It seems, Los Angeles, that you intend on foiling my every plan to wear any type of winter garment in this new year so far. Your scorching summery temps are (although kind of awesome and basically why I moved here in the first place) not enabling me to wear the faux fur hat I bought off the street in New York last month or watch movies in my cashmere sweatpants in broad daylight without feeling like I’ve failed to assimilate with modern society. Whatever, it’s fine. I have an ice cream maker! All is forgiven.
The idea for this ice cream was inspired by a totally insane and decadent treat I insisted on having for my 23rd birthday. Vosges chocolates are among the handful of reasons I agree to continue my existence on this earth. They pair chocolate with all manner of exotic ingredients such as ginger, wasabi, and black sesame seeds, or guajillo chiles and pumpkin seeds. This brings me to the “Gatsby Cake.” A dark chocolate layer cake with chocolate rosewater ganache encapsulated in a solid chocolate shell. Although they no longer manufacture this particular delicacy, it will live on in my memory as the best thing ever tasted. Seriously.
Thus is born Chocolate Rosewater Ice Cream. I garnished it with cocoa nibs and food grade rose petals. If you were feeling extra fancy, you could candy them! That would be delicious.
Chocolate Rosewater Ice Cream Adapted from David Lebovitz
1/2 C Agave Nectar
2 oz. Bittersweet Chocolate, finely chopped
½ C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
2 C Half-and-Half, divided
1 C Coconut Milk
5 Large Egg Yolks, sequestered in a small bowl
1 tsp. Rosewater
Pinch of Salt
Directions: In a small saucepan, warm the agave syrup with the bittersweet chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly, until the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to a large bowl and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, add coconut milk to 1C half-and-half and whisk in the cocoa powder. Cook over moderate heat until the mixture begins to bubble, then simmer for 30 seconds, whisking frequently to break up any clumps of cocoa powder.
Remove from heat and scrape mixture into the bowl with the chocolate and agave. Stir them together and set a mesh strainer over the top.
Add remaining 1C half-and-half to the medium saucepan with a pinch of salt and heat over medium-low until warm. SLOWLY pour the warm half-and-half into the bowl of egg yolks, whisking constantly, then pour the warmed yolks into the saucepan.
Cook yolks, stirring CONSTANTLY over moderate heat until the mixture becomes steamy and thickens. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the chocolate mixture.
Stir in rosewater, then let cool until tepid. Using an immersion blender, blend mixture for 10 seconds until smooth and velvety. (Alternately, you can use a standard blender but be sure the mixture has COOLED first! NEVER BLEND SUPER HOT LIQUIDS! They will explode in your face.)
Chill thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Alternately, David Lebovitz offers step-by-step instructions for freezing ice cream without a machine. Joy!