MJ keeps us eating healthy, balanced meals almost 24/7. But even she has weaknesses…guilty pleasures, if you will. One of these weaknesses (and one of mine as well) is ice cream. So when we found out about an ice cream tasting at Round Rock Honey, we had to politely decline. Yeah right . We were probably the first people to sign up!! It turned out that the tasting was actually an R&D night for Round Rock Honey’s new ice cream line – Bee’s Freeze. Made from simple, straightforward, natural ingredients, this ice cream is unique in the fact that it is sweetened by honey and prepared using liquid nitrogen.
In fact, Round Rock Honey owner Konrad Bouffard had custom mixing devices built (resembling KitchenAid stand mixers on steroids) to prepare their one-of-a-kind ice cream. He also brought on board Chef Aimee Chauveron to help develop mouth-watering recipes.
There was lots of talk of liquid nitrogen, hoses, fittings, etc., and I understood absolutely none of it. Sorry. MJ was hoping that I’d be able to explain some of the machinery and the process…oops. So what was on the menu for the evening? Multiple variations of vanilla, strawberry and chocolate.
We thought we’d have a couple of spoonfuls here and there, but let me tell ya…they were not being stingy with the samples on this night. I lost count after consuming 5 scoops or so. That’s right. Scoops. I think my final count was close to 10, but the sugar delirium I experienced makes the evening a blur. My wife put up a valiant effort but tapped out after a combined total of approximately 3 scoopfuls.
The best plain flavor had to be chocolate. I’m not even a fan of chocolate but it had such a deep, rich flavor I couldn’t not appreciate it. And every flavor benefitted from the addition of honey ribbons. When honey was drizzled in as the mixers were spinning, rather than incorporating into the ice cream mixture, it created strings of honey swirled throughout. This was due to the extreme cold of the liquid nitrogen (hmm…I guess I did pick up something from their explanations after all ). The Round Rock Honey had a somewhat spicy flavor which really added a nice layer to the taste experience. We learned that the cinnamon-like flavor was due to the flowers from which the bees were gathering nectar. So depending on the season, the taste profile of the honey changes. Who knew? We tried ice cream with fruit mixed in, fruit and honey, chocolate chips…you get the idea. The ice cream was incredibly smooth and creamy and didn’t leave that scratchy feeling in the back of your throat like some ice creams sweetened with high fructose corn syrup can.
After hosting a couple more R&D nights and receiving feedback from all the tasters, Bee’s Freeze was ready to make its debut at the Cedar Park Farmers Market (our farmers market of choice!!). Round Rock Honey is already a staple here, so the fact that people were lining up for ice cream at 10 o’clock in the morning was no surprise. Who eats ice cream that early in the day?? I can’t judge. I wanted to join the line, but MJ pulled me away in search of kale.
Bee’s Freeze intends to stay mobile and pop up at farmers markets, festivals and special events around the state. By doing so they hope to keep their ingredients fresh and their flavors inspired.
Cedar Park Farmers Market, 11200 Lakeline Mall Dr, Cedar Park TX 78613