If you haven't heard already, we've just launched our latest collaboration - this time it's with ice cream legends of our childhood, Peters Drumstick.
The new range includes 4 Drumstick X Messina flavours which are now available in a supermarket near you...
When it comes to product development, we are prettty meticulous in the process. Keep reading to hear Head Chef and co-owner Donato Toce reveal why we chose the flavours we did, and how we made them taste better than any supermarket ice cream you'd had yet.
SO, how do you make an ice cream that both the Big Cheeses at Messina AND Peters are all happy to sign off?
- Both parties spent ages in the development lab working out what we wanted to do and tweaking the recipes to get them perfect. We've taken the classic Aussie Drumstick, and reimagined it. And we ate a lotta Drumsticks for 'research purposes in the process'.
- Drumstick X Messina cones have less overrun in the product. That means there's less air in it, meaning it tastes creamier and more indulgent (and more like a product we at Messina are used to making).
- We actually make some of the products for the range ourselves here at Messina HQ. You may have read about our own Dulce de Leche, and how we have our own hazelnut farm. For this range, we make the dulce de leche sauce and hazelnut sauce for two of the flavours, and send it off to the Peters factory to be used in the range.
There's four flavours in the range - Dulce de Leche, Roasted Hazelnut, Vanilla Bean & Peanut Praline and Mango & Salted Coconut.
Dulce de Leche
This one of a kind flavour is made with milk chocolate ice cream, MESSINA’s trademark Dulce de Leche sauce, mixed with chocolate coated biscuit pieces
How is the dulce de leche we make for Messina stores different from the one we make for our Drumstick?
- There really is not much difference to the one we make in stores and the one we make for Peters. The major difference is that we needed it a little more viscosity for the Peters range due to the machinery they use. We achieved that by using alternate sugars and slightly tweaking our recipe, however it was really important to us that you would experience the same taste.
- We've made about 10 tonnes for Peters so far. As a company last year we made 25 tonnes for our gelato...since we bought own machine to make it from Argentina, we've been putting dulce de leche in pretty much anything we can. If you're near a Messina store, ask for a taste of the Super Dulce flavour.
A unique MESSINA hazelnut sauce swirled through indulgent chocolate gelato, topped with roasted hazelnuts all the way from Cortemilia in Italy.
We're making the hazelnut paste ourselves for the Drumstick range - how did you come up with the recipe?
- It's an entirely new product for us. We took our pistachio fudge recipe and formulated it to work the same way so you have a gooey hazel-nutty fudge. When we made it, it was love at first taste.
The type of hazelnuts used are Cortemilia hazelnuts - why did you insist on those for the Peters collab?
- Firstly, because they are IGP grown and cultivated from the area they are native to. Secondly, and most importantly, in the roasting they are roasted to the point where there is minimal moisture left in the nut. This means it shatters in your mouth when eaten while still retaining that wonderful hazelnut flavour. Thirdly, the fine skin has been completely removed from the nut after roasting. The flavour the skin gives once milled is a bitter one and that is not wanted at all...whether it be in gelato or a fudge
Rich three fold vanilla bean ice cream, topped with a sweet & salty peanut praline and dark chocolate sauce.
What made you want to include a classic flavour like vanilla in the mix?
- This was actually made at the initial tasting as a joke. We had eaten a number of Drumsticks for inspiration and just thought that a 'luxe' Drumstick could be quite tasty. Turns out it is.
- Our intention for this flavour wasn't to reinvent it, just to make it more decadent - so we used real vanilla bean instead of vanilla flavouring, and real chocolate instead of compound chocolate.
Kensington Pride Mango
Fresh Kensington Pride mango sorbet entwined with Murray River Salted Coconut sorbet, swirled with Kensington Pride Mango sauce and topped with toasted coconut flakes.
We also use the Kensington Pride mango in Messina store products like Mango Sorbet and our own Salted Coconut & Mango flavour. Why do you think these mangos are better than any other?
- We believe they are the best tasting mango for a sorbet. A lot of people may disagree, but we find it lends itself perfectly - it has the perfect balance at acidity and sweetness that you would want in a mango
- During the year we've been working on the collaboration, we've actually switched our supplier of mangos to the one Peters was using as the product was better. We have now secured a crop from one farm outside of Mackay in QLD.
How many hours did you spent with the Peters Drumstick team developing the new flavours?
- Honestly, it would have been hundreds of hours, lots of day trips to Peters R&D plant, then the production plant, not to mention the R&D for us for the dulce de leche and hazelnut sauces we are supplying.
How is developing a drumstick / high volume ice cream different to what we do with flavours for our Messina stores?
- In essence, what Peters do and what we do is the same thing. The development of a product is quite similar, however we having the smaller facility, smaller distribution network and we can do things a little faster. We do a lot of things by hand we don’t have as many factors in that effect our production. The one thing I have noticed with Peters is the amount of Quality Assurance they do on their product - not just post production but pre production. From the crunchiness of the cone and how to keep it crunchy, from the procurement of ingredients - it's pretty impressive.
Any, most importantly, how many Drumsticks have you consumed in the process?
- Let's just say in excess for 400...and counting.
The Peters Drumstick X Messina range officially launches on the 11th January. It's NOT available in Messina stores, only supermarkets and convenience stores. You'll find the range in Woolworths, Coles etc...
We hope you lick them.