This week’s flavor is more about exercising and experimenting with techniques, and also a way to make more chocolate ice cream. As we continually strive to create new combinations, we’re always looking for new ways to incorporate ingredients, change up old techniques and perfect others. I used this week’s flavor as a means to do several of these things. The first was to create a better chocolate syrup/sauce/fudge that would stay somewhat fluid and gooey while frozen (it can be a real challenge). The second was to experiment with making a flavor infused, cream based syrup/sauce that would achieve the same properties. Both made this week to go into a classic chocolate ice cream.
First, the chocolate syrup. The ultimate goal is to achieve a thick chocolate syrup that does not freeze hard. It can be tricky and frustrating. The key is having a sugar concentrate, mixed with the right amount of fat. We begin by boiling sugar and a bit of water, similar to how you would start a simple syrup. Cocoa powder is added once the water has boiled off, as well as some cream. The chocolate sauce is finished with salt. It’s perfect for a topping or as an add-in. Or to eat with a spoon 🙂
The Hazelnut cream syrup originated from the idea of trying to make a syrup or caramel like sauce that we could flavor with any ingredient we wanted to – from fruits, to herbs, to nuts. Cream is easy to infuse with all sorts of flavors, so it provides a nice palate. The first step is infusing the cream.
The hazelnuts are toasted and ground into a meal while still hot, and then cooled and strained. What is left is hazelnut flavored heavy cream. That is reserved for making the hazelnut cream syrup.
The rest of this process is very similar to the chocolate sauce. Sugar and water brought to a boil, and then combined with cream just before caramelization happens. What is left is a caramel-like hazelnut infused cream. Also a great topping or add-in.
For this week’s flavor combination, the ice cream is a straightforward chocolate ice cream with both syrups swirled in. It’s a fantastic deep chocolate ice cream teetering with swirls of more chocolate and finishing with hazelnut goodness.
Chocolate Sauce (that won’t freeze hard):
1/2C Cocoa powder
1C Heavy Cream
Combine the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat, watching carefully. DO NOT STIR here or it will become grainy. Once boiling, the sugar/water mixture will begin to let off steam. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the steam begins to disappear, then remove from heat and carefully whisk in 1/2C of cocoa powder until fully incorporated. Then, add gradually add cream and stir until fully incorporated into chocolate sauce. Add salt at finish. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Hazelnut Creme Syrup:
1C Heavy Cream
Infuse the cream (Prepare 1-2 hours ahead of time):
Heat the cream in saucepan over medium-low heat to bring to approximately 115 degrees or so. While cream is heating, toast hazelnuts hazelnuts for 3-4 minutes until skins become loose and come off easily. Remove from heat and grind in a blender until they are a course meal. Immediately add warm hazelnut meal to warmed cream and remove from heat. Bring mixture to cool in refrigerator for an hour or so, then strain all hazelnut meal out of cream with fine mesh strainer. Set hazelnut cream aside/refrigerate until ready to make syrup.
For the Syrup:
Combine the sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium high heat, watching carefully. DO NOT STIR or it will become grainy. Once boiling, the sugar/water mixture will begin to let off steam. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until the steam begins to disappear, then gradually add the hazelnut cream and stir until fully incorporated. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Chocolate Fudge Hazelnut Creme Ice Cream:
2 Cups of Heavy Cream
1 Cup of Milk (choose your percentage based on how fatty/creamy you’d like your ice cream to be – the higher percentage the creamier the ice cream)
2 large eggs
3/4 Cup sugar
1 Cup of Chocolate Syrup (Recipe above)
1 Cup of Hazelnut Creme Syrup (Recipe above)
1. Crack eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk fully. Add sugar and whisk more until cream, sugar and eggs are combined. Add cream, milk, and whisk again until all are fully incorporated.
2. Place ice cream base in a pot and heat over medium heat, whisking or stirring continuously. Once mixture reaches approximately 115 degrees, gradually whisk in cocoa. Continue to heat mixture until temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature (an ice bath will do this in about 15-20 minutes) and then place in a container, cover and chill in refrigerator overnight.
3. Churn ice cream base in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Place chocolate ice cream into container and swirl alternately with chocolate and hazelnut syrups. Freeze in a tightly covered container for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight if you can wait. Then, enjoy!
*Yields approximately 2.5 pints
If you’d rather not make it, you can be one of two lucky winners of 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. Two winners will be drawn randomly on Friday 2/20/15 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally in Minneapolis. Prizes must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. 🙂 Good luck!