New ice cream shop in downtown Fort Lauderdale: Churn & Scoop

The artisanal dessert that fills the cones and cups at Churn & Scoop, which opened Friday in downtown Fort Lauderdale, will not be confused with ice cream you’ve had anywhere else in town.

Beyond their luxurious butter-fat content and bold colors — you may wonder if Mondrian arranged the shop’s refrigerated display case for his Instagram — the dozen offerings include one ice cream made with corn, a vegan ice cream flavored with the purple Filipino potato called ube, and another combining chunky strawberry jam and ribbons of balsamic vinaigrette.

Churn & Scoop owner Matthew Kronfeld, a father of 4-year-old twins who lives a few blocks from the Federal Highway shop, is an unabashed ice cream fiend whose head is overflowing with ideas for frozen desserts that steer clear of the tried and true .

“There is nothing like this in the area, handcrafted ice cream with these kinds of ingredients, made right here,” Kronfeld said.

Matthew Kronfeld, owner of Churn & Scoop, the new artisanal ice cream shop in downtown Fort Lauderdale.

To collaborate and consult on his new flavors, Kronfeld hired Daniel Negron, former executive pastry chef at Wynwood ice cream shrine Dasher & Crank. Negron, whose resume includes stints at the Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach and The Dalmar hotel, recently joined Novikov Miami restaurant.

“One thing about ice cream that I really like is the possibilities are endless. It’s very interesting to combine flavors that you wouldn’t ordinarily do. For example, the corn ice cream,” Negron says. “Maybe in the future we’ll have olive oil ice cream. I’ve done soy ice cream sauce. It’s sweet and savory.”

Churn & Scoop is located in the shadow of millennial oasis Flagler Village, whose residents are always on the hunt for something unusual and exclusive. Barney-colored ube ice cream is sure to have their FOMO antennae buzzing.

Churn & Scoop's corn ice cream, which begins with charred corn steeped in milk.

They may know that Negron brought the ube ice cream idea with him from Dasher & Crank. He also developed his own method of steeping charred corn in milk to create Churn & Scoop’s corn ice cream, which is laced with granola and blueberry preserves. Negron predicts it will be one of the shop’s top sellers.

“Because it’s fantastic. To me, it tastes like popcorn, and blueberry, and it’s a little crunchy,” he said.

But the store is also located in the Victoria Park Shoppes, on the edge of a neighborhood filled with children — and dads who don’t have to worry about how they look in skinny jeans — a prime audience for dessert you carry in your hand.

And Kronfeld hits that audience in the sweet spot: His soft-serve ice cream can be encased in a hard-shell dip (flavors: birthday cake, cotton candy, chocolate, cherry); there are shakes and Churns (his take on Dairy Queen’s Blizzard); he also serves an affogato (hard or soft-serve ice cream in a cup, super-charged with a pour of hot espresso).

Of course, there are flavors of hard ice cream that celebrate sugar in all forms. These include tres leches (with chunks of cake made in-house); a brown butter cookie dough ice cream; peanut butter ice cream riddled with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Reese’s Pieces; and a pumpkin spice ice cream spiked with cult-fave pumpkin spice cookies from Trader Joe’s on Federal Highway.

“I bought out the whole store, every box they had. Like 50 boxes,” says Kronfeld, who admits to keeping quarts of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry on hand for traditionalists.

But, what about his more offbeat flavors? Does ice cream flavored with corn and potato pass the test with the discerning palates of high school students? Can Churn & Scoop get kids to eat their vegetables?

Ube ice cream at Churn & Scoop in Fort Lauderdale, where young taste-testers came up with a novel description for it.

“I liked the purple one,” said 16-year-old Victoria Maggio of the ube ice cream. After learning it was made from a potato and vegan, using coconut milk instead of dairy, she was undeterred. “I don’t know, it’s good. It tastes more refreshing to me. It’s less creamy, not like a milky taste. I like that.”

The Cardinal Gibbons High School junior took part in a taste test on a recent afternoon, joined by other students from Cardinal Gibbons, as well as from Fort Lauderdale High School and nearby St. Anthony Catholic School.

Full transparency: The shop’s ooey gooey cake ice cream, tres leches and the Reese’s ice cream got more stars, but the others got positive reviews.

The group pronounced the corn ice cream “interesting … in a good way.”

“You wouldn’t think you’d like it, but then you try it and you’re like, ‘Oh, it’s actually really good,’ said Sophia Stone, a 15-year-old Gibbons sophomore.

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The Eat Beat – Restaurants, Bars and Recipes

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Kyla Dunn, 14, a Gibbons freshman, said: “It kind of tasted like buttercream frosting, but not too sugary.” Younger sister Kelsey, a St. Anthony Catholic School fifth-grader, was all about the pumpkin spice ice cream: “It’s really good.”

Kelsey Dunn, 11;  Kyla Dunn,14;  Victoria Maggio, 16;  Alexandra Stone, 17;  and Sophia Stone, 15, during an ice cream taste-test at Churn & Scoop in Fort Lauderdale.

The group compared the strawberry-balsamic combination similar to what you might find in a salad.

“I liked the acidity taste of that one. It was really good. The strawberries were super sweet,” Maggio said. Sophia Stone said: “I took a big chunk of balsamic and it tasted really good.”

The group came up with a novel description for the ube ice cream, which they said was a jumble of place, smell and sensation.

“The ube one tastes like the inside of a movie theater. Like the popcorn and the candy, all that,” said Fort Lauderdale High School senior Alexandra Stone. “It’s good. I liked it.”

See for yourself if their description isn’t oddly spot-on.

Churn & Scoop is at 658 N. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale. Visit gold

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