MFWF highlights: gettin' saucy with Big Gay Ice Cream

Casey Warrener
10 February, 2016

Big Gay Ice Cream is the coolest of New York’s cool treats, and they're coming to this year's Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. Dip into their spicy Cardamon Ice Cream and throw on some Awesomesauce - go on, we know you're intrigued.

Another from across the pond, Big Gay Ice Cream is the coolest of New York’s cool treats. Starting its journey as a food truck, the demand for duo Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff’s playful creations saw them open two storefronts in the East and West Village. Genius marketing and whacky soft serves that work have made them world-famous – they’ve even published a book, Saucy Stories & Frozen Treats: Going All the Way with Ice Cream. You can meet the dudes behind Big Gay Ice Cream at this year’s festival hub (alongside fellow New York native Danny Bowien), which runs for 10 days at Queensbridge Square.

If you’re into the colourful aromatics of Indian food, you’ll love the Cardamom Ice Cream these two have dreamed up. It’s pretty much a cool, creamy take on a sweet cup o’ chai. We’re sold. They’ve also thrown in a redonkulous recipe for ‘Awesomesauce’. Because who doesn’t need a little awesome sauce in their lives?

Big Gay Cardamom Ice Cream


• 5 large egg yolks
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 11⁄2 cups whole milk
• 2 tablespoons ground cardamom
• A small handful of cardamom pods (about 10), crushed with the side of a chef’s knife
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 3⁄4 cup sugar
• 1⁄2 teaspoon coarse sea salt


Whisk the egg yolks in a large nonreactive saucepan; set aside. Warm the cream, milk, ground cardamom, and crushed cardamom pods in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring often to keep the mixture from scorching, for 15 minutes, until very aromatic. Add the mixture (it’s fine to leave the pods in for this step—you’ll strain them out later) to the yolks in a slow, steady stream, whisking continuously.

Set the saucepan over medium-low heat, add the vanilla, sugar, and salt, and stir for about 2 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. Continue cooking, stirring continuously, for another 5 minutes, or until the mixture begins to thicken; do not allow to boil. Transfer the pan to an ice bath to stop the cooking and stir until the steaming stops.

Pour the mixture through a sieve to remove the cardamom pods and seeds, transfer to an airtight container, cover, and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When it is finished, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze for at least 2 hours to harden. The ice cream can be stored in the freezer for up to 5 days.

Big Gay Awesomesauce


• 3 cups sugar
• 1 ½ cups whole milk
• 2 cinnamon sticks
• 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1⁄2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
• 1 ½ teaspoons coarse sea salt
• 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
• ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
• 3 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Combine the sugar, milk, cinnamon sticks, and butter in a large saucepan and whisk vigorously over medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, or until completely smooth. There should be no grittiness—all the sugar should be dissolved. Add the cocoa powder, salt, chili powder, cayenne, chocolate, and vanilla and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated; be sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the saucepan to avoid burning the chocolate. The sauce will be silky and have a nice sheen when ready. Remove the cinnamon sticks.

Taste-test before using, and adjust the spices if necessary. Let cool somewhat before spooning over ice cream.

Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. The leftover Awesomesauce is great reheated, for a sauce, and also good cold, as a rich, spicy spread.

VARIATION: For Not-So-Awesomesauce (meaning not spicy), leave out the chipotle and cayenne.

For more must-do events at the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, on from March 4 to 13, visit

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