It’s a little hard to believe, but last week was my third blog birthday. I honestly can’t believe how quickly it’s gone – I remember so clearly sitting down for the first time to write my very first post. This one is my 214th post, and I just couldn’t imagine life without my little blog anymore. I’ve met people who are now some of my best friends through this blog, had some amazing adventures and incredible meals, and learned so much about cooking, baking and photography. While the “blogosphere” has changed quite a lot in the last few years, it’s still a great, fun hobby that I hope will keep me busy for the next three years at least!
To celebrate, I made the only thing I thought would be truly fitting – spicy icecream. I have wanted to make chocolate chilli ice cream for quite a while now, and I can’t think of a better occasion than this! I adapted the amazing chocolate ice cream recipe from ‘The Perfect Scoop’ by David Lebowitz (a book anyone who owns an ice cream maker must have, one of my favourite cookbooks for sure), infusing the cream with dried chillies, and adding hot ground chillies as well. This is without a doubt, the best chocolate ice cream recipe I’ve ever made. The combination of cocoa and quality chocolate really makes this something special. The chilli flavour is definitely present but its more of a warming aftertaste than a real hit of spice. Of course if you like, you could use a chilli chocolate like Lindt instead of chilli powder.
The cookies are also fabulous. I wanted a slightly fudgy chocolate cookie, and these were perfect and also very easy to prepare. I added a little chilli powder as well. Just try not to nibble the dough as you’re rolling it out, I dare you! They bake up into perfect cookies that are slightly crisp on the outside and still slightly doughy and fudgy in the center. When sandwiched with the icecream, they make a decadent little snack, just perfect for a celebration! Mine are kind of rough and rustic looking, but I kind of prefer them that way.
To all of my readers over the last three years, I’d just like to say thank you for your visits and your comments, which always make me smile! And thanks to Leona for the gorgeous plate!
Chocolate Chilli “Spicy Ice Cream” Sandwiches
Adapted from ‘The Perfect Scoop’ by David Lebowitz
• 2 cups heavy cream
• 3 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa powder
• 3-4 dried chillies (mine are from Herbies Spices)
• 140g dark chocolate, chopped
• 1 cup whole milk
• ¾ cup sugar
• Pinch salt
• ½ – 1 teaspoon ground chillies, to taste
• 5 large egg yolks
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Warm 1 cup of cream with the cocoa and dried chillies in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, and then turn off the heat. Allow to infuse for 30 minutes – 1 hour. When the mixture has infused, turn the heat back on, bring to the boil and simmer for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth, then stir in the remaining cup of cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.
Warm the milk, sugar, salt and ground chilli in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly and then scrape the mixture back into the saucepan. Stir constantly with a heatproof spatula over a low heat, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Cool over an ice bath.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich Cookies
Makes 16 cookies, for 8 ice cream sandwiches
• 115g unsalted butter, room temperature
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 large egg
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 6 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa, sifted
• 210g flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• ½ – 1 teaspoon ground chillies, to taste
Beat together the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer, until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together to cocoa, flour, baking powder, salt and chilli. Stir the dry ingredients gradually into the creamed butter mixture until completely incorporated and there are no streaks of butter. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F). Line two baking trays with non-stick baking paper. Lightly dust a work surface with flour, and roll out dough into a ½ cm disk. Use cookie cutters of your choice to cut out shapes and place on baking trays. Bake for 10-15 minutes, rotating the baking trays halfway through baking, then remove from the oven. Once the cookies are cooled completely, sandwich the ice cream between 2 cookies, then wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.