May 4, 2015

Guanaja Chocolate Ice Cream

Chocolate ice cream has to be one of the most popular treats on the planet. No surprise then that tv chefs and commercial ice cream makers seem to fall over themselves to come up with ever more variations!

When I was a child there was just one type of chocolate ice cream! Maybe that's why I got into ice cream making, because when it's homemade your only limit is your imagination!

Here are some of my favourite recipes for chocolate ice cream that you can make at home. Some have a custard base and others use a combination of heavy cream, milk and sugar.

Milk chocolate ice cream
White chocolate ice cream
Chocolate chip ice cream
Mint chocolate chip

Oh and there's a really quick and easy chocolate ice cream if you're in a hurry :)

Having covered the basics let's now move on to the exotic!

Chocolate, of course, is not just chocolate - there are many types with different percentages and grades of cacao. Guanaja chocolate for example. Ever heard of Guanaja? It's a little island in the Caribbean first discovered by Christopher Columbus more than 500 years ago and it was where he came across cacao for the very first time. The cacao that grows there makes a dark and intense tasting chocolate. What many chocolate experts would call a 'true' chocolate.

I recently chanced upon a special 'artisan' chocolate ice cream in France made with 80% Guanaja chocolate and ginger. Wow! It was one of the strongest, bitter chocolate ice creams I've ever tasted and the ginger gave it a great extra kick.

Guanaja chocolate with ginger ice cream cone

The same artisan ice cream maker used 80% Guanaja chocolate to create another unique ice cream flavor, combining it with yuzu and lime zest! Again, a very strong and intense flavour with a sharp hint of citrus. The yuzu also gave the ice cream a lovely aroma!

Guanaja chocolate with yuzu and lime zest

Note: Yuzu is popular in Japan for making marmalade and also it's aromatic oil is used for bathing most traditionally at the Japanese winter solstice (Toji). How's that for a nice extra fruity fact :)

So there you have it - Guanaja chocolate ice cream in 2 extraordinary combinations.

All I need now is to get my hands on some Guanaja chocolate and then I can adapt my standard custard base chocolate recipe by replacing the cocoa powder and regular milk chocolate with the  Guanaja chocolate. Can't wait!

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