I first got a taste of the wonders of liquid nitrogen-made ice-cream in Sydney. I was wandering through the city at night when the smoke and kooky lab outfits of the staff at N2 pulled me in. That was the night I would be forever remembered for buying and finishing two large serves of pretzel ice-cream in a row. Marc still reminds me to this day just how much of a piggy I can be when it comes to ice-cream.
Jenny first told me that something similar was available in Brisbane a couple of months ago. I heard that Nitrogenie had one store near us in Southbank Parklands and another at Indooroopilly shops. When we finished dinner at Harajuku Gyoza, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for trying the new ice-cream shop. It was just next door after all; it can't get any more convenient than that.
Nitrogenie offers a bunch of less than conventional flavours of ice-cream that you can have plain or in thickshake or sundae form. I also spotted some ice-cream burgers made with macarons that might be worth a try on a day when I'm not as stuffed.
Marc and I got a large serve of ice-cream each (only $1 more than 'regular' size!) These were churned live in front of us with some powerful stand-mixers and oodles of smoky liquid nitrogen. A bit of theatre never hurt anyone.
Salted caramel popcorn
For me the salted caramel popcorn was a no-brainer. I love salty desserts and I love corn flavoured desserts (yes they do exist). From the first bite I knew this ice-cream was practically designed for me. It had a distinct salty tang balancing the creamy caramel richness. I like to think that the nitrogen mixing technique has some purpose besides looking cool. This ice-cream had a texture unlike most others in shops. It was very, very smooth and clung to the the spoon in a thick, sticky manner. It was really delicious. I liked the occasional surprises of chewy caramel popcorn kernels too. Just throw some pretzel pieces into the mix and I would have passed out in ecstacy.
Despite all the aforementioned 'less than conventional' flavours that included condensed milk, Nutella, goats cheese and chunky chocolate, Marc found the most boring one: vanilla. I don't hate on vanilla ice-cream but honestly why get that at Nitrogenie? I tried a bit but my tastebuds were so blown away by my own ice-cream that it wanted nothing to do with bland old vanilla.
I'm really glad that we have an equivalent of N2 here in Brisbane. I personally don't give a rats about how the ice-cream is churned. A 12 year old me would have applauded the magic trick aspect of it but grown up Cora only cares about one thing, and that's taste. The bottom line is that the flavours of ice-cream hit all the right notes and the texture is unique, smooth and rich.