This ice cream made my day. I needed a stracciatella ice cream for affogatto (more on that later…) and thought it would be fun to jazz it up with something else. I happened to have a nice looking bunch of rosemary on hand, and recalled my mother-in-law gushing about a chocolate rosemary cookie she had tried. Rosemary and chocolate…who would have thought? Well, this ice cream came out exactly as I hoped! Just a hint of that rosemary with mellow honey sweetness. Flakes of chocolate that are oh so divine as they melt into the espresso. Stracciatella and affogatto…now there’s a romance.
When I think Valentine’s Day, I think good, simple pasta that you can twirl around a fork. Of course, there’s gotta be dessert — something chocolatey that can either be made ahead of time or be put together in a few minutes. Since it’s a romantic occasion, why not also add a little splash of something boozy. Chartreuse was just perfect.
Affogato is nice with a little nibble, and so I tried my hand at some homemade sponge toffee. It may sound intimidating, but really was quite easy and pretty darn fun to make. I used a recipe from Wilde in the Kitchen. Tried it twice, the first time using white sugar, the second time using honey. With the honey, I found it had a more caramelized, nearly-but-not-quite burned flavour. A sort of “brûlée” flavour which I think would appeal more or less to some. After pouring the sponge toffee into the buttered/floured dish, I sprinked some dried rose petals on it while it was still tacky (very small window of opportunity here). Once it cooled completely, I broke it up into small pieces, and drizzled it with dark chocolate. The chocolate was then topped with this beautiful Cyprus black lava salt which I’ve been looking forward to using for something special.
I was a little nervous about how this ice cream would turn out. I wanted it to be obvious that there was something different going on, with just a tiny hint of rosemary. Too much rosemary would definitely be overkill. It turned out to be just as I had hoped and boy I was giddy! So giddy, that I came up with another haiku…
minus twenty six
is far too cold for ice cream
said no one ever
This recipe starts off as you would make a simple vanilla ice cream custard. My favourite vanilla is made not-too-sweet, with 6 egg yolks, 2 cups of cream, and 1 cup of milk. The best way to tell when your custard has reached the appropriate consistency, is by swiping your finger across the back of a wooden spoon. If it looks like the picture below, and the edges don’t fill in, it’s ready to come off the burner.
Once the custard is ready, you’ll stir in the chopped rosemary and let it steep overnight. That easy. Something this beautiful is bound to be delicious, wouldn’t you say?Print
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup of honey
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
4 oz of high quality dark chocolate
Briefly whisk egg yolks in a small bowl, set aside.
In a heavy saucepan, heat cream, milk, and honey over medium heat. Continue to heat, whisking occasionally until there are bubbles starting to form around the edges of the saucepan.
Temper the egg yolks by slowly adding 1 cup of the cream/milk/honey mixture to the egg yolks while whisking. Now, you will slowly add the egg mixture into the saucepan, while whisking the mixture in the saucepan.
Continue to whisk the mixture in the saucepan consistently until it has thickened enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (about 5 minutes). To know when it’s ready, swipe your finger across the back of the spoon. The edges shouldn’t run into the mark that was made.
Stir the vanilla extract and chopped rosemary into the custard. Store the custard base in a bowl, and cool completely in the refridgerator overnight.
The next day, strain the custard mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler/water bath. Transfer to a zip lock baggie or plastic pastry bag.
Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once it reaches soft-serve consistency, cut the end off of the bag with melted chocolate, and slowly drizzle into the ice cream as it is churning.
Once churning is complete, transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Freeze for a minimum of 3 hours before serving.
Keywords: affogato, ice cream, stracciatella, honey, rosemary, dessert, custard, valentine, valentine’s day