Friday, January 22, 2010

Ancho Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Cake

The use of spicy chile powders in desserts is nothing new. There are all kinds of delicious cakes, cookies, truffles and ice cream that incorporate the kick of chile. Most of the time they include chocolate, but I thought I’d work on spicing up a vanilla ice cream because I wanted to see if I could get a true chile flavor that would be enhanced by a chocolate component. Since I love the taste of chile, I wanted to be able to distinguish the chile flavor on its own.

This recipe is inspired by all those tasty adventures. I start with a simple vanilla ice cream that contains a dusting of ancho and chipotle chile powders. It’s an intriguing combo that introduces a really wonderful smokiness with a little kick of heat in a creamy base. And when it cozies up to the chocolate, the full effect is remarkable. This is a very adventurous way to enjoy a nearly seamless blend of all the amazing sensations of spice, heat, deep dark cocoa and vanilla. It’s been one of my favorite recent experiments.

Bench notes:
- I used 1 teaspoon of ancho chile powder and 1/2 teaspoon of chipotle chile powder. I think it’s the right level of heat and I love the luscious and complex smokiness that the chipotle brings to the combination. But every palate is different, so add a bit of the chile powders at a time and see what you think. It’s going to increase in intensity as it sits in the base overnight but the flavor of the ice cream also mellows out nicely over time in the freezer.
- If you don’t want to make the cake, try the ice cream with the Chocolate Sauce.
- I can also imagine this ice cream with a light caramel drizzle.
- The high ratio of sugar to butter in the cake recipe requires you to cream the mixture for about 6 to 7 minutes until it is light in color and fluffy in texture. At first you’ll wonder how it’s going to come together but it will. Honest!
- I added 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon to the cake recipe in keeping with the theme.

Ancho Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate Cake

Ancho Ice Cream

1 1/2 C whole milk
2/3 C sugar
pinch salt
5 yolks
1 1/2 C heavy cream, chilled
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 t Ancho chile powder, to taste
1/4 t – 1/2 t chipotle chile powder, to taste

Combine the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat slowly over low heat, until the sugar is dissolved and the milk is steaming a bit, stirring to fully combine.

Whisk the yolks in another bowl.

Take off the heat and add some of the hot liquid into the egg yolks. Whisk constantly to combine and temper the two elements. Add the remaining milk and whisk thoroughly. Return to the saucepan and cook on low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon or heatproof rubber spatula until it begins to thicken and coats the back of a spoon, leaving a clean trace.

Remove from heat and strain into the cold heavy cream, whisking to mix and cool. Add the vanilla extract and the chile powders, tasting as you go. Cover and chill thoroughly, preferably overnight.

Freeze in your ice cream maker. Pour into a clean airtight container, press a piece of plastic into the surface, cover and place in the freezer to firm up.

Devil’s Food Cake
adapted from The Simple Art of Perfect Baking by Flo Braker

Makes 1 8” cake

1 C cake flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon (optional)
1/4 C cocoa powder
1/4 C lukewarm water
2 oz (4 T) butter @ room temperature
1/2 C granulated sugar
1/2 C brown sugar
1 t vanilla
1 egg @ room temperature
1/4 C buttermilk @ room temperature
1/4 C water

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare an 8” cake pan with butter, parchment and a very light dusting of flour.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Whisk cocoa and water together until thoroughly blended.
Combine buttermilk, vanilla and water.

Cream butter and slowly add sugars. Cream mixture until light and fluffy, about 6 to 7 minutes on a stand mixer. Stop and scrape down the bowl at regular intervals.
Add egg and blend well. Scrape down the bowl.
Add cocoa mixture and combine thoroughly.
Gently add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Stop mixing just before it is fully blended and finish by folding gently with a rubber spatula until there are no streaks. Be careful not to over mix. Pour into prepared pan and smooth batter evenly.

Bake @ 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick tests with a few moist crumbs adhering. Cool 10 minutes. Run a thin bladed knife around the edges to loosen and turn out the cake. Cool completely.

Chocolate Sauce

1 C water
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C cocoa
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 C heavy cream
1/4 t salt, to taste

Bring water and sugar to a boil to dissolve. Add cocoa and salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil for about 3 minutes, whisking constantly to prevent scorching. Once it has thickened, remove from heat and add vanilla and cream. Add salt to taste. Cool.


Paris Pastry said...

Oh My God that looks so delectable!!! Mouthwatering!

vanillasugarblog said...

another perfect creation. I just love how you combine various flavors (and textures too at times). I will print this one.

grace said...

well. aside from the stunning images, the very idea of a spicy ice cream and deep dark chocolate cake appeals to me on every level. this post is all kinds of stellar. :)

small cabin plans said...

This is so sinful but mouth watering! This is a nice combination. I like it! The chocolate sauce makes it more sinful.

Su PE said...

1 C water
3/4 C sugar
3/4 C cocoa
1/2 t vanilla
1/4 C heavy cream
1/4 t salt, to taste

What does it main the "t" an the "c" in te ingredients

pastry studio said...

SuPE, here you go:

C = cup
T = tablespoon
t = teaspoon

Unknown said...

Awesome. I'm always a fan of a little spicy with my sweet. That slab of cake looks incredible, too.

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

the perfect combination!

Lady Me said...

Your Devil’s Food Cake is the best choc cake I've ever baked. Everybody loves it ! Do you have banana cake & carrot cake coming soon ??

pastry studio said...

Lady Me, thanks for your sweet comment. I agree about that cake! It's really perfection. Here is my recipe for Banana Cake, which is also quite good:

Michael said...

Great post and pictures! This post definitely made my stomach grumble. You're ancho ice cream is a great twist with the usual ice cream flavors. I hope I get the recipe right this time because everytime I make cakes, I always tend to burn it. This dessert definitely will go well with coffee made from my new melitta coffee maker Thanks!

Sarah said...

I can't wait to give this a shot! I've been wanting to try an ancho-style choco ice cream, this looks great!

Unknown said...

Wow, cake and ice cream at the same time. This seems to be working well.

zero verse said...

Chili and ice cream seem to go well.

Anonymous said...

Delicious ;)

DailyKitchen said...

hot chile and chocolate. two favorites, and what an interesting pairing.