We’re home again after a whirlwind weekend in Pennsylvania. Once the nerve-inducing TV appearance was behind us (Phew! But if you missed it, you can check out the clip here), we actually had some time to play (and eat!) in the city. What fun, and to finally be able to enjoy a REAL Philly cheesesteak (although when you’re there it’s just a cheesesteak, obviously), even if it was mere minutes before we headed to the airport. Philly, I’m smitten, with you AND your cheesesteaks. Let’s do it again sometime!
You might want to be sitting down for this one.
Better yet, sitting down with a bowl and a spoon ready.
When I saw Bridget post this recipe a few months back I almost fell out of my chair. She and I share a great many things, but most importantly a love of Ritter sport marzipan bars and tuxedo cats (notice the bowl). Alas, life happened and I wasn’t able to make it as soon as I wanted to, but I never stopped thinking about it. So when I finally DID get around to making it, it did NOT disappoint.
The recipe calls for almost an entire log or can of almond paste, so the ice cream base itself is infused with almond flavor through and through.
When Americans think of marzipan we usually distinguish it from almond paste, the main difference being the % of almonds used in the product. Typical almond paste here in the states is perhaps 40-45% almonds, while marzipan has much more sugar and less almond (more like 28%). Given the choice, I always use almond paste, and you should too. But technically, it’s all marzipan (confused yet?) as by definition marzipan is simply the combination of ground almonds and sugar. Think of it like milk. You have whole, 2%, skim, etc. Same thing with marzipan, we just like to make it confusing by throwing the term almond paste in to the mix too.
For this recipe I used the European-style Odense Marcipan. This marzipan is far superior to anything you can find in a US grocery store. With nearly 60% pure almond, it’s got a much richer and more refined almond flavor than what we’re used to. It’s also much less sweet, so the true almond flavor shines through. I received a few samples of this product recently, as it’s just beginning to be introduced into the US market, and am very much enjoying the uninhibited almond flavor.
Anyway, I could babble about marzipan all day but we’re really here to talk about this ice cream. Beyond the almond-scented ice cream base, the ice cream has a decadent dark chocolate fudge ripple and chunks of actual Ritter sport chocolate bars dotted throughout. I mean, does it get any better than that?
I’ll answer that: no, no it doesn’t.
Now, seeing that this ice cream is may as well be laced with gold leaf if you look at it in terms of sheer cost (Ritter sport bar + entire tube of marzipan = $$), you’ll probably want to squirrel it away deep inside your freezer. If you have one of those locking ice-cream containers now would be the time to use it. Or what someone really needs to invent is an empty ice cream container with a fake flavor label, something like “Broccoli & Pea Soup” or “Spicy Anchovy.” Then you could be sure no one would touch it.
But seriously, back away. This bowl’s mine. All mine.
Dark Chocolate and Marzipan Ice Cream
Ice Cream Base:
- 5 egg yolks
- 7 ounces almond paste, crumbled or cut into large chunks
- 2/3 cup sugar, divided
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate with Marzipan, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- 6 tablespoons dutch-process cocoa
- 1/4 cup light corn syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- To make the ice cream, take a heat-proof bowl or 4-cup glass measuring cup and nest inside a larger bowl filled with ice water. Place a fine mesh sieve over the top of both bowls. Set aside.
- With an electric mixer, beat egg yolks, 1/3 cup sugar, and almond paste together until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- In a saucepan, combine cream, milk, remaining 1/3 cup sugar, and salt. Cook gently over medium heat, stirring regularly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture just starts to steam (small bubbles will start to form around the edges, but do not let it boil). Remove from heat.
- Slowly whisk some of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolk mixture, 1/3 cup at a time, until about half of the cream mixture has been incorporated and mixture is warm to the touch. You want to do this gradually; doing so will temper the egg yolks rather than cook them.
- Pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan and return to medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 to 7 minutes, or until it reaches approximately 165 to 170ºF. Do not let it to boil. Pour mixture through sieve into glass measuring cup or bowl, discarding any solids. Place in water bath and stir occasionally until cool. Stir in almond extract. Cover mixture with plastic wrap, carefully pressing wrap down onto the surface of the cream mixture. This will prevent a skin from forming on top of the custard. Refrigerate until completely cool, at least 3 hours or overnight if possible.
- To prepare the fudge ripple, combine the sugar, water, cocoa, corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan. Whisk over medium-high heat until the mixture just begins to a simmer. Remove from the heat and add in the chopped chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute. Whisk chocolate until smooth and completely melted, then stir in the vanilla. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a covered container and chill completely before using.
- Churn ice cream according to manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is the consistency of soft serve, stir in the chopped candy bars, then transfer to a freezer safe container, drizzling in about 1/3 cup of the fudge ripple as you go. Cover and freeze overnight until firm.
Leftover fudge ripple? Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks and use it again for your next batch. It also makes a great ice cream topping (duh).