For Dana Cree, the path to becoming executive pastry chef for The Publican group of restaurants here has been littered with ice cream. Her new book, "Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream," captures that spirit.
"I loved eating it and when I got to culinary school, it seemed like the biggest magic trick," Cree said. "You put liquid base in an ice cream machine and it comes out as ice cream the other end and that just seemed magical to me."
Recently, Cree whipped up a banana-nutella flavor. She adds sugar and a stabilizer like corn starch, tapioca starch or pectin to milk and cream. That helps hold water in place.
"Turns out ice cream is extremely complex; it's one of the simplest joys in life but there's so much science and physics underlying how that texture becomes itself," she said.
She added bananas to infuse it, then some egg yolks, along with vanilla paste. The batch gets an ice bath, to cool it down. Then the hard part: curing.
"I call it the hardest step because it means you have to put your ice cream in the fridge and walk away for a day and when I cook at home I want something immediately," said Cree.
Then into an ice cream maker for about 20 minutes, until it starts to thicken. When placing into your freezer, beware.
"Tuck it in back. Put it as far away from the door as possible, where it's as least likely to fluctuate in temperature," she said.
To finish, Cree layered the banana ice cream with liquified Nutella, then presses down some wax paper on the top before one final freeze. That ribbon becomes crunchy once totally frozen.
"So it's chunky in your mouth but then it melts very quickly," she said.
Now this banana ice cream with hazelnut and crunch was just created for yours truly for the purposes of this story, but you could certainly pick up the book, go home and do some experimenting and create your own flavor.
EXTRA COURSE: Unique, artisan bread produced in the same kitchen where Dana Cree creates her desserts - all under the Publican Quality Bread umbrella
"Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream," now available in bookstores and on Amazon.