In preparation for decorating our Christmas tree, my wife suggested to our five year old son that they make hot chocolate and put candy canes in it; a tradition that she remembers having as a child. So simple, yet it is always those simple traditions in food that become favorites. After all, they usually only come around once a year, which make them extra special, as well as something to look forward to. So this week, we’re taking that simple approach in re-creating a tradition of the past, and in our family, the future. Let’s get started with this week’s flavor – Hot Chocolate with Candy Canes
There are a number of great cocoas on the market, but we prefer to use Valrhona cocoa powder. It’s a cocoa that produces an intense chocolate flavor. Along with a nice helping of sugar and a shot of our high quality Madagascar vanilla extract, this hot chocolate is a rich exclamation to the “Swiss Miss” variety of hot chocolate I remember having as a kid. The cocoa powder and vanilla extract are added to our sweet cream base, cooked, cooled, and the hot chocolate ice cream base is ready for the churn. But first, candy canes…
Candy canes are fun and festive with their red and white colors, but not necessary in our ice cream; we don’t need any of those artificial colors. We decided to go with a more natural process. The process starts by boiling sugar, glucose and cream of tarter. Once the sugar reaches 280 degrees, we add our peppermint oil and pour onto a silicone baking mat. After the mixture cools a bit, we fold it up and pull, and again, fold and pull until the sugar starts to stiffen up. During the last pull, I gave the sugar a little twist. At a glance, this is a kind of a poor excuse for a candy cane, but honestly, who cares? We’re going to break them up and cover them all up with delicious rich chocolate ice cream. Screw the looks; it’s all about the flavor. We crush the canes and we toss them into the ice cream at the end of the churn.
It’s a rich hot chocolate ice cream studded with peppermint candy canes. It’s a simple tradition packed with flavor.
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 12/19/14 at 4pm. Winners must be able to pick up locally. Prizes must be claimed by email within one week or we will redistribute. 🙂 Good luck!