Okay guys. I have the PERFECT Fourth-of-July and any-other-summertime-family-treat for you. These berries and cream floats are a MUST MAKE!
During the summer we love to make drinks and smoothies! You may have caught my Hawaiian Lava Flows, Melonberry Lemonade, Roasted Peach Lemonade, Toasted Coconut Vanilla Limeade, Mint Limeade, Fresh Cherry Limeade, and even our favorite Kiwi Lemonade here on the blog over the past couple years. I love experimenting with different fruits, textures, and fizzy mix-ins to get just the right combo. When I opened my Food Network magazine this month, all that work had been done for me! I saw these amazing Berries & Cream floats and knew we'd definitely have to make them asap. Well, we did. And we fell in love immediately.
I couldn't find any red cream soda as originally planned for this recipe - only regular cream soda. I'm not a fan of cream soda period, so I knew that just wasn't going to work (sorry! don't hate me!). I needed something ruby red to play along with the vibrant strawberries, the darker blackberries, and the bright white ice cream. Thankfully, I found a four-pack of Jones Strawberry Lime soda at the grocery store and I knew we had struck gold! I think the strawberry lime flavors worked even better with the fresh berries, made-from-scratch whipped cream, and vanilla bean ice cream. The fizzy bubbles of the soda seep through everything in the float, and create a treat you will want to serve to/with your family over and over again this summertime!
Making these floats is ridiculously easy. Most of the work is the layering of the actual float. We all know layering is pretty simple, so you can even have the kids help along.
First off, you start by making your own whipped cream. Skipping this step and using store-bought is fine, but I promise making your own is so simple and tasty - you'll never go back. A little secret to making the whipped cream form quickly is to use a metal whisk and a metal bowl, but to chill them before you use them. It only takes about 5 minutes of chilling to get the right starting temperature. This gives everything a head-start in the whipping department, and will make things much easier. Start with the stand mixer on low with the chilled whisk and bowl of heavy whipping cream, and slowly work your way up to a higher speed. Doing this by hand can take twice as long and but will still work out just the same. Once you reach stiff peaks (can hold the whisk straight up and the fluffy white stuff stays straight up without wilting down), pour in a little vanilla and toss in some powdered sugar. Whipped heavy cream without these two ingredients is kind of nasty. These are what brings out that creamy flavor!
Next is the layering. Using tall glasses is best - that way you can see all those gorgeous layers through the side of the glass. You eat with your eyes first, after all :) Start of by adding a big heaping scoop of ice cream. Vanilla bean works best here, because the berries & soda are the star of the drink. The ice cream is mostly for texture and temperature here, because the heavy cream is taking care of most of the "cream" part. Next, layer on pile of fresh berries. Berries, in our area, are at the tail end of their season. So they're still affordable, but not dirt cheap like they were a couple weeks ago. Frozen berries would work fine here, but there's nothing like fresh berries! After layering the berries, toss on some of that beautiful whipped cream you made from scratch. (Go you!) Then repeat the layers until the glass is 3/4 full (or 1/4 empty. haah).
Here comes the magic: pop open that bottle of strawberry lime red soda, and pour it over the top. Good heavens, it will change everything you knew about summertime drinks & floats during these crazy hot summer months. Enjoy!
Berries & Cream Floats
1-2 C cold heavy cream
2-4 T powdered sugar
1 t vanilla
1 C mixed berries, (chopped strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc)
2 pints vanilla bean ice cream
2 bottles of red cream soda or Strawberry Lime Jones Soda
1. Chill your metal bowl & whisk for 5 minutes before attaching them to your stand mixer. Whisk heavy cream, starting on low speed, and working up to high speed in three minutes. When cream has been whipped to stiff peaks, add vanilla and powdered sugar. Whip for 15 more seconds.
2. Set out 4-6 glasses for serving. In each glass, layer a scoop of ice cream, a couple tablespoons of berries, and prepared whipped cream. Repeat until glass is 3/4 full. Pour red soda over the layered mixture, and serve with a straw & strawberry for garnish.
recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine