It seems like Carleton University's Fresh Food Company a.k.a The Caf took the "new year new me" propaganda too seriously. It was a really pleasant experience to walk into the revamped cafeteria with new arrangements and menus. But wait- what is THAT new machine over there, by the dessert section? It was a great moment for all (well, mostly residence students) when we found out that our lovely university installed a soft serve machine in the caf.

Cue the umpteen number of failed soft serve cones and lopsided ice cream in bowls. (I got this right after the 5th try. It was the best day of my life).

milk, chocolate, cream, ice cream, ice
Trisha Nair

This led me to a very important revelation- there are a lot of things one could do with soft serve, apart from eating it in all its glory. So, after a bit of brainstorming (and the approval of my friends), I compiled a list of all the awesome things you can do with the soft serve machine. 

1. Upgrade the soft serve with treats

ice cream, cake, cream
Trisha Nair

They say we can't sneak out food from the cafeteria, but no one ever told us that we can't sneak IN things. Why wait for the caf to put out sprinklers and chocolate chips when you can literally have an M&M Sundae whenever you want? So I did some candy sourcing and brought them to the caf with me, and I upgraded my plain soft serve to an explosive sundae. I also added some syrup to it for some extra flare, and I personally loved the sweetness, but you could skip it if it bothers you too much. 

2. Mud Pie Extravaganza

chocolate, cream, ice cream, ice
Trisha Nair

This is somewhat of a big brother to the M&M Sundae. Never forget to add some soft serve to the warm chocolate mud pie the caf serves on rare occasions; it makes for such a great combination. I literally cried after having the first spoon- it was foodgasm at its best. The sweetness of the warm mud pie is cut down by the cold, soft ice cream. It is a match made in heaven. 10/10 would have every day without guilt.

(Okay maybe hit the gym after you eat 3 servings of this sinful dessert).

3. Ice Cream Sandwich 

ice, cream, sandwich, chocolate, cookie
Trisha Nair

This is one of my all time favourites. Two pieces of chocolate chip cookies with a layer of soft serve vanilla or chocolate ice cream sandwiched between them. The cafeteria has been producing excessive amounts of cookies lately, and this is my go-to recipe when I just don't want to have plain cookies for dessert after a hefty meal. You could also use tip #1 and sneak in some Chips Ahoy! to make your own. Also, the ice cream is easy to sandwich between the cookies since it's softer than regular hard ice cream. It's truly a blessing.

Soft serve: 1, hard ice cream: 0 

4. Ice Cream Float

chocolate, cream, milk, ice, coffee
Trisha Nair

Even though it's not an original idea, I came up with this when I got some root beer for myself after lunch, and I just couldn't finish drinking it. One of my friends suggested making a root beer float, and honestly, it was the best idea they ever had. You could also sub the root beer with cola - personally, I love both equally. It's dessert floating in a drink in a cup, who wouldn't love that? Maybe now you can add a new drink to your cafeteria drinks repertoire! 

Update: the soft serve float also works with coffee. Trust me on this- try it once and you'll know what the hype is all about.

5. Dessert Cereal

Trisha Nair

A slight disclaimer- some might find this exceptionally weird, but please hear me out. Soft serve is really easy to melt and get to a semi-liquid consistency. And it's cold. Which means if you substitute it with milk, you cereal remains crunchier for longer. And it tastes pretty darn good. It sweet, creamy, cold and the cereal is crunchy. Its like the perfect balance between dessert and breakfast, and I liked it a lot so I thought I'd include it in the list. No hate pls, it's soft serve at the end of the day!

So there you have it, a small list of endless possibilities of having soft serve at the cafeteria, because we can never get enough of ice cream. Even though a trip to the gym is recommended after a serving of ice cream on a regular basis, I guarantee it'll all be worth it. Everything is worth it when it comes to dessert.