Move over, Claudio Aprile—there’s a new liquid nitrogen ice cream maker in town, and it’s bringing this once inaccessible “molecular gastronomy” treat to the masses. And amazingly, it’s in Dufferin Mall.
Behind the Cream Brewery are Bobby and Gleiamour Robles, who scoured the globe (from Chicago and L.A. to the Philippines and the U.K.) looking for ice cream perfection. They played with dry ice, the anti-griddle and marble slabs, but in the end, liquid nitrogen proved the smoothest (water, ice crystals and air don’t get the chance to ruin the texture, due to the extreme temperature). Unfortunately, the initial cost projections came out to $15 for a small cup. It was only after machining their own parts and buying liquid nitrogen in bulk (they’ve got multiple 1,200-litre tanks stored off-site) that they were finally able to bring the product to market at last year’s Gourmet Food and Wine Expo (the pair has since catered weddings, fundraisers and corporate parties).
Each cup of ice cream starts with your choice of milk: 17 per cent super premium fat, 10 per cent traditional, six per cent for gelato, 0.5 per cent for frozen yogurt or zero per cent for sorbet. Next, pick your flavour (for instance, chocolate, hazelnut, salted caramel or green tea) and toppings or mix-in (options include chocolate chips, gummy bears, peanut butter cups and a dulce de leche swirl). Then the chemistry lab theatre begins: your ice cream base is hit with some liquid nitrogen, smoke rises, and within a couple of minutes, you have fresh, flash-frozen ice cream. Given the product, the prices are surprisingly reasonable: $3.09 for a small cup, $4.78 for medium and $5.19 for a large, with one free mix-in and $0.50 for each additional one. Signature flavour combinations include the Monte Crisp, with chocolate-covered almonds and toffee bits; All Shook Up, with peanut butter, slices of banana and Reese’s peanut butter cups; and Camp Fire, with vanilla, graham crackers, mini marshmallows and a drizzle of chocolate fudge.
Discovery Channel will be featuring the pair some time in the next two weeks. The Dufferin Mall setup is a short-term, soft launch—the stall’s lease ends in January. But fear not: the Robleses have their sights set on the Annex, Yorkdale and Pacific Mall.
The Cream Brewery, Dufferin Mall, 900 Dufferin St. (at the southern entrance, near No Frills), 647-338-6885, thecreambrewery.ca