Yun Jin of Corny Cones in Insadong, South Korea
Paul Coffman, owner and president of Corny Cones, was so kind to invite me to his shop this past weekend to show me how their unique ice cream cones are made.
Ryan and Paul, business partners of Corny Cones Hawaii
As you may remember from my previous review of “Pipe Ice Cream” from Snow Factory, this strange looking ice cream cone snack originated in Pyongyang, North Korea. Nah, just kidding. It originated from Insadong, South Korea.
Essentially, a “Corny Cone”, a.k.a. “Pipe Ice Cream” is a corn puff-based J-pipe shaped ice cream cone filled with vanilla soft-serve ice cream. That’s it.
The corn meal-based “Corny Cone” has pretty much the same flavor and texture as Kellogg’s Corn Pops breakfast cereal, sans the sweetness from the sugar, is the best way to describe it. Corny Cones doesn’t have any sugar added to it, being made from gluten-free 100% corn meal produced in the good ‘ole USA.
And the unique combination of that crispy corn puff tube-shaped cone, filed with soft-serve Vanilla ice cream truly is ONO ‘KINE winnahz! You gotta’ try it!
The focus of this presentation is to showcase how Corny Cones are made, emphasizing the “cone” part of the equation. Of which in the photo above is the “bread and butter” of the business, the corn pop-making machine, which is from Korea.
Does it look complicating? Well, yes, it kind of is, however not really, once you understand the rather simple dynamics in how it converts plain ‘ole corn “grits” into a handy-dandy J-pipe shaped ice cream cone.
In the photo above, you see what looks like a giant screw. And that’s pretty much what it is. It basically “screws” the corn “grits” (meal) into submission, converting it into a pipe-shaped ice cream cone. It does this by feeding the corn “grits” particles via a hopper into a conical-shaped machined “tube” that compresses the “grits” via that giant “screw”, then heats it up to melt the grits molecular structure into the final result, which is a tube-shaped corn pop “cone”.
Corn puff tube cone “head” extrusion piece
The die “head” shown above is a precision machined piece that essentially extrudes the compressed and heated corn meal into a tube-shaped corn pop ice cream cone.
So from the start, we simply have “Grits” as shown above, to which the final result is this…
To make it, once the machine starts feeding “Corny Cones”, there’s no stoppin’. You have to sit there and commit yourself to constantly make cones, all the while, intermittently feed the machine corn meal “grits”.
The end result is a giant box full of Insadong Korean style J-pipe corn pop ice cream “cones”, all made literally within minutes…
Nuts, right? Or, umm, corny? lol
If you think that’s nuts, check out the Guinness Book World Record “longest ice cream corn pop tube cone in the world” Ryan and Paul are pulling off!
Guys, guys, guys, cool it on the testosterone overload, O.K.? lol
When it gets this long, you gotta’ pump it up with Vanilla soft-serve and lick it…
Or you can make it twisty like Maui’s Hana Highway…
As you can see, if they want to, they can bend it into all kinds of “corny” shapes…
…However, the J-bend is the most practical for pumping soft-serve Vanilla ice cream.
During this production run, Paul and Ryan were testing a new soft-serve ice cream that’s lactose-free, and it is AWESOME!…
Their new brand of Vanilla soft-serve ice cream is lactose-free, meaning it actually doesn’t have any milk in it, however you’d be hard-pressed to think so after tasting it… it’s super-duper CREAMY tasting! And the texture is excellent. It pretty much tastes like the same soft serve McDonald’s serves. Good stuff!
Paul said he’ll be experimenting with other flavors as well, which will be a “secret reveal”, that you have to go to their booth to find out!
Now the crucial part: we must check for melted vanilla soft-serve ice cream leaks at the apex bottom of the J-bend…
And? No leaks!
The ice cream machine has special nozzles that push the soft-serve completely within the chamber of the tube-shaped cone…
Business partner Ryan about to sample their new Vanilla soft-serve ice cream that will be featured this weekend at the Honolulu Music Arts & Food Festival at Aloha Stadium
Ryan and Paul may not have the technique, however they will have “Swirly Girls” expertly serving you Corny Cones with a nicely swirled vanilla soft serve top!
With that, Paul emphasizes that Corny Cones are both lactose-free and gluten-free, so you’re literally ALL GOOD!
Here’s an interesting video I shot of how Corny Cones are made, recorded this past Sunday…
Paul gave me a bunch of empty Corny Cones to take home and experiment with…
While the obvious is to pump it with a bunch of different soft-serve ice cream flavors, and perhaps maybe try custard, I’m also trying to think of savory and unique ethnic things to do with it.
The challenging part is that the inside diameter of the pipe-shaped corn puff cone is quite “tight”, measuring no more than about 1/2″ at the widest point, which is about the size of your pinky finger. So shoving something, like say rice in there to make a Corny Cone SPAM Musubi would be very difficult. Or does it even need rice, with all that starchy corn puff product?
Each Corny Cones’ total dimension is 8½” length x1¼” outside diameter. Which is a lot of corn puff product, so eating an entire Corny Cone, no matter what’s filled in it will make most people feel full.
It must also be noted, the Corny Cone is very airy and crispy, and doesn’t have any flexibility at all — it just cracks apart if you try to bend it. It does however cut apart into sections quite easily, both nice and clean, using a non-serrated, albeit very sharp chef’s knife.
That said, you could cut the corny cone in sections to make more snack-sized treats, as I’m still trying to figure out how to make it into a Corny Cone Musubi, by using just sections of it.
Obviously liquid-based foods are ideal, as I was thinking of filling it with Portuguese Bean Soup or Chili, with the latter having cheddar cheese on the two ends, using a blow dryer to melt the cheese. However, the beans and larger chunks of ingredients in both those dishes would have to be chopped to less than a 1/4″ in order to fit in the tiny 1/2″ tube opening. So I’m thinking quickly sticking soups and stews in a food processor will do the trick to allow those ingredients to easily fill the chamber within of the Corny Cone.
A “Corny Cones Dog” is also a seemingly no-brainer concept, however, again, that tiny tube opening isn’t large enough to slip a standard hot dog through it. I actually did try it though, cutting an Oscar Mayer down its girth, so it could slip through a section of the cone… and it is friggin’ ONO! The flavor of the corn puff cone totally compliments the smokey, meaty Oscar Mayer Hot Dog I tried with. Paul, you gotta’ try that one! Winnahz!
If you’ve got any novel new “foodie” ideas of how to use Corny Use cones, let us hear about it in comments!
Corny Cones will be available this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 13, 14 & 15, 2015 at the Honolulu Music Arts & Food Festival at Aloha Stadium. Check it out!