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Middle Eastern Ice cream ideas - HELP!

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Hi guys,

I need some help with Middle Eastern ice cream topping ideas (more Lebanese than anything else). I have to do a Lebanese themed ice cream bar (I live in the Caribbean) and I have no idea where to start! I figured I'd go with three ice cream flavours and a variety of toppings.

Here's my entire list of ideas

ice cream flavours:
-vanilla
-coconut
-lemon sorbet

toppings:
-candied walnuts
-ginger cream or syrup
-figs poached in a ginger syrup
-pine nut praline
-candied dates with cardamom
-mint lemon syrup
-pistachios
-something with a coffee flavour, maybe make a rich espresso biscotti
-something with apricots

any suggestions are welcomed, I have NO idea what else I can put!

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  1. Mint tea is very common in the middle east as is rose water. A mint ice cream? A rose water infused simple syrup?

    Almonds are very common as is cinnamon in savory cooking.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Kelli2006

      Concur with Kelli - I would also add the suggestion of pomegranate molasses.

    2. Turkish Syllabub
      I usually like Nigella Lawson's ideas, but have not tried this but ....
      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ni...

      1. I'm thinking that if you could incorporate rose or orange blossom essence into either the ice cream, or into some type of syrup, that would be a great addition.

        Another idea is to make a sort of Kanafeh-flavored ice cream, with flavors of ricotta, orange blossom, walnut, cinnamon, lemon, almonds, etc. Maybe even some vermicelli mixed in the ice cream (I realize this isn't possible if you are purchasing the ice cream, but if you making the ice cream yourself maybe this would work? I don't know, I've never made ice cream!)

        1. Hummus and eggplant ice cream.

          1. Coconut seems a little out of place -- coconuts do grow in parts of the middle east, but they aren't strongly associated with middle eastern food. Maybe coffee or pistachio instead.

            The date, fig and pistachio toppings seem like good choices. Maybe also some honey -- it goes pretty well with vanilla ice cream.

            You might also try putting together some version of faloodeh.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Scrofula

              Dates and figs for sure. Like the rose and orange blossom water as well. Pistachios, walnuts and pine nuts. cinnamon and allspice. Lemon zests....the list goes on but I agree coconut seems out of place.

            2. As others said, I'm not sure how coconut fits into a Lebanese theme. Rose, cardamom, pistachio all sound better. Anakalia's kanafeh ice cream sounds esecially delicious. As far as toppings, I think you'd do well to include halvah, apricot leather, candied rose petals, thyme-scented biscuits (to play off the lemon sorbet) in addition to the ideas you've come up with.

              1. I agree about almond or pistachio with pomegranate syrup.

                Maybe cardamom and honey?

                You might try cinnamon-mint ice cream topped with toasted sesame seeds.