Scoop is the ice cream for purists and hedonists. It’s produced with much love on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast by English-born Amanda Maidman, who has a ‘no nasties’ policy – eggs are used to stabilise, the freezer to preserve and nature to colour. “I never imagined it would be this much fun or attract such incredible feedback!” she enthuses. “For most people it’s a brand-new experience, but even my regular customers are excited about the taste.here-is-the-scoop-1

The flavour is so intense and the texture so silky, you can’t help but express pleasure. Nor did I realise there would be such opportunity to celebrate everything KZN! “A major part of the brand was always to celebrate KZN produce. We have access to so many amazing ingredients and I like to use them when they are at their best, hence the flavours coming on and off the menu. I like to use ingredients from traceable sources as much as possible and support local farmers. I use eggs, milk, cream and sugar from KZN. Lemons, limes, naartjies, bananas, strawberries, granadillas, macadamias, honey and ginger are from local farms.” Amanda qualified in hotel and catering management and her talent was recognised when she was employed to set up gastro pubs by a company called The Spirit Group. here-is-the-scoop-2

She set up and operated six pubs in the UK, with The Fire Stables in Wimbledon Village winning the Time Out Best Gastro Pub of the Year two years in a row. She relocated to South Africa in 2006 and, after being a full-time mom for five years, Amanda was approached by Wagamama UK in 2011 to help set up a new concept in Leamington Spa. “When I came back to South Africa in 2012 I realised I wanted to do something here. I had always fiddled around with ice cream at home since the head chef at The Fire Stables had introduced me to it – Frances McKellar made the most incredible desserts and refused to serve them with commercial ice cream. I couldn’t believe the difference and started making them myself too. The passion started there.” Amanda adapted her recipes from domestic to commercial use and now has three bases to which different ingredients are added. The Scoop repertoire includes 40 flavours and counting and, aside from the salted caramel, the other popular choices are strawberry sorbet, 70% chocolate, and toasted coconut with pineapple sorbet. “Funnily enough, the first time I made butter salted caramel I thought ‘never again’; I didn’t like it at all.

But I handed it out to a few friends and they loved it. It’s now one of my bestsellers,” she says. Other regular flavours include Madagascan vanilla, vanilla with toasted macadamias, and vanilla with salted macadamia praline. Seasons could bring with them flavours like pineapple and ginger sorbet, fresh mint with 70% chocolate chips, cinnamon ice cream, mango sorbet and naartjie sorbet. “I love nothing more than digging ice cream straight out of the tub after dinner, but sometimes I want it in a sugar cone. At Christmas, we were enjoying cinnamon ice cream with mince pies. I always recommend strawberry sorbet with chocolate brownies. “I usually start a Saturday market at 8am with a chocolate-dipped sugar cone loaded with 70% chocolate-chip ice cream.here-is-the-scoop-3

After dinner, I like a vanilla cone with toasted-coconut ice cream and strawberry sorbet,” Amanda muses. Scoop ice cream (R55 per 500ml) fast developed a fervent following at local markets and is still sold at Ballito Foodies’ Market, Litchi Orchard and Burnedale Farmers’ Market. Amanda also sells home-made vanilla and chocolate-dipped sugar cones, and will be introducing mixes that can be added to soup up flavours. Scoop will be spreading the love… watch out for decadent ice cream in bespoke retail spaces, including an open-plan kitchen and shop in Ballito.

Strawberry sorbet with rosé sparkling wine and pomegranate jewelshere-is-the-scoop-4

Makes 1L (4 cups) EASY 1 hr 15 mins + freezing time

THE FLAVOUR COMBINATIONS

  • 1kg strawberries, washed and prepared
  • 300g sugar
  • 25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 200ml rosé sparkling wine jewels of 2 pomegranates

HOW TO DO IT

  1. Combine the strawberries and sugar in a container with a lid and leave to steep, at least 1 hour, but no more than 4.
  2. Pour the mixture into a blender, add the lemon juice and blitz to combine, about 1 minute.
  3. Sieve the mixture and stir in the sparkling wine. Add to the ice-cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Fold in the pomegranate jewels just before freezing. If you do not have an ice-cream machine, place the mixture in a freezer-proof container and put in the freezer. Mix every 30 minutes until frozen to prevent crystals from forming. Stir in the pomegranate jewels just before the sorbet freezes completely.

Fresh mint ice cream with 70% chocolate chips here-is-the-scoop-5

Makes 1L (4 cups) A LITTLE EFFORT 1 hr 30 mins + overnight, to chill + freezing time

THE FLAVOUR COMBINATIONS

  • 500ml (2 cups) milk
  • 150g sugar
  • 2 handfuls fresh mint, washed
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 500ml (2 cups) heavy cream
  • 100g 70% dark chocolate, chopped into small pieces

HOW TO DO IT

  1. Warm the milk, sugar and mint gently in a medium saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and leave to steep at room temperature for 1 hour. Strain the mint from the milk mixture.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the whisked egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the egg-yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Gently heat the mixture on a medium setting, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Be careful not to overheat as the mixture will split.
  3. Prepare an ice bath using a mix of ice and water and stir the ice-cream mixture over the ice bath until cool. Refrigerate to chill, at least 4 hours but preferably overnight.
  4. Pour the cream into a separate bowl and place a strainer on top of it. Strain the chilled custard into the cream.
  5. Pour the mixture into your ice-cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once churned, stir in the chocolate and freeze. If you do not have an ice-cream machine, place the mixture in a freezer-proof container and put in the freezer. Mix every 30 minutes until frozen to prevent crystals from forming. Stir in the chocolate just before the ice cream freezes completely.

Madagascan vanilla ice cream with salted macadamia pralinehere-is-the-scoop-6

Makes 1L (4 cups) EASY 45 mins +overnight, to chill + freezing time

THE FLAVOUR COMBINATIONS

ICE CREAM

  • 500ml (2 cups) milk
  • 150g sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split in half lengthways
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 500ml (2 cups) heavy cream
  • 5ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract

SALTED MACADAMIA PRALINE

  • 200g sugar
  • 5ml (1 tsp) Himalayan salt
  • 150g macadamia pieces

HOW TO DO IT

  1. Warm the milk, sugar and vanilla pod (scrape out the seeds and add both seeds and the pod) gently in a medium saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and leave to steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl. Slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the egg- yolk mixture back into the saucepan. Gently heat the mixture on a medium setting, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Be careful not to overheat as the mixture will split.
  3. Prepare an ice bath using a mix of ice and water and stir the ice-cream mixture over the ice bath until cool. Refrigerate to chill, at least 4 hours but preferably overnight, leaving the vanilla pod in the mixture to strengthen the flavour.
  4. Pour the heavy cream into a separate bowl and place a strainer on top of it. Strain the chilled custard into the cream and add the vanilla extract. When ready to churn, pour the mixture into your ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. If you do not have an ice-cream machine, place the mixture in a freezer-proof container and put in the freezer. Mix every 30 minutes until frozen to prevent crystals from forming.
  5. For the praline, grease a large baking sheet.
  6. Spread the sugar in an even layer in a large saucepan. Warm over medium heat and, keeping a close eye on the pan, swirl the sugar around the pan as it starts to change colour (do not be tempted to mix the sugar). Continue swirling the sugar around the pan until all of the sugar has turned amber in colour, almost to the point of burning. Immediately add the salt and macadamias. Give the mixture 1 last good swirl around, then quickly pour onto the prepared baking sheet.
  7. When hardened, break the praline into bite-size pieces using a rolling pin.
  8. When the ice cream has churned, mix the praline through the ice cream before freezing. If you do not have an ice-cream machine, stir in the praline just before the ice cream freezes completely.

Pineapple sorbet with vanilla candied pineapple chunks

Makes 1L (4 cups) EASY 15 mins + freezing time

THE FLAVOUR COMBINATIONS

SORBET

  • 4 large pineapples, peeled and cubed
  • 200g sugar

CANDIED PINEAPPLE

  • 1 large pineapple, peeled
  • 150g sugar seeds of 1 vanilla pod

HOW TO DO IT

  1. For the sorbet, blitz together the pineapples and sugar in a blender.
  2. Add to the ice-cream machine and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If you do not have an ice- cream machine, place the mixture in a freezer-proof container and put in the freezer. Mix every 30 minutes until frozen to prevent crystals from forming.
  3. For the candied pineapple, dice the pineapple and add to a small pan with the sugar and vanilla. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the pineapple becomes shiny and most of the liquid has disappeared. The pineapple should be glossy and the sauce thick. Be careful not to overcook as it becomes tough.
  4. Leave to cool in the pan before stirring into the churned sorbet and freezing. If you do not have an ice-cream machine, stir in the pineapple just before the sorbet freezes completely.