When you roam the freezer section at your grocery store, you probably don’t see ice cream flavors like avocado, rosemary chèvre, or cucumber rose nestled between vanilla and mint chocolate chip—but those flavors can be found in Chloe Jankowitz’s fridge.
Jankowitz, a 2004 Newton North graduate, has made everything from macaroon to an olive oil ice cream over the past year as part of a challenge she set for herself: to churn 100 flavors of ice cream in 365 days. The “100 Scoopsies” challenge, which started in February 2013 and ends in two days on Feb. 8, has resulted in over 10,000 @100Scoopsies Twitter followers—and a business plan.
As of Wednesday she had 97 flavors and was looking forward to finishing the last three by the deadline.
Jankowitz’s frozen obsession dates back to when she worked at the J.P. Licks in Newton Centre almost ten years ago.
“I just loved the whole experience of working there and serving the ice cream and obviously eating it,” said Jankowitz, who lives in Somerville.
She eventually went on to work at Emack & Bolio’s on Newbury Street.
“I like cupcakes and other desserts, but for me, [ice cream] is just personal and sentimental,” Jankowitz said. “If I hadn’t worked at those two stores when I was younger, this never would’ve happened.”
She was inspired to start the Scoopsies challenge after owning an ice cream maker but only using it casually.
“I really wanted to learn everything I had to know about making ice cream and learn it faster,” Jankowitz said.
So the part-time finance assistant at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School decided to spend her spare time making ice cream. She went into the project with a list of flavors culled from ice cream shops, ice cream cook books, and desserts she wanted to turn into ice cream.
She has photographed all of her creations and keeps a blog, Facebook page, Twitter account, and Instagram account for Scoopsies. This isn’t Jankowitz’s first time running a blog—she previously ran one that featured humorous emails from parents everywhere called Emails from my Mother.
“It’s been really surprising,” Jankowitz said of the social media response. “A big way that I’ve attracted followers, I guess, is through the photos [and] asking people for suggestions. I’ve made friends with a bunch of ice cream makers all across the country. We support each other.”
The challenge has been a bit of a rocky road at times.
“I’ve definitely made a few bad flavors,” Jankowitz said. “I tried making a champagne ice cream and I used a low-quality champagne and it turned into a disaster. Everything is an experience. I learned you have to use the best ingredients.”
Her friends and family were also skeptical of the undertaking. However, once she started, they were impressed. Her first flavor for 100 Scoopsies, whose name is derived from the way her brother says “supsies” instead of “sup,” was Turkish Coffee.
While her original plan was to make two flavors per week, other projects slowed Jankowitz, a self-described procrastinator, down. In order to finish on time, she made 20 flavors in January.
However, Jankowitz encourages anyone interested in ice cream to try making their own.
“When I make it, it’s very simple,” Jankowitz said.
She starts by heating the base of milk, sugar, cream, and egg yolks in a pan, and then refrigerating that for at least eight hours. After that, Jankowitz pours the mixture in the ice cream maker and adds mix-ins.
She makes a quart of ice cream at a time, which she says is standard for ice cream bloggers or chefs like David Lebovitz. Jankowitz buys ingredients in bulk and wholesale to save money.
“A decent ice cream maker is $50, which isn’t too bad,” she said. “You can really do it under $20 if you’re planning on doing multiple batches.”
Jankowitz has even made sorbets, which are dairy-free, and vegan flavors like Hemp Seed. It’s important for her to have those options—this ice cream maker is lactose intolerant.
“I really like to eat ice cream but I really can’t eat more than a scoop,” Jankowitz said. “I still eat it and I eat as much as I can. It’s really nice to try alternatives.”
Every 20 flavors, she has held an event for her family, friends, and social media followers. After thinking they would be small ice cream socials, Jankowitz was pleasantly surprised when people started asking her to serve her creations at their events. She started out by serving ice cream at shows for some musician friends and went on to serve at Harvard Book Store warehouse sales and Great Scott in Allston.
As she cranks out her last flavors on 100scoopsies.com, Jankowitz wants to continue Scoopsies’ success.
“It’s really bittersweet,” Jankowitz said. “Every day when I come home from work, I put my stuff down and I go right to doing research or doing work … It’ll be weird to not have that.”
She plans on buying her business license on Feb. 9, Scoopsies’ one-year birthday, so she can start doing events as a company.
“I want to start doing catering and small ice cream socials for local businesses,” Jankowitz said. “I’m excited that I’m going to have more time to work on the business and on perfecting some of the flavors I eventually want to sell.”
Check out Scoopsies on Feb. 8 to see the surprise final concoction. Jankowitz’s favorite flavor to come out of the challenge so far is Chocolate Chip Cannoli. Try her recipe below to make your own!
(yields 1 quart)
2 cups whole milk
10 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 egg yolks
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
To make Chocolate Chip Cannoli Ice Cream:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat whole milk, ricotta cheese and sugar over medium heat, stirring frequently until mixture starts to simmer. Make sure it doesn't boil!
2. While the mixture is heating, whisk the egg yolks with the vanilla extract in a small bowl.
3. Once the milk and cream starts to simmer, take a tablespoon of the mixture and pour it in with the egg yolks to slowly warm them up. Stir quickly. Add a few more tablespoons, one at a time, stirring constantly.
4. Pour the heated egg yolks in with the milk and cream. Remove the saucepan from heat and stir for about 30 seconds.
5. Let the mixture cool for about 30 minutes. Put in a container with plastic wrap right over the custard. Place in the fridge to ripen, preferably for at least 8 hours (the longer the better!--I like to let mine ripen for two days if I can).
6. When the custard is ready, pour it into an ice cream maker. While the ice cream is churning (and looks about a few minutes from done), toss in the chocolate chunks. Enjoy!