SHF #17: Pousse Glace

Darcy O'Neil :: April 20, 2006 8:45 PM

pousee-glace-3.jpgOriginally, I was going to make something like a Chocolate Monkey but decided that was a little too basic. So I figured a banana split with liqueur topping might be better, then I decided to mix the liqueur into the ice cream and that's when the Pousse Glace came about. Most people know what a pousse cafe is, and for those that don't, it's a layered drink with five or more liqueurs in a tall cylindrical glass or a pousse cafe glass. Being a bartender, that drink provided the inspiration to make this dessert for "Sugar High Friday". But instead of layering liqueurs, I decided that to make a great dessert, using the layering technique found in the pousse cafe, I would mix those liqueurs with ice cream and then layer them.

Sugar High Friday is being hosted this week by: Lick the Spoon

When I came up with the idea, I needed to figure out how I was going to do it. The easiest thing was to buy a tub of vanilla ice cream and then mix a scoop with a variety of different liquors to get the colours for layering. The proper, and more time consuming way, would be to make a batch of plain unflavoured ice cream and then add the liqueurs. Unfortunately, I didn't have time this week so vanilla was going to have to do.

As for the flavours, the most common would be chocolate (white creme de cacao), cherry (cherry brandy), banana (creme de banana), orange (blue curacoa) and melon (melon / midori liqueur). That was a little too predictable. The good thing about this dessert is that you can throw in a couple of surprises if you want. For example, you can use coconut liqueur for one layer and pear liqueur (green) for another. It will keep your guests, guessing. This dessert is super simple to make. First you will need to gather the following supplies:


4 - 8 oz Collins Glasses (any tall glass will do)
Mixing bowls
Fork or spatula (for mashing)
Long Handled Spoons

Ingredients (makes 4):

1 Tub of Plain or Vanilla Ice Cream*
2 oz Blue Curacao
2 oz Cherry Brandy
2 oz Banana Liqueur
2 oz Melon Liqueur
2 oz Coconut Rum

Whipped Cream
Maraschino Cherry

This dessert is made in steps and requires about 30 minutes over a period of two hours. Most of the time is spent freezing the ice cream so you can layer properly.

1. Take 2 oz of your first liqueur and mix it with one cup of ice cream in a small bowl.
2. Mix with a fork to thoroughly combine the liqueur and ice cream.
3. Carefully pour ¼ of the mixture into each glass trying to avoid hitting the walls of the glass
4. Place glasses in freezer and allow time for the ice cream mixture to freeze
5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 for each layer, making sure that each layer is frozen before pouring in a new layer.
6. When it is time to serve you can optionally top with whipped cream and a cherry.

* Note: using cheaper ice cream will result in smaller portions due to the amount of air added to the ice cream during processing and removed during mixing.

The mixture of liqueur and ice cream should keep the dessert relatively soft in the freezer, so be careful when pouring, otherwise you may end up with a uniform coloured dessert. Check first.

You can substitute any flavours you want. You can make alternating white and dark layers using rum, brandy (eau de vie) and whisky if you want. If you want to make a purple layer, just combine the blue Curacao and the cherry brandy. If you decide to use straight liquors like rum or brandy, try locating or making plain ice cream. This will help express the flavours better. If you are into Molecular Mixology, this drink can be made using foams, but it would be a pain since there are so many ingredients.

When I get around to making some plain ice cream, I think I'll do a tribute to Grand Marnier. It will be four layers with Cherry Marnier (cherry), Grand Marnier (orange), Navan (vanilla) and Marnier VSOP (cognac). Should be an interesting, and expensive dessert.

If you are entertaining friends or having a cocktail party, this dessert will be a big hit. Each portion will contain about 1/2 an ounce of alcohol, so they are not very strong.

Fix the Pumps
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