The Creamy Cyclone

Created and Named by Facebook Fan Dani Aronson


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Ample Hills Creamery

Ample Hills Creamery

By Brian Smith and Jackie Cuscuna

Published 2014

  • About

During the long winter months, when sales naturally slow, Brian and his team have more time to get wild in the kitchen. It becomes a sport, a competition of sorts, to see who can come up with the most labor-intensive flavor. The Creamy Cyclone takes the cake, but it’s not even one of the crew’s ideas! This one came from a fan contest on Facebook. We provided the framework: Come up with a flavor that was an ode to Coney Island and included nuts. (Yes, there were some suggestions that included Nathan’s hot dogs, but hot dogs aren’t bacon, so forget about it.) As hard as Brian and his team have tried, they haven’t come up with a tougher flavor than this one. It captures all the elements of a summer afternoon on the boardwalk: kettle corn–infused ice cream with salted peanuts, ribbons of salted fudge caramel, and oh, yeah, pieces of homemade funnel cake!


Special Equipment

  • Deep-fry thermometer
  • Piping bag for funnel cake batter

For the Popcorn Ice Cream

  • 2 cups (480 ml) whole milk
  • 6 cups (90 g) kettle corn
  • cup (130 g) organic cane sugar
  • ½ cup (60 g) skim milk powder
  • 1⅔ cups (400 ml) heavy cream
  • 3 egg yolks

For the Funnel Cake

  • Vegetable oil for deep-frying
  • 1 egg
  • cup (160 ml) whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • (155 g) cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (100 g) confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • 1 recipe salted fudge caramel
  • ½ cup (75 g) roasted salted peanuts


  1. Make the popcorn ice cream: Prepare an ice bath in the sink or in a large heatproof bowl.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the milk over medium-high heat until it starts to steam, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the kettle corn, and stir. Cover the pan and let the popcorn steep for 20 minutes. Pour the mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing down on the popcorn to extract as much milk as possible. Don’t worry if some of the popcorn “pulp” pushes through into the ice cream. That’s totally OK. Return the kettle corn–infused milk to the saucepan.
  3. Add the sugar and skim milk powder. Stir with a hand mixer or whisk until smooth. Make sure the skim milk powder is wholly dissolved into the mixture and that no lumps remain (any remaining sugar granules will dissolve over the heat). Stir in the cream.
  4. Clip a candy thermometer to the saucepan and set the pan over medium heat. Cook, stirring often with a rubber spatula and scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking and burning, until the mixture reaches 110°F (45°C), 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
  5. Place the egg yolks in a medium bowl. While whisking, slowly pour ½ cup (120 ml) of the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks to temper them. Continue to whisk slowly until the mixture is an even color and consistency, then whisk the egg-yolk mixture back into the remaining milk mixture.
  6. Return the pan to the stovetop over medium heat and continue cooking the mixture, stirring often, until it reaches 165°F (75°C), 5 to 10 minutes more.
  7. Transfer the pan to the prepared ice bath and let cool for 15 to 20 minutes. Pour the ice cream base through a wire-mesh strainer into a storage container and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 hours, or until completely cool.
  8. Make the funnel cake: In a deep heavy saucepan, heat 1½ inches (4 cm) of oil until it registers 375°F (190°C) on a deep-fry thermometer.
  9. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, and vanilla. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cane sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and whisk to combine.
  10. Pour the batter into a piping bag and pipe some of the dough into the oil in a squiggly, weblike pattern. Work in batches, being careful not to crowd the oil too much or the temperature will drop. Spell your name, write letters to lovers in distant lands—it doesn’t really matter; it’s all going to get chopped into pieces later on. Cook until golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes, then flip the fried batter with tongs and cook for 1 minute more. Remove to a wire rack and sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Repeat until the batter is gone. Let the funnel cakes cool completely, then chop into bite-size pieces. Set aside.
  11. Prepare the salted fudge caramel according to the recipe directions.
  12. Transfer the cooled base to an ice cream maker and churn it according to the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice cream is almost finished, open the lid and fold in the peanuts and pieces of funnel cake. Use as much of the cake as you want; you won’t necessarily need the whole batch. Continue churning for a few minutes more.
  13. Transfer the ice cream to a storage container, gently folding in heaping spoonfuls of the salted fudge caramel as you do, softly lifting and spinning it throughout the ice cream. Be careful not to overmix. Serve immediately or harden in your freezer for 8 to 12 hours for a more scoopable ice cream.