Blood Sport at the Bell House: Ice Cream Takedown Returns


Did you know that ice cream has the nutritional properties of lembas, but for humans?

So sayeth irrepressible Takedown creator Matt Timms, who will unite 30 amateur ice cream enthusiasts—and the lactose tolerant legions that love them—at the Bell House in Gowanus on July 8th for an all-day celebration of everyone’s favorite dairy dessert.

“Last year was such a bonkers good time, with thirty different favors, 100 lbs of dry ice, and some super fun innovations, I just had to do it again,” Timms said.

In the spirit of most of his name calling, trash talking, cutthroat cooking competitions, that means an ice cream experience more akin to blood sport than to a leisurely stroll in the park with a cup of Mr. Softee.

“People go to extremes, combine unexpected flavors, and party pretty hard,” Timms added.

If the previous event was any indication, Takedown attendees can expect bond-shattering showdowns like father versus son, friend versus friend, and of course, vanilla versus chocolate—likely augmented with alcohol, high-voltage caffeine, or copius amounts of pork product—although Timms assures there will be plenty of stone-cold surprises in store.

“I never know what to expect, who I’ll meet, what they’ll make, or anything!” he said. “These aren’t professional cooks, they’re just people who love doing stuff, leaving their apartments, taking big risks and having fun.”  

Go here or more information and to purchase tickets, and cool your heels with this recipe from defending champ Tony Santoro!

Caprese Freezee
Tomato Sorbet
1/2 cup tomatoes, roughly chopped 1/4 cup water 3 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons onion, roughly chopped 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
pinch of Cayenne pepper, add more for spicier

In a saucepan bring tomatoes, water, sugar and onion to a boil, lower the temperature and simmer 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor, puree until smooth then strain, discard the solids and pour into a small bowl. Add red wine vinegar, salt and cayenne pepper to taste. Cool.
Process in ice cream machine.

Mascarpone Ice Cream
1 Cup Milk 1 Cup 1⁄2 & 1⁄2 1 Cup Heavy Cream 1 Egg yolk 2/3 Cup Sugar 1 Cup Mascarpone

In a saucepan bring Sugar, Milk, 1⁄2 & 1⁄2 and Cream to a simmer. Temper in Egg yolk. Simmer for 5 minutes or until mixture covers the back of a spoon. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

In a stand mixer with a paddle beat mascarpone on medium speed for 2 minutes. Lower the mixer speed to low. Slowly add in cooled cream mixture. Mix till blended.
Process in ice cream machine.

Basil Ice Cream
1 cups whole milk 6 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 1/2 cup sugar 2 large egg yolks 1/2 cup well-chilled heavy cream

Bring milk, basil, 1/4 cup sugar, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan, stirring, then remove from heat and let steep 30 minutes. Transfer to a blender (reserve saucepan) and blend until basil is finely ground, about 1 minute.

Beat together yolks and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until thick and pale, about 1 minute. Add milk mixture in a stream, beating until combined well. Pour mixture into reserved saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until mixture coats back of spoon and registers 175°F on thermometer (do not let boil). Immediately remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Set bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and stir until cold, 10 to 15 minutes.
Stir in cream and freeze in ice cream maker.

The Build
Take a loaf pan and line it with plastic wrap and freeze (you want the pan cold). As the Iie creams are finished add a layer to the pan. Cover and freeze overnight. It should look like an Italian flag when it’s cut.

Remove from loaf pan and cut into 1⁄2 inch slices. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the slices. Garnish with chopped basil leaves.


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