Frozen desserts can be based on flavored water, fruit purees, milk and cream, custard, mousse and more. “More” keeps the category exciting.

Wikipedia states that frozen dessert is the generic name for desserts made by freezing liquids, semi-solids and sometimes even solids. They may be based on flavored water, fruit purées, milk and cream, custard, mousse and more. “More” keeps the category exciting.

To Luxlait Association Agricole, Luxembourg, more is most apparent in the company’s 5 Diamonds Ice Cream line. Described as the ultimate dessert, the 5 Diamonds line can also be served as an appetizer, palate cleanser or a main course side dish. Whatever the cuisine, Luxlait has the right ice cream. Some are sweet while others are bitter. A few even fire up the palate. For example, Thyme Sorbet refreshes the palate right after hot chicken consommé. Roquefort Ice Cream provides a juicy steak some kick when served side-by-side.

The ice cream offerings in the 5 Diamonds line include: Almond Milk, Coco-Curry, Gingerbread, Honey, Lavender, Peppermint & Chocolate, Roquefort and Saffron. The sorbet line includes: Black Olives, Spicy Mango, Thyme and Wasabi.

According to Pol Paquet, marketing, “The target clients for our 5 Diamonds Ice Cream and Sorbets are mainly professionals from the restaurant business, especially Asian and modern-style restaurants.”

Talenti, a Dallas-based gelato and sorbet company equates “more” with luxurious, which is how the company describes its frozen desserts. The company achieves this by using only the finest quality ingredients from around the world, in unique, concentrated blends.

The company claims its source of inspiration is Bernando Buontalenti, a famed Florentine artist and architect with a penchant for fine food. “Talenti,” as his friends called him, delighted the court of the Duchess Catherine de Medici’s in the early 1500s with a frozen dessert he called “gelato.” Today, the company is not serving royalty, but does attract consumers who are willing to trade up to enjoy artisanal food.

The current Talenti was the first gelato to appear in the famed holiday catalog of luxury retailer Neiman Marcus. The product line is notable for its attractive, clear plastic packaging.

Innovative ice cream flavors include Argentine Dulce de Leche, which is made with pure, natural caramel and Sicilian Pistachio, which uses pistachios shipped direct from Sicily. Some of Talenti’s unique sorbet flavors are Hill Country Peach Champagne, Malaysian Mango and Pear Cinnamon Basil.

Not to be outdone, Ciao Bella Gelato Inc., Irvington, N.J., introduces the Select Series Gelato line, which debuted with two chef-inspired flavors. There’s spicy and refreshing Maple Ginger Snap and salty and tart Key Lime Graham Cracker. Malted Milk Ball and Chocolate Jalapeño are scheduled to roll out later this year.

The company prides itself on an extensive line of innovative seasonal offerings such as Banana Date Walnut Gelato, which debuted this past spring. This gelato is made with South American bananas and Middle Eastern dates mixed with the nutty flavor of walnut. At the same time, Raspberry Hibiscus Sorbetto entered the marketplace, which is made with real hibiscus flowers, as did Ricotta Strawberry Gelato, which includes creamy Italian ricotta cheese.

Cheesy frozen desserts

Though Roquefort and ricotta can be found in frozen desserts, there use is limited. More commonly included cheeses are cream cheese and mascarpone.

National refrigerated dairy dessert leader Kozy Shack Inc., Hicksville, N.Y., is now a player in the frozen dessert business. Made in Italy, each box of Tiramisu contains two 3-oz parfait cups of this authentic Italian dessert made with fresh mascarpone cheese and espresso-soaked sponge cake.

Sara Lee, Downers Grove, Ill., offers a bite-sized version of its namesake cheesecake. Ready-to-indulge straight from the freezer, new Sara Lee Cheesecake Bites come in original, chocolate and strawberry varieties.

With restaurants adding smaller, richer, more decadent dessert options to their menu, Sara Lee Cheesecake Bites bring the trend to homes with more satisfying sweet snacks that are ideal for grabbing a handful of pieces for a quick, indulgent treat.

“Because full-flavor doesn’t have to equal full-size, Sara Lee Cheesecake Bites can satisfy a craving whenever it strikes,” says Carl Gerlach, marketing director, Sara Lee new products.

The finger food is sold in ice cream-style round pints containing 40 pieces. Retail placement is either with frozen cakes and pies or ice cream-type products.

Specialty dessert manufacturer Cheesecake Aly Inc., Glen Rock, N.J., is also taking its decadent refrigerated cheesecakes to the frozen dessert case with the introduction of FreeseCake. This proprietary frozen dessert is made from baked cheesecake that is blended with all-natural dairy products, whipped, frozen and served like ice cream. It is sold in round pints.

Baked and frozen

A number of frozen desserts include a bakery product component. For example, Kozy Shack has also rolled out Chocolate Truffle Rolls. Imported from Holland, each box contains 24 pastries, which are made with fresh dairy cream and real Belgian chocolate. The bite-sized pastries are arranged on a cardboard tray that should be carefully removed from the box.

PhillySwirl Inc., Tampa, Fla., just introduced PhillySwirl Ice Cream Cupcakes, which are half cake and half ice cream topped with swirled icing and chocolate sprinkles. They are available in combination packs of vanilla and chocolate flavors.

Weight Watchers International Inc., New York, markets Weight Watchers Smart Ones Signature Sundaes Peanut Butter Cup Sundae. This indulgent combination is low-fat vanilla ice cream swirled over a crumbled chocolate cookie crust, topped with fudge sauce and mini peanut butter cups.

Candy and cultures

On the novelty side of things, Mars Snackfood U.S., Hackettstown, N.J., has rolled out a line of frozen novelties called M&M’S Ice Cream Treats. Borrowing from M&M’s brand’s biggest equities of shape and color, each bar contains vanilla ice cream covered in a chocolaty coating, then dipped in a chocolate-colored crackling shell. Every treat contains a riddle on the stick from the popular M&M’S “spokescandies” Red and Yellow. Answers, hidden beneath the ice cream, can only be solved upon finishing all three layers.

From Belgium’s YSCO comes Fruity, a combination of fruits, probiotic ice cream and a mixture of nuts (walnut, cashew and almonds). It is the first probiotic ice cream in the European market and contains Bifidobacterium animalis Bb-12. This product is made through an exclusive production process that preserves the vitality of the ferments.

Fruity comes in two varieties: Mango-Raspberry and Forest Fruits. It won the Anuga Innovation Award 2007 in Cologne, Germany.

Put “more” into your frozen desserts and create a winner.

Sidebar: Ice Cream for GI Health

There is great interest in adding probiotics to ice cream; however, the process of making and freezing ice cream can destroy or damage these beneficial bacteria.

Researchers with Ege University, Izmir, Turkey, examined the effects of oligofructose and inulin on the survival of Lactobacillus acidophilus La-5 and Bifidobacterium animalis Bb-12 in low-fat ice cream. Findings from the study appeared in the May 2008 issue of the Journal of Food Science.

The researchers examined samples of ice cream mixes that included probiotics, probiotics/oligofructose and probiotics/inulin. Oligofructose significantly enhanced survival of the two bacteria in the ice cream mix. After the ice cream mixes were frozen and the storage period completed (90 days at 0ºF), the viable counts for L. acidophilus La-5 and B. animalis Bb-12 decreased, but the recommended minimum limit of 106 CFU/g was maintained for B. animalis Bb-12 in the ice cream supplemented with oligofructose during storage. The researchers said that the possible prebiotic effects of oligofructose in the ice cream mix helped more of the bacteria to survive.