What’s going through my brain right now: exams, exams, exams, exams, and the espresso stracciatella gelato looking rather lonely in my freezer at the moment.
Not necessarily in that order… hey, I am a food blogger!
I’m always creating rather, ahem, inventive, combinations of food that I have lying around, and most of them aren’t quite what you would call a success, but last night’s was a winner. Vanilla bean coconut milk ice cream with melted chocolate was drizzled with the caramel sauce from the day before and a sprinkling of chocolate-covered espresso beans I had made that morning… and then I saw the crisp, crunchy honey roasted almonds, just the four of them, remnants of a 4pm snack. I chopped them up, sprinkled them on, added a tiny pinch of fleur de sel, and there it was – the best ice cream I had ever eaten.
Lusciously rich chocolatey shavings along with golden-hued caramel sauce and ridiculously addictive honey roasted almonds whizzed up to crumbly perfection are all gently folded into slightly sweet, creamy coconut gelato and (optional, but you really should) topped with a quick dark chocolate drizzle and some more of that salty-sweet almond crumb.
Oh, and did I mention that the caramel is made from the ice cream mixture? That’s right, caramel and ice cream + one less bowl to wash up = pretty much perfection. I suggest draping even more of the caramel over the ice cream, dipping some crisp fresh apple slices in it, or pairing it with a fork. Because forks just don’t taste very good without caramel sauce, obviously!
I’ve also developed a new obsession with 100% cacao chocolate through this experimenting of mine. If you’ve never had any, I seriously recommend treating yourself to a bar because wow (also, antioxidants!). It certainly packs a punch. I hadn’t actually ever seen any here in the UK before I noticed a beautiful new package in the supermarket’s chocolate section which I so frequently visit – hello there, Hasslacher’s – and subsequently became rather fond of it. It’s made entirely in Columbia where the beans are grown, which “provides local employment, improves traceability, creating a more sustainable fair trade mechanism” – how amazing is that?! I mean, even the wrapper is made from 100% pure sugar cane fibre. I absolutely love supporting initiatives like Hasslacher’s, and it’s even better when their product is a Paleo chocolate bar!
But it gets better – luckily for all of you, the lovely people at Hasslacher’s have offered one of you a bar of their hot drinking chocolate cubes! I really love using the squares of 100% cacao for hot chocolate along with some creamy homemade almond milk and a splash of maple syrup, but they’re also amazing for baking and delicious ice cream-making!
espresso stracciatella gelato, salted caramel, and honey roasted almonds
Prep Time: 20 minutes + freezing time
Cook Time: 1 hour
Ingredients (serves 8)
For the Espresso Stracciatella Ice Cream & Salted Caramel
- 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot starch
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons strongly-brewed espresso
- 1 cup very dark chocolate, melted
- 1 batch of my caramel sauce
For the Honey Roasted Almonds
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 1/3 cup honey
For the Honey Roasted Almond Crumble
1. Preheat the oven to 375F/180C. Warm up the honey in a small saucepan for 5-6 minutes or until liquified. Stir the almonds into this warm honey and mix until all almonds are coated.
2. Spread the honey-covered almonds on a large lined baking tray.
3. Roast for 15-20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes, or until fragrant and golden brown.
4. Let cool.
5. Once cool, process one cup of the almonds in a food processor until fine and crumbly. Store in an airtight jar.
6. Chop the remaining cup of almonds roughly and set aside for folding into the ice cream.
For the Espresso Stracciatella Gelato and Salted Caramel
1. Combine 1/2 cup of the coconut milk and the two tablespoons of arrowroot starch in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the remaining ice cream ingredients and heat until it starts to bubble. Now add in the arrowroot/coconut mixture and whisk very vigorously for about 40-60 seconds until it starts to thicken considerably. You’ll feel it in your arms, but you should also start to see a trail left by the whisk in the mixture. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
3. Churn in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
4. During the last 2-3 minutes of ice cream churning, slowly drizzle the melted chocolate into the ice cream maker as the mixture churns. It should solidify when it hits the cold ice cream and then be churned into tiny flecks of chocolate. Continue this until all the melted chocolate is used up.
5. Place one-third of the espresso stracciatella ice cream in a container. Sprinkle over 1/3 of a cup of roughly chopped honey roasted almonds, and pour over about 1/3 cup of salted caramel sauce. Repeat another two times, then cover the container and freeze until solid, 5-6 hours.
1. With an ice cream scoop, place a scoop of ice cream into a glass or cup, then sprinkle over honey roasted almond crumble and some melted chocolate, if desired. Enjoy!