Pop quiz hot shot. What do you do when you have the ability to make a Big Mac ice cream?! What do you do?
Well, that is the responsibility facing The Ice Alchemists – they can literally make ANY ice cream flavour you can think of, and although they’ve yet to try the coveted Big Mac version – they do get to experiment with a whole host of flavours and tastes.
That’s because they create ice cream that’s unlike any ice cream you’ve ever had before. Gone are the days when you’d have to mix and churn and freeze a big tub of milk and cream, wait a couple of days and then scoop it out – no, all this is done within a matter of minutes.
I’m sure you’ve all seen the hypnotic videos on YouTube or Instagram, watching a bloke in Thailand scrape and roll away while you lie in bed at 2am in the morning – well that’s what The Ice Alchemists is all about.
We headed down to Hatch to catch up with owner Woody who explained exactly how they got started and what life is like making ice cream rolls for the people of Manchester.
Founded by Woody and his partner Becky a few years ago, the pair had always been ones for experimenting – with Woody regularly brewing his own beer, making their own bread and even a “killer chilli jam” which I want to try on top of a big slab of cheese with some port.
As a life-long lover of ice cream Becky decided that the world of frozen cream was for them and along with long-time friends Kevin & Natasha they set up The Ice Alchemists and embarked on a tour of various Debenhams stores around the North West.
Finally, they were invited to the newly expanded Hatch over the summer, first operating out of their own dedicated shop and now serving from a portable trolley for the chillier winter months.
So, what makes their ice cream different? Well, as Woody explains, “It’s half science, half art“, with every ingredient and flavour requiring a whole new set of timings and knowledge to ensure it all works together and produces the creamiest product imaginable.
The speed in which the ice cream is churned is a massive help, stopping the production of ice crystals which cause it to go watery and crispy – not the best when you’re supposed to be creating something smooth and creamy.
The unique nature of the rolling also means that they can create ANY flavour they like, with best sellers including Clotted Cream, Scone and Jam, Jam Doughnut and even a Dark Chocolate & Chilli offering which sounds right up my street.
The possibilities are endless, and that’s what makes The Ice Alchemists so exciting. You never know what they’ll come up with next and if it IS a Big Mac one – I’ll certainly give it a try. Although looking at this video – perhaps not!