Wednesday, 3 July 2013

It's been a busy year!

It has been a little over twelve months since this blog was updated, which is far, far too long. That said, it has been an incredibly busy year, so cut me some slack!

With some exciting things happening at Gundowring in the next twelve months, I will try and catch everyone up on all the news that has happened over the last twelve. Which is a lot to get through!

So stay tuned for all things new and old.

Monday, 11 June 2012


For those that use twitter and haven’t followed us yet, you can do so with @gundowring. We tweet about all the things that happen day to day and let our followers know about upcoming events, new flavours and other information that comes our way. We even do the odd competition!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

DIAA Victorian and Australian Awards

If we needed a spring in our step coming in to our first Noosa Food and Wine Festival, then picking up a swag of awards at both the state and national levels of the Dairy Industry Association of Australia was sure to make it happen!

In the Victorian Competition we took home 3 gold medals for Raspberry, Ginger and Licorice, with both Ginger and Raspberry taking home the trophy as best in their class.

In good company, Ginger is shining at the awards this year!

We were even more excited when Ginger was announced as the highest scoring exhibit in whole competition, earning it the Orica Chemicals Award for Most Outstanding Show Exhibit, and a very swanky trophy.

Sarah attended the Gala Dinner for the National competition where Ginger’s streak of success continued, winning the Sensient Technologies Australia Award for the Highest Scoring Ice Cream, Hooray!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show

Winners are grinners, so the saying goes, and it is all smiles at Gundowring after our Ginger Ice Cream took out Champion ice cream at the recent Sydney Royal Cheese and Dairy Produce Show.

Ginger brings home the goods

It is a competition that has been kind to us over the years, with our Raspberry, Licorice and Fig previous recipients of the Champion trophy. 

A grinning idiot enjoys the spoils

Monday, 5 March 2012

Summer Lovin'

As one can well imagine, summer time is ‘go time’ for ice creameries, and here at Gundowring we certainly have been frantic over the last couple of months. Christmas, New Year and January all came and went in a flash and here we find ourselves in the first days of March.

The ice cream elves are in full cheer before Christmas

Christmas Plum puddings and Brandy Custards were a great hit. We loved hearing the stories from customers at the farmers markets of how the Puddings were brought to the table with a flourish to the oohs and aahs of duly impressed relatives.

Our Brandy Custard ice cream went well with a traditional Plum Pudding

While on the topic of Farmer’s Markets, weekend weather has not been kind to us. Summer this year was a fickle thing, being either stinking hot or raining cats and dogs. We have enjoyed it nonetheless and met many more of our twitter friends face to face as well as catching up with old regulars, and talked all topics from truffles to trampolines.

Brenda and Stephen making the best of a bad situation!

Truffle tinkering is another thing that has been keeping us busy. We have had our hands dirty with many interesting ingredients, trying to get the perfect flavour from each of them. Some of the things we have putting our minds to are the aforementioned truffle, pumpkin seed oil, fresh mint, fresh basil, banana, and mustard for different chefs and ice cream fiends around the country.

Testing new flavours is one of the perks of the job. Here Iris is trialling a Roasted Banana flavour...YUM!

The cows have been ‘dried off’, getting them ready for calving, so we should expect to be surrounded by bouncing baby calves as soon as the first week of April. We have also taken delivery of a number of large water tanks, just in time to take advantage of the recent rains. Normally the Kiewa Valley is straw brown as the summer heat bakes the pastures; however the welcome rain has kept the valley green through most of the summer. 

A rare day of dry grass, yet calf 4314 is still looking upbeat!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

A very Gundowring Christmas

Christmas day at Gundowring is usually a sweltering occasion, it is often in the high 30’s and the Crooke family does its best to keep cool in a variety of ways, some in the pool, some in the Kiewa River, and some retreating to the relative cool of the homestead to enjoy an afternoon kip or good book. There is however one way the family always gathers to take the edge off the summer heat, and that is with the now customary after lunch treat, the Ice Cream Plum Pudding.
Fresh berry season ties in quite well with our Christmas Ice Cream Pudding
For the past 37 years Sarah and Stephen have been soaking the fruit, roasting the almonds and steeping the chestnuts and vanilla bean in milk collected from the cows. The recipe they work to coming to them from the south of France, where they say their ice cream career started in 1974. While working as cooks for a Scottish family on holiday in Cannes, Sarah stumbled upon a small ice cream churn while shopping for supplies in the backstreets of Nice. Chestnuts being a staple in the region, the recipe was imparted top them by the locals.

Stephen contemplates how many slices of Ice Cream Plum Pudding
he is going to eat this year. Lots.
Flash forward to 2003, the rest of the family had little wonder that their Christmas favourite would make it into the newly christened Gundowring Ice Cream’s flavour line up. We have been making the special Christmas treat ever since, using Ovens Valley chestnuts, fruit from South Australia and of course lovely fresh Gundowring milk. From its time honoured place on the Crooke family table, the last 9 years has seen our frozen Christmas favourite enjoy pride of place on the tables of households from Hobart to Sydney and Melbourne to Perth.

A few years ago, we decided to experiment with our other decadent Yuletide indulgence, Brandy Butter. Carefully folding brandy and vanilla in to our anglaise, we fashioned a truly delicious ice cream that can happily sit next to any traditional plum pudding.

For the traditionalists, Brandy Custard Ice Cream does wonders for a heavy Plum Pudding 
So what will your family be enjoying this Christmas? Something traditional or does your clan have a favourite that you can’t do without?

Monday, 7 November 2011

Market Minutes

Taste 2011: the calm before the storm with our stall in the foreground

We started the market and festival season with a bang at Taste of Melbourne, and have settled in to our regular calendar of events that includes the Collingwood Children’s Farm Farmers Market (CCFFM) and the Gasworks Farmer’s Market (GFM) (2nd and 3rd Saturdays of each month respectively).  We are looking forward to the Brown Brothers Wine and Food Festival (19th and 20th of November) which runs alongside the La Dolce Vita weekend in the King Valley.

Markets and events are a great way for us to meet the consumer face to face and as we have been doing them for quite a few years now, we have a loyal group of regular ice cream aficionados who are all too eager to taste a new flavour and give us their frank appraisals! It is extremely heartening to be able to chat with people who really know their products, and people who are taking their first steps in the brave new world of ingredients that can be found outside big supermarkets.

So we hope to see a few of you at the stall over the next few months as we attend some of the best markets and events on offer!