the freezer plastic freezer bag and seal tight. Put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
- Take it out from the freezer and squeeze until soft again
- Put it back in the freezer and freeze for 1 hour.
- Take it out 2nd time from freezer and knead till smooth. Use a cloth if it is too cold to handle
- Put it in a pastry bag with large (any) tip.
- Pipe out in a cone cup and top with your favorite toppings (optional).
My guys (my husband and my son) are doing volunteer clean up job in Iwate (one of March earthquake disaster area) Japan right now. They are grateful for the opportunity to help out some, still the recovery from the earthquake is long road ahead. がんばれ日本！
My life is getting quite weird without them. I don’t cook much. I eat whatever and whenever. I started organizing my pantry in the middle of one sleepless night, labeling every containers, discovering the forgotten and expired foods. Some mystery ingredients (I’m a fan of Chopped-The Food Network Channel show), I can’t figure out why I bought them but until I solve the mystery, I put it back in a corner of the pantry. Anyway, I plan to clean up and organize my whole house while they are gone then wait for their return to mess it up again. Perfectly clean house is nice but without my guys in it is not a perfect house for me. So I’m with busy cleaning up but not cooking, I decided to take some break from blogging. Please check back with me in the middle of September. I’m always browsing your blogs, sometime way late at night. No one here to stop my bit odd behavior makes me lonely though.