iHalo Krunch mixes charcoal and ice cream for a buzz-worthy dessert

iHalo Krunch started with the charcoal cones — they’re dyed with organic activated charcoal powder — but hope to launch the other flavours soon.  (Rene Johnston / Toronto Star) | Order this photo  
Owners Tuan Nguyen and Charlene D’Aoust have hit the ball out of the park with their Instagram friendly dessert.  (Rene Johnston / Toronto Star) | Order this photo  
iHalo Krunch opened in June with a small but creative menu of mostly homemade items.  (Rene Johnston / Toronto Star) | Order this photo  
Tuan Nguyen’s sister Chau, a recent culinary school grad, helped create charcoal, beet, ube and matcha cones, plus worked on the soft serve recipes with the partners.  (Rene Johnston / Toronto Star) | Order this photo  
Ube nut, which swirls purple ube-flavoured soft serve with charcoal-dyed coconut ice cream, is the top seller at the newly launched shop.  (Rene Johnston / Toronto Star) | Order this photo  
Halo means “to mix” in Filipino. The Krunch in the name refers to the cones.  (Rene Johnston / Toronto Star) | Order this photo  
To make sure their soft serve is high quality and holds its colourful, photogenic swirls, they switched off their machines’ aerators.  (Rene Johnston / Toronto Star) | Order this photo  

The lineups for sweet treats at iHalo Krunch on Queen St. W. near Strachan Ave. run for as long as an hour.

When customers finally get to the counter, co-owner Charlene D’Aoust is amazed when they take the colourful, soft-serve creation in a charcoal waffle cone and don’t instantly take a picture for social media. “Some of them just eat it,” she marvels.

Yes, Instagram is driving the city’s growing obsession with dramatic-looking dessert foods. But D’Aoust, 30, and life and business partner Tuan Nguyen, 28, care deeply about the taste.

“That’s where the whole idea came from. The fact that I love ice cream,” she says. Meanwhile, Nguyen shows flair…

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