Food historians tell us the history of ice cream begins with ancient flavored ices. The ice creams we enjoy today are said to have been invented in Italy during the 17th century. They spread northward through Europe via France. "French-style" ice cream and its American counterpart, "Philadelphia-style," are egg-yolk enriched products made with the finest ingredients. Vanilla is the most popular flavor of this genre. Food historians tell us this type of ice cream originated in the 17th century and proliferated in the early 18th.
While recipes for fried, coated dairy products are ancient, food historians tell us the concept of encasing frozen ice cream in a hot edible shell dates back to the 19th century. Fried ice cream is an Americanized Mexican desert. It is a popular dessert served in Mexican restaurants. Fried ice cream does not appear in Mexican cookbooks, possibly meaning it is not a "traditional" Mexican recipe. It is a contemporary ethnic interpretation of Baked Alaska, a popular upscale hot/cold ice cream dessert developed in the last quarter of the 19th century. This dessert employed meringue as the insulating agent between hot and cold. References to fried ice cream begin to appear in the second half of the 20th century. The insulating agent is corn flakes.
Some Japanese-American restaurants offer a similar dessert- ice cream tempura. Likewise, this is not a traditional Asian meal item. It is the product of savvy restaurateurs that adjust menus seeking to meet to American expectations.
It's not really as difficult to make Mexican fried ice cream as it may sound. Some recipes don't even involve frying. Fried ice cream desserts usually call for vanilla ice cream but you can try making it using any ice cream you like.
Mexican fried ice cream is made in a variety of ways. Some of them actually involve deep frying frozen solid ice cream. Other recipes just apply a coating to give it a fried texture. There are recipes where you place a large scoop of ice cream in the corn flake crumbs and with your hands roll the ice cream around until the entire surface is evenly coated with corn flake crumbs. You should not be able to see any ice cream. Then you place the ice cream scoop on the center of the cinnamon/sugar coated tortilla, spray whipped cream around the base of the ice cream, and put a cherry in the top pile of whipped cream.
Many recipes suggest that the key to making Mexican fried ice cream is to freeze the ice cream until it is very hard, and to cover it with a thick coating of pastry. Freezing an even coating of batter onto the ice cream is difficult, so breading the ice cream seems to be a better alternative. Of the different breading mixtures you can try, you might discover that a flour-egg-panko mix works best. Just add an extra layer of flour and egg to give the ice cream more insulation.
Once you can finally eat your Mexican fried ice cream you'll discover it tastes very good. The hot, crisp panko crust, contrasted nicely with the cold, creamy ice cream. A thicker crust - perhaps wrapping the ice cream with sponge cake before coating it with batter - would probably work better.
If you decide to try frying ice cream, just remember to be careful.