Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cooking with Aftelier essences, part 2 - Ice Cream

One type of food that that lends itself especially well to experimentation is ice cream. People are more open about how it can be flavoured, compared to most other foodstuffs and it's nearly impossible to make a bad batch of it, as long as you taste as you go!

In this post, there are two ice cream recipes, the first one is basically a lemon sorbet that has had some sunshie added to it in the guise of a drop of Aftelier Yellow Mandarin Essence. The second one is also very good but a bit on the nerdy side, to say the least. It was initially meant to be a tribute to the cult fragrance Shiseido Feminité de Bois. By mistake I overdosed the raspberries and it blossomed into a "Serge Lutens Bois et Fruit" Ice Cream. You can fail in worse ways than that :)

Mandarin Sorbet

Mandarin Sorbet

3-4 lemons
4 dl (1.6 cup) water
2 dl (0.8 cup) sugar
1 drop Aftelier Yellow Mandarin Essence

First, make the syrup:
Put sugar and water in a pot.
Bring to boil.
Let the syrup cool down in a refrigerator until completely cool.

Squeeze the juice out of 3 of the lemons into a big bowl.
Add 3/4 of the syrup and the drop of mandarin essence.
Taste carefully.

If it's too sweet, add more lemon juice.
If it's to tart, add more syrup.
Keep on doing this until you can't imagine the sorbet getting any better.

Freeze everything in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions.


And now, the Bois et Fruits recipe. I had so much fun doing this. I dabbed some Shiseido Feminité de Bois on, trying to match the scent tastewise as I went, borrowing inspiration from the list of notes posted at the Fragrantica website. Doing it this way was a bit like playing perfumer but actually having a clue about what I was doing :)

Bois et Fruits Ice Cream

Bois et Fruit Ice Cream

270 g (8.5 oz) plums, cut into pieces, pits removed
2.5*2.5 cm (1*1 inch) piece of ginger, cut into coin sized pieces
1 clove
1 stick of cinnamon
1 splash vanilla essence (I've a difficult time measuring this properly as I make my own by putting leftover vanilla pods into vodka, use a little but not to much)
5 tablespoons honey
1/2 dl (0.2 cups) water
1 drop of Aftelier Blood Cedarwood Essence
100g (3 oz) raspberries 
1 drop Aftelier Yellow Mandarin Essence
1.5 dl (0.6 cups) whipping cream

For really getting the most out of making this ice cream, if possible, dab some Shiseido Feminité de Bois on one wrist and some Serge Lutens Bois et Fruits on the other. These are your references to smell while cooking the fruit base.

Put plums, ginger coins, clove, cinnamon, vanilla, honey, water and cedar essence into a pot. Bring to boil. Don't use a lid.

Now, FdB is mainly about wood and fruit. The spices are supposed to be team players, binding everything together but not stand out individually. Therefore you need to taste your plum jam to all the time (at least every 30 secs). As soon as one of the whole spice seems to getting too dominant compared to your perfume reference it has to be removed.

I did it like this:
after 1 minute of boiling the clove was removed
after 5 minutes of boiling the cinnamon stick was removed
after 7 minute of boiling the ginger slices were removed

Keep on boiling until the plums start to disintegrate.

By now the fruit base should taste something similar to Feminité de Bois. Feel free to tinker with it.

Add raspberries and mandarin essence.

Keep the pot on the hot stove until the raspberries start to disintegrate.

Now the fruit base should taste like Bois et Fruits.

Chill until completely cold

Whip the cream.

Stir the fruit base into the cream.

Freeze in an ice cream maker following the manufacturers instructions.

And not, finally, you get to eat the ice cream!


  1. Thank you Sigrun, I admire you experimental initiative and love the results! I’m glad the Blood Cedarwood could be put to such good use as in your creative interpretation of Bois & Fruit - nice work at the crossroads of flavor and fragrance. Mandy Aftel.

  2. Thank you so much :) I found the Blood Cedarwood the hardest one to work with but I think I'm understanding it better and better. I'm planning to using it in carrot cake soon, and I bet it would be very good in, say, Indonesian style curries (for some reason I think of them as more woody than their Thai or Indian counterparts).

  3. Wow, these are such wonderful ideas! I give kudos to you for being so adventurous, I would love to try these ice cream flavours. I never need an excuse to eat ice cream. :)

  4. Thanks :) Both ice creams turned out great. I tested them on my son and husband and they loved them both.

    I've also tried to make a CBIHP Russian Caravan Tea cake, using mandarin essence in the cake and smoky tea in the icing. Nothing wrong with the cake itself, but just trust me on this one, lapsang souchong is not cake frosting material... :)

  5. I LOVE that you tried to replicate Shiseido Feminité de Bois in ice cream...:) genius!!
    I love unusually flavored icecream and chocolates..

  6. Thanks :) Ice creams are my "house desserts". I'm the only person I know that has worn out an ice cream maker, that's how often I make them...