By CELINE NGUYEN
Nitrogen ice cream is not a new concept. From the Ice Cream Lab in LA to the widely popular Creamistry here in Irvine, the use of liquid nitrogen is proven to yield smooth and delicious ice cream. Cauldron Ice Cream, located in Santa Ana, makes nitrogen ice cream into a masterpiece by combining nitrogen ice cream in the innovative shape of a rose with an interesting take on waffle cones.
Cauldron is well known for its “Puffle Cone,” an nontraditional alternative to the normal waffle or cake cone. Based on a popular street dessert in Hong Kong called eggettes, “Puffle Cones” are made from a pancake-like batter and have pockets of air that can be broken off to dip in the ice cream or eaten like a cone.
The shop regularly cycles through seasonal ice cream flavors. H2O Rose, Earl Grey, and Salted Caramel are the most popular flavors and are regularly mentioned in their Yelp reviews.
Although Monday night isn’t commonly thought of as a peak time, Cauldron was close to packed during my visit. I ordered the Lavender Earl Grey ice cream, and a friend had the Vietnamese Coffee ice cream — both in the puffle cone. The ice cream itself was smooth and light, which is customary of the liquid nitrogen process. I really enjoyed the flavor I ordered, as it had the right amount of floral flavor and sweetness to it. The puffle cone also stood out, as it was completely different from the cones I’ve had in other ice cream shops. The peculiar bubble shapes made for a change in texture, and the batter had just the right amount of sugar.
Cauldron Ice Cream is a little on the expensive side, especially for high school students. It’s around $4.50 for a sizable scoop, and $6.00 with a puffle cone. However, the quality of the ice cream and the unique experience more than make up for the price.