Boxing day- a day to relax with the pressure and expectations of Christmas faded comfortably into the crevices of your cosy sofa. Or in my case, a free kitchen to russell up more delicious and decadent creations. A gloriously sunny and biblically beautiful walk in the crisp Wiltshire morning air to begin the day. Overlooking my precious village covered in a blanket of drifting cloud, it was all I could do not to take off into this pillow-like sea. Back home to the warmth of the kitchen I spent the afternoon in my own sheer bliss. Blogging contently in the sunshine which cast lovely welcome rays over the days creations.
This ice cream goes beautifully with Christmas pudding with its citrusy festive flavours. However, for Christmas 2013 dessert it was paired loyally with a dense, rich slice of chocolatey heaven which can only be described as a chocolate-torte-mousse-fudge-style-brownie-cake (see here for the full recipe). Decadently delicious!
This recipe has been adapted from a Nigel Slater version I have in a recent book. As an extreme dark chocolate fan (90%+ I am religiously found munching at about 9pm most evenings) I love the bitter and pure taste that it offers. Enter cocoa nibs, chocolate’s purest and most wholesome form. On a recent quest to find my similarly dark chocolate appreciating Pa a tasty Christmas treat, I stumbled upon the Rabot 1745 estate collection , a cocoa plantation in Saint Lucia and a branch of Hotel Chocolat. While Hotel Chocolat congers up thoughts of sugary praline and liquer filled chocolates, this range is pure bliss and original. Chocolate shopping by region- from Vietnam to Venezuela I lost blissful hours perusing the shelves only to be helped knowledgably by an enthusiastic assistant who allowed me to try the raw form of the bean used in the shop cafe.
The beans,in their shelled form, are ground like coffee beans in a conching machine until silky, fine and smooth. Little is added for the super dark stuff especially no sugar like your standard Cadbury’s bar which couldn’t taste further from the real thing. I cheekily asked for a couple of bags of the raw beans which I was kindly granted with. One for dad and one for my own personal experiments….
Marmalade and Cocoa Nib Ice Cream
- 500ml single cream
- 4 eggs yolks
- 2 large tbsp caster sugar
- 300-400g marmalade (depending on how strong it is. I used half thick cut peel and half thin….this is optional)
- A handful or cocoa beans/cocoa nibs – available from Hotel Chocolat or some super dark chocolate chopped.
- Heat the cream in a saucepan until just below the boil and remove from the heat.
- Whisk the sugar and egg yolks together in a shallow bowl and sit it on a tea towel to stop it slipping. Whisking constantly, pour the hot cream over the yolks in a steady stream and whisk until smooth.
- Return to the pan and continue to whisk or stir on a low heat to allow it to thicken a little. It will thicken a little, enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Chill thoroughly before stirring in the marmalade.
- Churn in an ice cream maker for about 30 minutes until thick and beginning to set. Before decanting into a box, rumble in your cocoa beans/nibs or your chopped dark chocolate.
- Alternatively, freeze in a container and whisk every hour or so until set to break up the ice crystals. Once nearly set, stir in the chocolate.
Served with my ‘chocolate-torte-mousse-fudge-style-brownie-cake’ it went down a treat!