When I was younger, some of my favorite memories of Germany included the ice cream (particularly in the summer with nonexistent air conditioning). While I loved visiting the Eiscafés with their elaborate sundaes, the gelato truck that ran through our neighborhood on hot summer afternoons was also a highlight. The Italian owner of the truck always knew exactly where he could find the most profit. During the hottest part of the day, he would drive along the streets in our neighborhood. You could also find him parked outside of the schools right as sports practices were letting out or near the entrance of the zoo on busy weekends.
We would always get Spaghettieis, an ice cream sundae assembled to look like spaghetti. It was first created in Mannheim, Germany in 1969 by the Italian ice cream maker, Dario Fontenella. Vanilla ice cream is pushed through a Spätzle press (potato ricer) to create the appearance of long noodles. It is topped with a strawberry sauce to look like tomato sauce and garnished with grated white chocolate or dried coconut (for the cheese). Whipped cream is occasionally added under the ice cream.
Photos of Spaghetti Eis and sundaes (Tiramisu, Strawberry and Rose Wine) from Germany. I was picky back then and didn’t know how delicious strawberries were, so I would usually have the Spaghetti Eis topped with a chocolate or vanilla sauce instead.
I have a potato ricer that includes a small-holed plate and a larger-holed plate. I tried the larger-holed plate thinking it may be easier. It was definitely not and I just ended up with a huge mess. So use the small-holed plate. It works a lot better. If the ice cream is too solid to push through the ricer, let it sit in the refrigerator or on the counter until just softened enough. Of course if you don’t have a ricer, then you can top scoops of vanilla ice cream with the strawberry sauce and white chocolate/coconut. It just isn’t as fun.
This is up there on one of the more difficult dishes I have photographed lately. It just melts so quickly. Serve immediately after pressing out the ice cream. Placing the bowls in the freezer before assembly to make sure they are nice and chilled will help.
The whipped cream and strawberry sauce can be made a couple of days in advance. Make sure the strawberry sauce is well chilled before pouring over the ice cream. I generally use unsweetened whipped cream since there is plenty of sugar in the ice cream and strawberry sauce. If desired, add a bit of granulated sugar or vanilla sugar to taste.
I used frozen strawberries. If using fresh, chopping the strawberries before adding them to the saucepan will help decrease the cooking time.
I didn’t have any of the thin cookies available, so I used graham cracker sticks.
I have also seen some people add meatballs to their Spaghettieis (small scoops of chocolate ice cream).
Spaghetti Eis (German Spaghetti Ice Cream)
Adapted from German Girl in America
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup strawberries, fresh or frozen
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2-3 cups vanilla ice cream or gelato (your favorite)
Grated white chocolate and/or dried coconut for garnish
Thin wafer cookies for garnish
Place serving bowls in freezer.
Using a hand mixer or blender, whip the cream until soft peaks form. If desired, sweeten with sugar or vanilla sugar. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
In a medium saucepan, place the strawberries and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar over medium heat. Cook, stirring and mashing often, until completely softened. Use a potato masher or blender/immersion blender to create desired consistency. Refrigerate until chilled and ready to serve.
Divide the whipped cream among the serving bowls. Use a potato ricer fitted with small circular holes to press the ice cream into the bowls over the whipped cream. You may need a butter knife to separate the ends of the strands from the ricer. Repeat with remaining ice cream and bowls.
Serve immediately topped with strawberry sauce, white chocolate and/or coconut, and a cookie on the edge.