I had big plans. I was going to serve you a great dessert today. It was going to be a regular, homemade vanilla and chocolate ice cream sandwich, if you must know; the kind of dessert I love to whip up on warm summer days. Or cold January days when I dream of warmer times. I experimented a lot, adapted other recipes, mix and matched, but to no avail. The sandwich cookies were either too dry or too crumbly or too chewy. And I had hoped it was going to be great.
The problem, if you really want to know, is that I have been having a hard time creating anything worth mentioning lately. Exams begin next week, and as much as I try to not focus on school, inspiration just isn't coming. Instead of my usual methodological way of creating recipes, step by step, this particular recipe was created entirely by accident. Well, almost. Actually, it is, in fact, a product of gastronomic evolution. For many years now I have been developing a friend's chocolate ice cream recipe, and as much as I liked the texture, the taste was too sweet for my palate and was in serious need of some construction work.
Over time, the recipe looked less and less like the original as it underwent one change after another. First, I discovered the glory of using quality chocolate, mostly from France, which seriously improved both the flavour and the texture. Then, after many months of failed tries and some über-sweet results, I began melting both dark and milk chocolate together, which gave the best result. The eureka moment, however – the breakthrough which catapulted this ice cream into another atmosphere – occurred when I realised I was out of chocolate (!). I was halfway through whisking the egg yolks and sugar together, and was in no mood to run down to the store so late at night (cravings come at all times, you know...). What I did have, though, was cocoa, which I soon discovered was the secret ingredient to make the best chocolate ice cream outside of Italy.
To some, I know, abandoning the traditional melted chocolate is heresy, but in my defence, unrefined cocoa powder is much more natural than processed chocolate bars. None of that is as important, of course, as the taste itself. I know that. But really, it tastes so much better than any other rich chocolate ice cream I have ever had before. Even though I love chocolate bars, cocoa powder yields more flavour than its dark chocolate counterpart, and comparing the two in ice cream just isn't fair. In my family it was a major hit, and quickly became a dessert favourite, as my mother, and then my father and brother, dug out that box from the freezer automatically after dinner each night. And hey, there are so many great delights you can make with any leftover cocoa powder; hot chocolate, chocolate syrup, cakes, molé sauce... you name it. Or you can just make more ice cream.
|Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream|
Original Recipe by ® Marion Fløysvik
This is a really luscious, creamy kind of ice cream, somewhere between a gelato and chocolate fudge. It's not the kind of ice cream you can eat many scoops of, but rather a dessert made for special occasions (hence the name).
90 g. (1 cup) dark cocoa powder
480 ml. (2 cups) heavy cream
240 ml. (1 cup) whole milk
150 g. (¾ cup) sugar2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 small egg yolks (approx. 100 grams/3.5 ounces)
1.Mix the cocoa powder, heavy cream and whole milk togeter in a saucepan over medium heat. Let the mixture warm until just about to boil. Do not let it boil! Remove from heat. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl until pale yellow. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the milk mixture into the egg yolks. Do not let the eggs curdle!
2.Place the bowl of custard mixture over a saucepan set over simmering water. Cook until the custard thickens (about 170°F/77°C). Remove from heat, let cool, and pour into a bowl. Place the bowl in a freezer. After half an hour, check on it, and stir it vigorously. Mix the frozen bits with the rest. Continue the procedure every 30 minutes, until the ice cream is frozen.
A few notes...