Food & DrinkThings to do in London

Blu Top Ice Cream Classes, Battersea – Review

5 February, 2016 — by Toni Ratcliff0

Blu Top Ice Cream - Cherry

Look at it. Just look at it. It’s the most beautiful thing I have ever seen: a coconut and black cherry ice cream sandwich with brown butter choc chip soft baked cookies. All courtesy of Blu Top Ice Cream.

It all started when I stumbled across Blu Top’s Instagram page. I fell a little bit in love that day. They had ice cream in doughnuts, ice cream in cookies, ice cream in glasses, ice cream just, y’know, straight up in a box, and it was all the colours of the rainbow! I started stalking them ever so slightly (I believe Instagram prefers the term ‘following’) and my obsession only grew. These looked like the most goddamn delicious ice creams that I had ever seen! How could I get my hands on them when it was the middle of January?! And then I discovered that Blu Top Ice Cream run ice cream making classes throughout the winter! Booyah! I wouldn’t have to wait until Spring to give myself an ice cream headache after all.



Blu Top Ice Cream is the creation of Richard Makin, a self-confessed foodie and ice cream fanatic, who after a few years immersed in the vibrant food scene in San Francisco, moved back to London to show us what we were missing out on: delicious, organic, small-batch ice cream. Richard can now be seen in his super cute little blue van (Barbara) serving ice cream at street food markets all over London between April and October. Considering that Richard only started trading in May 2015 he has made a serious impact already; becoming a finalist in the Young British Foodie Awards, and even getting a gig serving his ice cream in Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street Kitchen last summer. Pretty impressive stuff.


When he is not winning hearts and stomachs at street markets, Richard runs ice cream classes from a small community kitchen space in Battersea. The classes run regularly throughout the year and take place on a selection of different days and times so you should be able to find a time that suits you. And the best thing is that the classes are all run by Richard himself so you get to learn from the master!

We managed to squeeze onto a class last week. There were only nine people there that night so it was quite a small group and had a nice relaxed vibe. There were a few couples who knew each other but the majority of people had come on their own so don’t worry about feeling like an outsider if you are flying solo. Everyone was friendly and Richard is the most laid-back, welcoming host ever with a real sense of humour so he instantly makes you feel at ease!

To start us off we ran through a quick introduction on the basics of ice cream and some sciencey bits on the various factors that makes ice cream taste so good. There was also a brief, but necessary, chat about safety (including a great story about an old lady who neglected to adhere to the rules and accidentally offed some people), and then it was time to get into the kitchen!

Blu Top Ice Cream Class

The class split into three groups and Richard walked us through how to make a good vanilla custard which became the basis of the three different ice creams we made that night: Madagascan vanilla, fresh raspberry ripple and sea-salt caramel. Because the groups are so small you all get a chance to be hands on with the ingredients and take turns at measuring or stirring, and all of the steps were pretty simple so even a kitchen novice would get along fine.

Blu Top Ice Cream: Christopher
Our Editor, Christopher, seemed to enjoy himself.

All of the ingredients used are 100% natural and organic and all of the eggs are free range. Richard also uses a specialist blend of milk from The Estate Dairy which has the perfect ratio of fat content for ice cream, but any good quality milk would do.

Once our custards were finished and cooled they went straight into ice cream machines for churning. This takes a little while so in the meantime Richard showed us how to make a raspberry syrup for our raspberry ripple, and a caramel sauce for our sea-salt caramel batches. He then showed us how to layer in the syrup to give it a ripple effect, which is the same technique for any other ice cream that has a sauce running through it, and also talked through how and when fancy flavours like fruit, nuts and booze should be added in for full effect.

Blu Top Ice Cream: SaucesBlu Top Ice Cream: Raspberry Ripple

After a quick cup of tea to allow the ice cream to finish freezing it was finally down to the good bit, the tasting! All three of the ice creams were amazing! So creamy! I couldn’t believe that we had made them with our own little hands just a few minutes before. We were also lucky enough to try some roasted banana, rum and caramel ice cream that Richard had prepared earlier (see below), and also try some of his little signature flourishs of candied pecans and ‘donut gravel’ (yes, really) which were both as good as they sound. It was all deeeelicious!

Blu Top Ice Cream: Roast Banana and Caramel

Before I took this class I had never made ice cream before in my life, I’d just eaten a lot of it. I think the thing that struck me the most was that the basics of making ice cream is actually very easy, but to make great ice cream is very hard! The Blu Top Ice Cream Classes are perfect for novices with absolutely no experience (like me) who would just like to get a good grounding, or those who have made it before but have some questions on how they can elevate their ice cream to the next level. Richard is really knowledgeable on every aspect of the process and has great ideas on flavour combinations (see his Brown Toast and Jam combo for example) and tons of advice on the best equipment to use. I also cannot stress enough just how fun he makes these classes! You will leave feeling inspired, with a full belly and only a mild case of brain freeze. Totally worth it!

Tickets for Blu Top Ice Cream Classes are £38.12 each and are available from their website.

Blu Top Ice Cream Classes, Battersea

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