What is better than watching a movie with a bowl of delectable ice cream? Absolutely nothing, says Ash Smith, the man behind Flicks ‘n’ Scoops, a podcast and ice cream pop-up that combines his two passions: watching films and eating ice cream.
“It actually started out as a blog. I was going to do cooking videos, but there’s so much work that goes into that, I was trying to find a way to make my life easier,” he explains. “I wanted the podcast to take off and to do that for a living, but people loved the ice cream and kept ordering it, which is nice, but it’s the most labour-intensive part of the whole process!”
Ash launched the podcast in 2020, inviting different guests to share their opinions on a film of their choice over a bowl of his homemade ice cream, its flavour inspired by the film. “I’ve loved films and ice cream since I was a kid and I’ve always related eating ice cream to watching films,” says the Sheffield-born 33-year-old, adding that most of the guests on the podcast are friends who he manages to coerce into appearing. “I wish it was more high-brow than that, but I do try and pick a variety of guests so it’s not just some big circle-jerk film fan club.”
Ash started out making ice cream using a little ice cream maker – “a Fisher-Price thing” – he found on Ebay Kleinanzeigen. When Corona hit, he used the extra time on Kurzarbeit (furlough) to start a Flicks ‘n’ Scoops pop-up at Crazy Bastard Kitchen in Neukölln where they now stock his ice cream. “My mum originally loved the idea,” he says. “But she’s realised she’s bitten off more than she can chew because whenever I go back home I take over the kitchen and I’m always asking her to give me a hand – she’s like my sous chef!”
Flicks ‘n’ Scoops bestsellers include “E.T.” (vegan chocolate and peanut butter) and “Paddington” (bread and marmalade). How does he come up with the flavours? “Some films really lend themselves to flavours, with something like The Big Lebowski a White Russian is the obvious choice,” he says. “But then I’ve got a podcast episode coming up about High Fidelity. What the fuck do you do for that? Each part of that ice cream is based on the five basic taste modalities on the tongue like the top five lists they do in the film.”
Ash studied film theory – his undergrad thesis was on music in Hitchcock films – before completing a Master’s in film and media production. He still makes short films, but most of his work has been with start-ups and music videos, maintaining an “official” salaried job as a content creator for a chauffeur service on the side. The success of Flicks ‘n’ Scoops has enabled Ash to co-found Backhaus Projects, a new cultural space next door to the Crazy Bastard Kitchen where he plans to screen films (some made by the local filmmaking community), host events, talks and serve ice cream.
“There’s not much of a culture for it [in Germany], but in the UK there’s an ice cream parlour in pretty much every cinema,” Ash says, and he’s here to keep the tradition alive. The next pop-up is planned for 26-27 March at PodFest Berlin where the flavours on offer will include “Das Boot”, made with condensed milk, lemon and sea salt, “Fitzcarraldo”, a vegan recipe made with dark chocolate and pretzel, and “Radio Days”, combining coconut cream, mango and poppy seeds.
Until then, Exberliner readers can have a go at replicating Ash’s fig leaf and walnut ice cream made with branza de vaci (a Romanian soft cheese) in honour of the winner of last year’s Golden Bear at the Berlinale Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn. Enjoy!
How to make your own Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn ice cream (Makes about 750ml)
Medium saucepan, sieve, ziplock bag or freezer bag, enough ice to cover the freezer bag Mezzaluna or a sharp knife, ice cream machine (see the instructions at bottom if you don’t have one), cooking thermometer
10 medium-sized fig leaves (the younger the better)
470ml cream (32%)
350ml milk (1.5%)
1⁄4 tsp salt
6 medium egg yolks
60g skimmed milk powder
50g branza de vaci
› Place the fig leaves under the grill for about two minutes, turning constantly so they don’t burn and are dried enough to cut
› Chop the leaves into really small pieces (mezzaluna is ideal, sharp knife is fine if not)
› Whisk the egg yolks together with the milk powder and set to one side
› Put the leaves in a medium saucepan with the cream, milk, sugar and salt and heat until the sugar dissolves
› Strain the leaves from the mixture making sure to squeeze out as much liquid as possible and put them in the ziplock bag for later
› Slowly add the hot cream mixture to the egg yolk/powder mixture, whisking constantly as you go (this is to temper the eggs so they don’t scramble)
› Add the whisked mixture back to the pan on a medium heat, stirring constantly until you reach a thick custard consistency (should take about 20-25 mins, ideal temperature to keep it is between 65-70°c)
› Put the branza di vaci in a bowl and sieve the custard over so that it melts slowly into the mix
› Once combined, add the custard to the ziplock bag with the fig leaves and put in an ice bath
› Should take about 30 mins for the mix to reach room temperature, once it does put it in the fridge overnight (24 hours is best)
› Chop the walnuts and add to the ice cream as it’s almost finished churning
› Transfer to a container and freeze until you’re ready to eat it
If you don’t have an ice cream machine you can do it by hand. Once it’s been refrigerated overnight transfer it to a bowl and whisk for 5 minutes, cover and put in the freezer for about 30 minutes, then take it out and whisk again for another 5 minutes. Repeat this process until you reach a consistency of slightly melted ice cream and then freeze it properly until you’re ready to eat!