A pop a day keeps boredom away!

Archive for April, 2012

Day 121 — Watermelon Ice Pops

My daughters have been begging me for weeks now to buy watermelon. I guess they’re as tired of apples, bananas and oranges as I am by now. Still, I have been putting them off because I just don’t want to waste money on sure-to-be-substandard watermelon out of season.

This week, though, I finally gave in (at least it was grown in the US). To my surprise, it was actually quite sweet. So of course, I had to make it into an ice pop:

I didn’t add anything to the fruit for this pop, just pureed it up plain. I also left it the tiniest bit chunky so the pop would have bits of whole fruit in it.

I really wanted to like these pops. They were gorgeously pink and had a really nice texture. But the taste was oddly flat. I think these either require amazing fruit or an additional ingredient to jazz them up.

Day 120 — Beer Ice Pops

Today’s pop seemed like such a good idea at the time. I mean, if a cold beer is a good thing, then a really, really cold beer should be great, right? So:

My husband was in charge of making this pop, and he said it didn’t go well. The first one he poured foamed a ton. The second one foamed less, but the expanded well above the edge of the mold. Either way, it was messy:

Interestingly, these pops were the first ones we’ve ever been able to remove from the Zoku without using the remover tool. They just pulled right out of the molds.

I didn’t try these pops, because I really don’t like beer. Husband tried them, though, and said they were quite bad. The finished ice pops were bitter, apparently because they were made with a very hoppy beer. Apparently, a less hoppy beer (such as a lager, or Guiness) might be a better choice.

Still, beer ice pops just didn’t live up to the idea.  I think husband will stick to drinking his beer from a glass.

Day 119 — Tipsy Pineapple Ice Pops

I was going to call these pops “Drunken PIneapple Ice Pops,” but let’s face it: the amount of alcohol in any Zoku pop wouldn’t even get a child drunk (not that I’ve tried). Tipsy is a stretch too, but I’m going with it.

The Thermos contains Malibu Rum.

I went with my standard ratio of 1.5 ounces of juice to .5 ounce of alcohol, and the pop froze nicely. It was slushy, but it held together fine.

The pop came out with this cool mottled look. I don't know why, but I like it.

To be honest, I didn’t eat this pop. I forced our houseguest to eat it, because he’d never heard of the Zoku before. He says it tasted good, though.

I know I keep saying that it’s not worth it to put alcohol in Zoku pops, but I can’t seem to stop making them. I think it’s just too fun an idea to pass up.

Day 118 — Strawberry Basil Ice Pops

Today’s pop was an experiment. After the success of the strawberry balsamic ice pops last week, I thought it would be fun to see if different savory flavors worked well in an ice pop. Somewhere in the recesses of my memory lurked the idea that basil can be paired well with strawberries, so:

I pureed a handful of strawberries with about a teaspoon of sugar, a splash of water and one basil leaf, torn up.

I’m not really sure how I feel about this pop. On the one hand, the basil flavor is really strong, almost drowning out the flavor of the strawberries. I can’t say I really liked it. On the other hand, I couldn’t stop eating it. It was really interesting, but not in a negative way. Try it yourself, and tell me what you think!

Day 117 — Strawberry Colada Ice Pops

Ok, folks, I promise I’m almost at the end of this strawberry kick. I think I only have two or three more lined up.

But today’s is totally worth sitting through another strawberry post, I promise. But first, a funny story. I’d swear I thought up the idea for this pop while I was putting the baby down for a nap. I was so excited and proud when it turned out well that I actually made my husband taste it. He did, agreed it was good, and said “you’re welcome for the idea.”

Um, what?

“Yeah, remember? The other night when you didn’t feel like making a pop and I offered to do it for you, and I said I’d mix the strawberries with Malibu?”

No, I did not remember. This is how tired/brain-dead I am lately. Not only did I totally blank on this conversation with my husband, but then I actually convinced myself that this pop was my own idea. Oy. If this baby doesn’t start sleeping soon, my posts may devolve to a series of random syllables.

Regardless of who had the idea, this is what I made tonight:

If you’ve seen my other posts about alcoholic pops, you know that generally I don’t think they’re worth it in the Zoku. In order for the pop to freeze right, you need such a low concentration of alcohol that there’s really not much point. However, for this pop, the booze is there for flavor rather than for its intoxicating properties.

For one pop, I used 3 or 4 strawberries (they were big), a teaspoon of sugar and about 2.5 teaspoons of Malibu. It took a little longer to freeze than most pops, but it did freeze firm.

Hey look, another solid red ice pop! Aren't you excited?

This pop was really, really nice. The flavor of the coconut rum didn’t come out until the end of each bite, but once it did, it was gooood. The pop was not too sweet, the alcohol not too strong. Exactly the right pop to eat while watching Grey’s on the DVR.

Day 116 — Strawberry Sundae Ice Pops

I my post last week about ice pop troubleshooting, I mentioned that there are some substances that are too sweet to freeze solid. At the time, I saw that only as a cautionary note; today’s pop showed me that it can be a good thing, too.

One of the ways I serve strawberries around here, when we’re looking for something beyond just the plain berries, is with a drizzle of chocolate syrup over the top. It’s a healthy little indulgence, and lots of fun to eat. So I decided to see if it would translate to a pop:

As I’ve done with most of my other strawberry pops, I pureed a small handful of fresh strawberries with about a teaspoon of sugar and a splash of water. I began pouring this base into the molds, stopping every so often to squeeze a small dollop of chocolate syrup carefully into each side of the ice pop stick. I had a hunch the syrup wouldn’t freeze (after all, it doesn’t thicken when squeezed onto ice cream), but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to see what happened.

When I unmolded the pop, at first I was disappointed:

Not the look I was going for -- my pop looks like it's wounded.

As I suspected, the chocolate syrup didn’t freeze. Instead, it smeared along the sides of the mold, leaving a nice mess. The pop certainly didn’t look appetizing.

But in this case, looks were deceiving. What I didn’t realize from the outside is that some of the syrup I’d poured into the mold had basically been buried within the puree. As I was eating the pop, I kept coming across these great little veins of liquid chocolate. It tasted great, and it was definitely a fun pop to eat. It was well worth the time I spent wiping chocolate syrup off the Zoku.

Day 115 — Strawberry Creamsicle Ice Pops

I got a new big bucket o’ strawberries today, so brace yourselves for more strawberry pops this week.

First up, strawberry creamsicle. It’s been a rough day, so no ingredients shot today. But I mixed 3 large strawberries with about a teaspoon each of sugar and water. I really want to say that my fruit-based ice pops don’t need sugar, but sadly that’s not the case. Adding the sugar smooths out the flavor and produces a less-icy texture.

Anyway, I also made a small amount of the basic vanilla ice pop base (I only made one pop today, so I needed only around an ounce of the vanilla).

I poured the strawberry base, waited about 20 seconds, sipped out the middle and poured the vanilla. Ten minutes later:

This pop was so, so good. Better, I dare say, then actual creamsicles. I may need to make this one again.

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