Coffee, chocolate and hazelnuts are a familiar pairing in truffles and desserts over the holiday season, and this particular pairing reminded me of the boxes of chocolates my grandparents would give us as kids. With some luck, there was a nice little map to tell you what each piece was and allowed for bypassing the soon to be discarded selections, but often it was just a guessing game. There were the duds like petrified angel food, toothpaste mint or weirdberry liqueurs, the tooth pulling caramels, and then there were the truffles. The truffles were the true prizes, and the hazelnut was always my favorite. It was ultimately this memory that solidified my decision for this week’s flavor, so the object here was to create the my ideal holiday chocolate truffle – in this case with Espresso, Chocolate, Hazelnuts and of course, liquor.
If you know us, by now you know we don’t do anything the easy way. In this particular case it meant a double steep, starting with the hazelnuts.
The hazelnuts are first roasted to deepen their flavor and mellow out the bitterness (as well as remove a majority of their husks) and then ground into a meal to release the fats and allow the maximum surface area of the cream to steep with the flavor of the nut.
For the coffee infusion, we ground our favorite Peace Coffee Espresso blend and used a french press to infuse some of the cream.
Dark, fair trade cocoa was added directly to the base along with the hazelnut meal and coffee during the cooking process, and then steeped longer to draw out as much flavor from the ingredients as possible.
While that was all happening, a quick caramel sauce rolls on the stove and is finished at the very end with a splash of whiskey from none other than our pals at 2 Gingers. Sidenote: If you ever run into me, remind me and I’ll tell you the assuredly hilarious story of how camera straps in the kitchen and boiling sugar on the stove are a dangerous combination.
Once the base has had time to steep, its strained to clear out the hazelnut meal, and allowed to cool in preparation to be spun. The whiskey caramel is layered into the ice cream as its packed into the pint.
No longer do we need a map to find this flavor. Hazelnut Mocha with Whiskey Caramel: an espresso, dark cocoa and roasted hazelnut infused ice cream, decorated with ribbons of rich whiskey caramel.
Want to try it? You can win one of the only two pints in the world, filled with this fabulous, scratch made craft ice cream in our weekly pint giveaway. Enter your name in the comments section here, or on our facebook page under the posted contest. 2 lucky winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 12/13/13 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally and give us feedback. Pints must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. 🙂 Good luck!