Tag Archives: Cacao Nibs

Triple Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream Recipe

Organic Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream

The richness of three chocolates and the textures of berries plus cacao nibs has made this our favorite summer indulgence

The best thing about having a home ice cream maker is not only can you dream up some remarkably imaginative flavors, you can also control every ingredient you use.  A home ice cream maker isn’t about saving money – it’s about unleashing this creative license and using exotic and top quality  ingredients.  For instance, you can bring into play completely organic ingredients or draw from what’s local and fresh.  Most ingredients I use in this recipe are not particularly exotic, except the cacao nibs.  I’ll tell you where to easily find those.

Now, I’m an extremely busy guy, so I like simplicity.  This recipe is easy, but still results in a decadent, super-rich ice cream that everyone loves.  Many chocolate ice cream recipes ask you to start by making an egg custard – not a complex process, but one that involves standing over a stove and eventually cleaning a pan.  Forget about it.  Eggs will make the ice cream richer, yes, but we’re talking about triple chocolate here!  This is rich enough, trust me.  No eggs required.

Organic Triple Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream

Mashing Rasberries in a bowl

Mashing the raspberries in a bowl releases more intense flavors into the ice cream

You don’t need to make this organic, but it’s so easy to do, why not?  When I went shopping, the supermarket had organic raspberries for the same price as conventional, a no-brainer.  We also have a local farm where organic raspberries will be ready to pick later in the summer.  Try to take advantage of this healthy option in your area, if you can.

The links below show you where you can get top quality organic chocolate ingredients.  We will use three types of “chocolate” to make this ice cream:

Triple Chocolate Ice Cream Key Ingredients

Three types of chocolate make for intriguing texture and dimension. Clockwise from top: organic cacao nibs, organic cocoa powder (unsweetened) and organic dark chocolate, 82% cacao.

1) Organic cocoa powder.  I used Grenada Chocolate Company organic cocoa.  They grow the cacao on the island of Grenada and use a low pressure cocoa press for the best flavor.

2) Dark chocolate – 70% cacao or higher.  I used 82% dark chocolate from Grenada Chocolate Company.  There is plenty of sugar in the ice cream, so go with at least 70% on the chocolate.  This was plenty sweet even for my four-year old.

3) Organic cacao nibs.  Cacao nibs are ground up bits of roasted cacao beans.  Nibs are the main starting material for a chocolate bar, so you can think of them as a “raw” form of chocolate.  In fact, I used Pacari Organic Chocolate raw nibs for their light nutty flavor and un-roasted flavor profile [2].

What you’ll need:

  • 4 ounce container of fresh organic raspberries.   Frozen is fine – use about 2/3 cup in that case.
  • 1 cup organic half-and-half.
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened organic cocoa powder.
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract.
  • 2/3 cup organic sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 oz. organic dark chocolate 70% cacao or higher.  If you use Grenada Chocolate Company, this is about 1/2 a bar.
  • 2 tablespoons organic cacao nibs.  I recommend Pacari Raw Organic Cacao Nibs.
  • A home ice cream maker.  I used the Cuisinart ICE-21.  If you’re also using this particular model, I’ll give you a few extra tips at the end of the recipe.

Preparation

The final cream mixture

Use the same bowl and whisk to stir in everything but the chopped chocolate and nibs. Cover this bowl and chill.

Chop up the raspberries into quarters and put them in a medium bowl.  You might think that whole raspberries will look more impressive in the ice cream, but it’s better to mash them up to release the juice.  This will result in a much more flavorful treat as the raspberry flavors meld beautifully into the cream.  Mash the raspberries in the bottom of the bowl with a whisk until they are uniformly mashed up.  Remember – keep it simple.  Keep the food processor in the cabinet.  One bowl. One whisk.  Less to clean. Now stir in the half-and-half, sugar, vanilla, and cocoa powder [1].  Once all the cocoa powder looks wet, stir in the cream.

Cover the bowl and put the mixture in the refrigerator for 1 to  1 1/2 hours.  In the mean time, chop the dark chocolate into pieces about the half the size of a pea.  I recommend a heavy, kind-of clunky knife for the job.

Take the chilled cream mixture and pour it into the machine and start churning.  After only about 5 minutes of churning or when you see a slight thickening of the mixture, slowly pour in the chopped chocolate and nibs.  Depending upon your machine, you should see the whole thing set up and expand in about 20 minutes or less.  The ice cream will still be relatively soft, but perfectly ready to eat now.  Put the rest into a tight-sealing container in the freezer and you will have hard ice cream in four to six hours.

My wife preferred the softer ice cream right out of the machine with the contrast of textures – soft raspberries, crunchy, but melt-able chocolate and grainy nibs.  I liked the dense-packed version that comes from freezing.  Either way, this stuff didn’t last long in our house.

Tips on Using the Cuisinart ICE-21 Ice Cream Maker

In some of the online reviews for this product, it seems a few people had trouble getting the machine to work well.  I’ve never had any real problems, so I’d like to share some ideas on how to get good results:

  1. Freeze the freezer bowl for at least four hours.  Overnight would be best.
  2. Make sure to place the freezer bowl in the bottom of the freezer so it’s resting against the bottom surface.  Placing it furthest from the door should help too.
  3. Don’t take the freezer bowl out of the freezer until just before you are ready to pour the ingredients in.
  4. Chill the mixed ingredients in the refrigerator for more than an hour before churning.  If you have room, put them in the freezer for an additional 10-15 minutes.  When I did this, the ice cream set up in the machine in only 10 minutes!  Be careful not to leave the mixture in the freezer for too long – you really don’t want it to freeze before churning.
  5. If you’re working in a real hot room, place a small dish over the hole in the top of the machine and put a few ice cubes in the dish as things are churning.
If you take some care to make sure things are really cold, you’ll easily make great ice cream.

Notes:

[1] If your ice cream maker does not allow you to add ingredients as you go, then stir in all the other ingredients now.

[2] Most cacao nibs would come from fermented and then roasted beans.  Pacari ferments their beans, but doesn’t roast them so that they can preserve more of the high antioxidant content and bright flavors of the original bean.

[3] I paid for all the ingredients used to make this recipe.

Madecasse Arabica Coffee Milk Chocolate 44% Cocoa Review

Madecasse Arabica Coffee Milk Chocolate

Madecasse now makes a small 25g bar shown next to the full size bar. The back side is loaded with cacao nibs while the front has smooth squares with a color deep enough to be dark chocolate.

The package says “A dark milk chocolate with a coffee crunch.” I’ve heard this oxymoron before – “dark milk chocolate,” and always found it a bit perplexing.  Is this a dark chocolate or a milk chocolate and why can’t it make up its mind?  Well it contains milk, so by definition, it’s simply milk chocolate.  Some chocolate makers like to say “dark milk chocolate” to highlight the high 44% cocoa content compared to, say, a cheap, commonplace milk chocolate bar you might find at the pharmacy.

This is no commonplace bar.  Madecasse has created a blend of cacao nibs and chocolate, both from Madagascan trees and tossed in some shade grown coffee from the mountains of Madagascar.  Unexpected, yes, but how does it taste?

TASTING single-origin Madagascar CHOCOLATE

WHAT:  Madecasse Arabica Coffee Milk Chocolate.  44% Cacao. 25 g mini bar. Ingredients: Sugar, whole milk powder, cocoa beans, cocoa butter, Arabica coffee, soy lecithin, vanilla powder, sea salt.

Where to buy Madecasse Chocolate Online.

WHEN:  June 21, 2012                                OVERALL RATING:  78.

AROMA:  Coffee dominates the nose with a fresh percolated scent. Behind it is some oak and molasses.

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS:  Coffee and wine.

MIDDLE TASTE: The coffee is still there along with molasses, butter, and orange cream-sickle.

FINISH:  The two-part finish starts with smooth coffee milk and ends with nuts, celery and light wood.

TEXTURE:  The nibs add a lot of crunch, of course, but they seem to be ground finer than in most nib bars.

LAST BITE:  I think it was a good call for Madecasse to choose milk chocolate for this bar so that the chocolate and coffee don’t compete too much.  Ironically, I think this bar in search of an identity will win over more dark chocolate lovers than milk chocolate lovers.  It’s sort of like dropping a shot of whiskey into your glass of iced rose and pretending it’s a refreshing summertime cooler.  It’s not.  This bar has some strong and complex flavors – a good thing.  Have fun with it.  For me, I’d rather go with a real dark chocolate, so I’ll take the Sea Salt and Nibs Dark Chocolate bar any day as my favorite from Madecasse.

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Notes: I paid for this chocolate myself.