Hot-cha-cha!

Aztec Hot Chocolate

The Inspiration:
I had wanted to do a chocolate-based ice cream from the get-go, so I paged through the books to see what was there. I came across the Aztec Hot Chocolate Ice Cream in Lebovitz’ book, and it sounded perfect.

The Recipe:
I’ve been pulling a lot from this book (The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz), and I didn’t make any major changes to the recipe, so I wouldn’t feel right just copying it (but a little Googling would have a version of it for you if you really need it). I do want to encourage you to go ahead and grab a copy of this… it’s less than $13 from Amazon and well worth every penny.

I used Ghirardelli cocoa, and dug into my precious dwindling stock of Scharffenberger* bittersweet chocolate, along with some Spice House ancho chili powder (smoky and sweet).

(*In case you didn’t know, Scharffenberger was sold to Hersheys a few years ago, and now is artisan in name only… absolutely heartbreaking. I’m so glad I got a chance to tour their original factory several times.)

The Results:
Since I tried to use the bucket twice in one day, I don’t think it totally froze again (even though I couldn’t hear any sloshing noises coming from it). Or perhaps I didn’t let the mix chill as long as I should have. In any case, after 35 minutes, the mixture wasn’t becoming any harder and I pulled the plug on the operation. It’s hardening in the freezer beautifully, and I am certain that if I hadn’t been impatient, it would have set up just fine.

But oh… the flavor! The rich dark chocolate with the smoky ancho chili and the background hum of cinnamon produces a rousing chord of flavors that lingers and warms you despite the chilly temperature. I had a similar treat at Christopher Elbow’s wonderful Glacé the last time I was in Kansas City, and this spicy little number echos the memory perfectly.

This one is a keeper, friends.

(ETA photo)

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Hot-cha-cha!

  1. Did I ever tell you I went to college with the nephew of the guy who founded Scharffenberger? I was like, “hey, you have the same name as the chocolate company!” and he was like, “ayep, that’s my uncle.”

    • Very cool! Do you remember Theresa Chow from the juggling festivals? (Really smart, really short with short black hair, really amazing juggler, was partners with really tall guy Will for a long time, stayed at our house a few times, was part of the 7-club arch at our wedding.) She was finishing her PhD in mathematics at Berkeley, and quit to be one of the very first Scharffenberger employees (I was braiding her hair at Lodi festival, asked her what was new, and she said, “I quit school to work at a chocolate factory. But it’s a really good chocolate factory!”).

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