Paul’s Homemade Ice Cream

DECADENT CREATIVITY.

Paul Ballen is a psychology graduate, keen photographer, traveler and food enthusiast who has been making and selling designer ice cream for about a year now, under the radar and out of his own home. Paul has taken an ordinary thing like ice cream and turned it into something great, using the most creative flavour combinations and top quality ingredients. I was fortunate enough to interview the ice cream king about this exciting avenue of creativity.

It all started when Paul’s sister bought her boyfriend an ice cream machine as a birthday gift. Being a lover of fine foods and artisan confectionery, Paul just had to get his hands on a machine like that – so he got himself an ice cream maker. Playing mad scientist in the kitchen is a fun pass-time for any foodie, but Paul took it to another level by sourcing the finest ingredients for his new hobby. As the ingredients got more exotic, the ice cream got more expensive to make – and Paul (being a gym fanatic) realised that he couldn’t eat all of his produce, so he opened up shop online. As an avid traveler, Paul has experienced the cafe culture which is not common on this continent, but is a way of life in Europe and the US. In South Africa people aren’t walking from cafe to cafe on cobbled streets, so the ice cream in this country is all mass produced and sold in supermarkets – and not related to any outdoorsy societal culture like it is overseas. This was another reason why Paul decided to start selling ice cream, as he aptly said “You just don’t get that here.”

The word-of-mouth advertising route was the only way for Paul – as he knows his way around Twitter and social media, and was realistic about his market being very niche. All of his ice cream is made at home on his ace, taking over an hour to make one liter. His process is involved, and he was kind enough to share with me some of the details. Firstly, he goes on a shopping spree to find the highest quality spices and fresh produce to use in his process. He then cooks his own custard using these A grade ingredients. Once the custard is at the right consistency and flavoured to perfection, Paul gets to work with the ice cream machine – taking 40 minutes to churn the liquid deliciousness into the final product. After this, the machine takes a while to cool down before Paul can package his goodies. His packaging speaks to the homemade aspect of his product. It is simple, stylish and leaves one with the feeling of “This product was handmade just for me.”

Paul started hosting sampling events and waffle days to turn the online hype about his product into actual sales. These events have been popular, so look out for the next one! On the menu are some tantalizing classic custard ice cream flavours:

-Chocolate Nutella and Oreo
-Pistachio
-White Chocolate
Maple Syrup and Caramalised Pecan
-Chocolate
-Madagascan Vanilla
-Green Tea
-Green Tea and White Chocolate
-Lemon Curd
-Roasted Coconut
-Roasted Banana
-Vietnamese Coffee
-Stem Ginger
Dulche de Leche
-Guinness and Chocolate
-Cookies and Cream
Peanut Butter and Banana
-Peanut Butter
-Chai Tea
-Mocha
-Banana Coconut
-Coffee Chocolate

In addition to this list of flavours, Paul’s sheer creativity makes for some periodic limited edition ice cream flavours – and he also makes designer ice creams for people who ask him to go all out. If you want to design your own flavours you can ask him for that too, but just remember that all orders take up to three days for delivery. If you think that R150 per liter is expensive, just think again – this product is handmade using top quality ingredients and can be specified to your liking, whereas other ice creams are all mass produced in factories which use ingredient fillers and other nasty things to cut corners and lower prices. If you want an amazing product you will be looking for quality, and with Paul’s ice cream that’s exactly what you will be paying for.

I can’t think of a better gift to give a loved one than a beautifully packaged, fresh batch of personalised flavoured top quality ice cream! To get your hands on some, you can catch Paul on Twitter (click here) or access his order form from Wufoo (click here). Make sure to keep an eye out for the waffle day events and the limited edition flavours which pop up every now and then.

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