ICE CREAM MAKING
The rainbow of ice creams on display at Ruby Violet’s Tufnell Park parlour make choosing a scoop near impossible: I dither between almond, fig and honey and black coconut and white chocolate before picking salted caramel and almond brittle.
There are always 18 on offer (of hundreds created since the shop opened in 2012), which change with the seasons. All are churned with egg yolks, Duchy Original organic milk, double cream and sugar into traditional English ice cream. This is thicker, creamier and denser than the gelato you’ll find being sold in a lot of parlours.
I learn this in a two-hour lesson that begins with a glass of chilled red and a chat with founder Julie Fisher [pictured, right, with purple headscarf, instructing Olivia] and other ice-cream fiends including locals Scarlett Connolly, 10 [pictured above right, with pink paisley headscarf ], and her mother Lilly (a rum and raisin addict). The parlour – “It’s more than a shop – it’s a community asset,” says Fisher – is named after her grandmother, whose portrait hangs on the wall. Next door, there’s a space for children’s parties.
Wine sipped, we move into the back of the shop, a small space where all the ice cream for Ruby Violet’s two shops (the other is in Granary Square, King’s Cross) and van, named Billy, is made. It’s a glimpse into a Willy Wonka-like process: to my left a basin bubbles with blackberry jam, ready to be rippled into milk ice cream. To the right, the pasteuriser hums and the churn rotates slowly. We are taken through the process
Two-hour ice cream masterclass, £85; rubyviolet.co.uk; 118 Fortress Road, London, NW5 2HL
TWO MORE TO TRY SCHOOL OF ARTISAN FOOD, NOTTINGHAMSHIRE
Make nine different types of vanilla ice cream in one day, £130; schoolofartisanfood.org
SCIENCE CREAM, CARDIFF
Make your ice cream then freeze it in nitrogen to take home. £110 for a private masterclass; £40pp for groups of six, both around two hours; sciencecream.co.uk