Long ago and far away, I tasted a delicious pareve chocolate ice cream. This “ice cream,” or “glace chocolat,” as it was called, was intensely chocolate like the best flourless chocolate cake or mousse. The recipe for the “glace”/”ice cream” base couldn’t have been simpler: eggs, sugar, oil, plus flavoring (chocolate, of course, for the glace chocolate). No pareve whip, no nut butter, no margarine. And the mixture was whipped light before being frozen, so there was no need for an ice cream maker, either. It was basically a dense frozen mousse, and it was delicious.
Unfortunately, my discovery of this recipe coincided exactly with the emerging realization in the US that raw eggs are unsafe to eat because of salmonella contamination. So, for many years this recipe lay neglected and unused.
I recently was reading through Bon Appetit and was intrigued by a recipe for chocolate ice cream with caramel swirled in. The picture of the rich ice cream, the description of the texture, and the recipe reminded me of my Glace Chocolat. The Bon Appetit recipe (from Fergus Henderson’s restaurant St. Johns) is described as being “so rich, it doesn’t melt–it just gets truffley.”
So, I decided to dust off my Glace Chocolat and update it.
Here is the original recipe:
Original Glace Chocolat
This is the original recipe, as I adapted it for my purposes.
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
flavoring of choice: for chocolate, you can add about 4 ounces of melted bittersweet chocolate, and you can up the chocolate intensity with a couple of Tbl. of cocoa. My original recipe suggested experimentation with amounts, which is admittedly vague, but you can’t really go too wrong.
1 Tbl. vanilla (or liqueur, Sabra would be nice)
Separate the eggs, placing the yolks in one bowl, and the whites in another. Whisking the yolks, gradually add the oil in a stream, continuing to whisk until you have a homogeneous mixture. Mix the melted chocolate, cocoa powder (if using), and the vanilla. Whisk the whites until foamy and white, like shaving cream, and gradually add the sugar, continuing to whip until you have a shiny meringue. Fold together the chocolate base with the meringue.
My approach to updating the recipe was to heat the eggs with sugar until they reached 160 degrees (or 145 degrees for four minutes) (the last recipe I posted where I did this was the chocolate marquise, which is excellent, btw). The first time that I tried this approach, I added all the sugar to the eggs (using brown sugar for a caramel flavor), heated them to 160 degrees, whipped them, and then folded in the cocoa, melted chocolate, and oil. The mixture collapsed just a little too much during the folding. Although the resulting mixture was extremely delicious, I wanted to try again and get a lighter texture.
The second time, I tried a different approach, inspired by Alice Medrich’s recipe for dairy-free mousse (Albert’s Mousse). I cut back the oil a bit from 1/2 cup to 4 Tbl., and added some water to the recipe to lighten it. Instead of whipping the eggs with all the sugar, I whipped them with just 4 Tbl. sugar and 3 Tbl. water after heating the mixture to 160 degrees. The eggs came out especially light and thick this way. Before whipping the eggs I made my chocolate flavor base: I caramelized the remaining 4 Tbl. of sugar, added 4 Tbl. of coffee and 4 Tbl. of oil, and then mixed in 3 Tbl. of cocoa and 3.5 ounces of bittersweet chocolate. This viscous mixture was folded into the beaten eggs, causing them to collapse somewhat, but not as much as in my first attempt.
Revised Chocolate Glace
Unlike the Henderson chocolate ice cream, this actually does melt. It tastes like the most decadent gourmet chocolate ice cream, but there isn’t a speck of dairy in it. Actually, butterfat mutes chocolate flavor, so this tastes even more intense than regular chocolate ice cream ever could.
Chocolate Flavor Base:
caramel (4 Tbl. sugar, 2 Tbl. water heated until caramelized) (you could probably substitute 4 Tbl. corn syrup or honey or just boil the sugar and water until a thick syrup forms instead of heating until the sugar caramelizes)
4 Tbl. coffee
4 Tbl. oil (coconut oil might be nice, and olive oil would be interesting, but I used corn oil)
3 Tbl. cocoa (optional, for a more intense chocolate taste)
3.5 ounces Schmerling 72 percent bittersweet chocolate (or 4 ounces Callebaut 60/40), finely chopped
To make the chocolate base, place the sugar and water in a saucepan and heat until the sugar caramelizes (here is a caramel tutorial). Go for a medium caramel color instead of a dark color to avoid the risk of burning the caramel. Add the coffee and oil (carefully–it will splatter and steam!) and stir. Add the cocoa (if using). Mix in the finely chopped chocolate and stir until the mixture is evenly melted and homogeneous. (An alternate method would be substitute corn syrup for the caramel and heat everything together in a bowl set over a pot of hot water). Let the chocolate base cool while you make the egg mixture.
3 eggs (this will go faster if you bring the eggs to room temperature first by setting the eggs–still in the shell, of course–in a bowl of warm water for ten minutes)
3 Tbl. water
4 Tbl. sugar
Put the eggs, sugar, and water in a bowl, and whisk them together well. Place the bowl over a pot of hot water (set on a medium-low flame) and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees (or 145 degrees for 4 minutes; if you are bringing the mixture to 160 degrees, pull it off as it is getting close because the temperature will rise as you pull it off the flame and move to the mixer). IMMEDIATELY put the bowl and whisk attachment on the mixer and whip on high speed for five minutes, until the bowl is cool and the mixture is thick and light.
Whisk some of the egg mixture into the chocolate base to lighten it, and then gently fold the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture until combined. The mixture will deflate somewhat, but you should end up with about 3-4 cups of mixture. Place the mixture in a freezer safe container and freeze for a few hours.
This is rather rich. You could freeze the ice cream in little ramekins, or just serve small balls or quenelles (take a look at this how-to video for shaping ice cream quenelles, and see this discussion on EGullet of the single spoon technique).
For Passover, many years ago, I serve small scoops of the ice cream with raspberry poached pears, and it was a nice match, both visually and in terms of taste.
Bonus: By an odd coincidence, Devorah Waysman printed a similar recipe for chocolate mousse in this week’s Jewish Press. Her recipe calls for 250 g. bittersweet chocolate, 4 Tbl. wine, and 4 eggs, separated. It is a no-cook recipe, but you could easily convert it to a cooked recipe for safety’s sake by following the above procedure, heating the eggs with the 4 Tbl. wine and 4 Tbl. sugar before whipping them and folding in the melted chocolate.