Lulu Artisan Ice Cream + Rural Vermont (Video)

Lulu Artisan Ice Cream + Rural Vermont

The Vermont countryside (check out my YouTube video for MUCH better views). This is my bus ride to work!

Inside Lulu!

So far I've made a salted bourbon caramel sauce (above), to become a swirl in some ice cream later today. I also made some brownies, and ran the churning machine for an hour, cleaning it in between batches. In that time it churned out a total of two small tubs of basil ice cream, and one tub of maple bourbon.

Besides doing prep work in the kitchen, I also work at the scoop shop. Here are yesterday's flavors! Lulu uses only local ingredients whenever possible, and for everything else they use organic. As an employee I get unlimited samples (so do the customers, actually), so of course I've "quality-checked" all the flavors on the list up there ;). My favorite was Slumdog Millionaire, and I'm not sure I approve of the name, but the flavor is AWESOME. It's a creamy sweet peanut butter base, with a kick of curry spices and some heat at the end. It's addicting. 

Check out my video if you want to see more of the shop, and see some much better quality views of the picturesque Vermont countryside.

I'll keep you guys updated on any tips I learn on making ice cream at home, on infusing flavors, and of course any cool flavor combinations I get to taste.

Here's the Lulu website: luluvt.com


Pastry Shop in Monterey, California

If you've never tried a canelé before, you must. It's a really-hard-to-make french pastry that's like a magic fusion of sponge cake and creamy custard, PLUS a darkly-caramelized outer crust that is sometimes crunchy. You can tell a good pastry shop by their canelés.

This was a very well-balanced pistachio-apricot tartlet. The pistachio filling wasn't too sweet, and the crust wasn't too hard or too crumbly. Some desserts taste great for the first bite or two, but they're so sweet and/or dry that you absolutely NEED a glass of milk, or some other kind of liquid to wash it down. This tartlet though, I happily ate all by itself.

If our friend hadn't been treating us (thanks, Liz!), I would've had a much, much harder time controlling myself. I wanted to try everything.

These little guys looked especially good.

This is a kouign amann (KWEEN yah-mon), and before this day it was what one of my friends calls a "unicorn", meaning something that you've heard a lot about, but never actually seen. I had read a lot about this on baking blogs before, and boy did it live up to expectations! It's a laminated dough (meaning it has hundreds of layers of butter folded into it) but doesn't have nearly as many layers as a croissant. This makes it a little more bread-y, a little less greasy/buttery, and with the layer of crunchy caramelized sugar on top, a little more awesome. 

Want to know where the kouign amann came from? My favorite pastry blogger has a short little post on its history: http://www.joepastry.com/2010/say_what_now/.

Here we have a pistachio-raspberry-chocolate cake, and a slice of plum tart. This tart was just as balanced as the early apricot one, though with a sweeter streusel on top to balance out the tart plums. I think the chocolate cake slice was my favorite, after the kouign amann. The sponge layers were soaked in a light syrup, so it wasn't too dry, and the mousse and other fillings were just melt-y enough to dissolve in your mouth and let the flavors come through. I couldn't really taste the pistachio, but I did notice the raspberry. The only thing I would've liked to add was some kind of crunchy layer.

These pastries were from Parker-Lusseau Pastries in Monterey, California. It's a bit pricey, but worth it.

Summer Living and Introduction

Hi everyone,

Now that I'm done with school, I'm planning on spending the next five to ten years working abroad and traveling. My plan for this blog is to document and share my life abroad, my travels, and my quest for good dessert and pastry. During the next two years I’ll be living in China mostly, but hopefully with little stays in Japan and maybe India too. I just graduated and managed to get a job n Shanghai starting this fall (near where I lived during my junior year), and since my boyfriend will be in Japan, and most of my mum’s family still live in India, I’ll be visiting those places as well!

I’m going all-out, with a YouTube vlog, a Twitter account, and Facebook page, maybe a Pinterest and Instagram too. This is so I can really tap into the blogger/internet community and hopefully get in touch with other travelers, foodies, and fellow third culture kids.

My Summer

I just finished college last month, and for the summer I'm working part-time at an artisan ice creamery in Vermont. Since they do a really cool fusion of French-style ice cream and gelato, I'm super stoked to learn how they make their custard base, and how they infuse flavors. Some of their less-traditional flavors include Orange Cardamom, Curried Peanut, and Chocolate Ginger Caramel (yay for South Asian-inspired flavors!).

I'm originally from a small city on the West Coast, so right after graduation I went home for two weeks, and on my way back to Vermont, I stopped in California to see my boyfriend and a mutual friend in Monterey. I'll put up some pics for you guys later of the awesome little bakery we went to.

Future Plans

I won't actually be leaving for China until August 7th, but between now and then I'll most likely take a weekend trip to DC (visa stuff) where I'll track down at least one good dessert shop, and after that I'll have a few weeks left to tell you all about the ice cream I'm making, and visit a few Vermont bakeries as well. I'll keep you guys posted.