I won’t lie, Sailor Mercury’s dessert gave me hell. I ended up experimenting with the ice cream base for days because it just would not firm up. Three days I struggled, weeping and gnashing my teeth instead of enoying the creamy, frosty goodness I desired. On the third day, I admitted defeat: my recipe was just not going to freeze properly. I decided I’d feed my failure to my husband as a milkshake later that night.
As an absolute last ditch effort, I toggled the settings on my freezer. Suddenly, it firmed up beautifully.
I’m not a smart woman. I suppose it’s fitting that it was Ami’s dessert that made me feel stupid.
Once I got done smashing my head into a brick wall, I finished up my dessert. For all my troubles, I can confidently say it turned out to be delicious. Unfortunately my freezer crapped out a bit again right before I shot my final photos (so things look a tad meltier than I’d like), but you can see above that the texture is quite good when it’s properly frozen!
This recipe involves tempering chocolate, but if you don’t want to fuss with any of that you can also use chocolate candy melts!
ACT TWO: AMI
Creme de Menthe Ice Cream in Dark Chocolate Cups
Yields: 3 teacups filled with ice cream.
Timing Notes: Since you’re making ice cream from scratch, this recipe will take two days to complete. Be sure to give your ice cream plenty of time to get nice and firm.
Creme de Menthe Ice Cream, recipe follows
Chocolate Teacups, recipe follows
Luster Dusts (Blue, Silver, Pearl)
1. Secure your chocolate teacups to the plate you’ll be serving them on with a dot of melted chocolate. Fill your ice cream into a piping bag with a large star tip, and quickly pipe the ice cream into the cup.
2. Decorate the ice cream with your extra chocolate handles and your modeling chocolate “bubbles.” Serve immediately, or store in the freezer until you’re ready to go.
Creme de Menthe Ice Cream
2 cups (480ml) heavy cream
3/4 cups (180ml) milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cups + 3 tbsp (140g) sugar
1 pinch salt
2 tbsp (30ml) creme de menthe liquor
Sky blue food coloring (Every coloring is different, so use your judgement.)
1. In a saucepan, heat the heavy cream, milk and salt until barely simmering. Turn the heat down to low.
2. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar together in a bowl. Slowly pour about half a cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Continue to pour the cream mixture in slowly while whisking, until it is all combined. Pour it back into the saucepan and whisk it constantly over medium heat. The mixture will thicken slightly, enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil. Once it has thickened, remove it from the heat.
3. Pour the ice cream base into a bowl and stir in the creme de menthe and food coloring. Allow it to cool for half an hour before moving it to the fridge. Chill it for at least 24 hours.
4. Freeze the base according to your ice cream maker’s instructions, OR follow these directions from Dave Lebowitz if you do not have a machine.
NOTE: This ice cream may be just a bit softer than you are used to due to the alcohol content, but should be quite creamy and delicious (if you’re smart enough to make sure your freezer is cold enough, unlike me). The texture is more of a soft-serve one. I used a manual method instead of an ice cream machine, checking the base every 30 minutes and blending it with an immersion blender. The above is how my base looked right before I put it in for the final freeze.
Dark Chocolate Teacups and Garnish
12 oz (335g) dark chocolate
1/2 tsp vegetable oil (optional)
Corn Syrup (as needed)
1. Melt and temper your dark chocolate. (A fantastic tutorial on how to temper chocolate can be found here. They truly do a better job than I could describing the process!) Alternately, you can melt your chocolate and add in 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil to create a faux temper. Fair warning: this will make your chocolate softer and give it less of a “snap.” You’ll need to keep your cups refrigerated if you use this method.
2. Blow up 3 small balloons to the size you want your teacups to be. Mine were about 4″ in diameter at their largest point. Carefully dip the bottoms of the balloons into your chocolate, trying to get the top as level as you can. Place them on a sheet of parchment or a silicone mat to harden.
3. Fill your remaining chocolate into a piping bag and pipe six handles. You can draw up a template to use to be sure to keep things uniform.
4. Once the handles and cups are totally firmed up, pop your balloons and remove them. Then, use a bit of warm chocolate to glue the handles to the cups.
5. Once your cups are totally done, turn the rest of your chocolate into modeling chocolate. Measure out a ratio of 10:1 chocolate to corn syrup using a food scale. Mix the chocolate (while melted) with the corn syrup, and it will form a sort of dough. Allow it to cool a bit. Once cooled, roll the modeling chocolate into little balls and dredge the balls in luster dust. Set aside.