Stop whatever you are doing right now and make this ice cream! It is seriously that good. But, first -- a little background. Back in August, I got an email from Nudo asking if I'd like to try their new olive oil with cacao nibs. That sounded pretty much amazing to me, so I said yes. Then...life got in the way. I'm both applying for jobs and finishing my dissertation this year, and September has been a particularly intense month on both of those fronts. But, I'm happy to say that I finally got the chance to open up my new olive oil and test it out in a recipe!
Checking the ingredients, I knew this olive oil wouldn't be sweet -- it's just cacao nibs and olives, with no added sugar. The cacao nibs add a really interesting bitter element to the olive oil, but you need to use this in a dessert and add some sugar to really bring out the chocolate flavor. I could also see using this in a savory dish -- the strong flavor of the olive oil would pair really well with steak, for example. But, I knew I wanted to go in a sweet direction.
I had picked up a copy of the Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book a few months back, and their olive oil ice cream recipe was one I'd marked as a "must try." The arrival of cacao nib olive oil on my doorstep seemed like the sign I'd been waiting for -- it was time to make ice cream! This ice cream is super creamy and custard-y -- since the other ingredients are fairly standard, I think it must be the addition of the olive oil that makes the texture extra amazing. Tasted alone, I thought the olive oil flavor was too strong -- if you want to serve this without the fudge ripple, I'd recommend choosing a more mild olive oil. However, with the fudge ripple, this ice cream was completely perfect. The chocolate sauce paired up with the slightly bitter, intense flavor of the cacao nib olive oil in the ice cream to put me in dessert heaven. Make this for your next dinner party when you want to feel a little sophisticated, or just make it for yourself as a special treat.
Giveaway: Although you can make this recipe with any high-quality olive oil, Nudo has been nice enough to offer a free tin to one of my readers so that you can try it yourself! (You can also pick up a tin for yourself right here.) To enter the giveaway, head over to Nudo's Facebook page, like them, and then come back here and tell me your favorite way to use olive oil or your favorite recipe that features olive oil. I'll pick a winner at random on October 5 and contact you via email, so make sure you leave your email address so that I have a way to get in touch.
Cacao Nib Olive Oil Ice Cream with Fudge Ripple (adapted from Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream Book and Grit)
Makes about 2 pints
For the ice cream:
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1 tsp kosher salt
3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cacao nib olive oil - or substitute another high-quality olive oil
For the fudge ripple:
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 cup water
1/4 tsp vanilla
2 T unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1. First, make the ice cream base. In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, milk, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until hot but not boiling -- you'll see little bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan when the cream is ready.
2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and olive oil until well blended.
3. Remove the cream mixture from the heat. Slowly whisk the hot cream into the egg yolk mixture, a little bit at a time. Scrape everything back into the saucepan, and return to medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, until the mixture is slightly thickened -- about 3 minutes.
4. Set a strainer over a medium bowl, and pour the custard through the strainer. Cover and chill at least overnight, until very cold.
5. Make the fudge ripple. Combine the sugar, cocoa and water in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Heat over medium heat until the mixture boils, and then boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and whisk in the vanilla and butter. Keep whisking until the butter is melted and the sauce is smooth.
6. Transfer the fudge sauce to a small container, and stash in the fridge until ready to use.
7. When you're ready to make the ice cream, pull the fudge sauce out of the fridge first and let it warm up until it reaches a pour-able consistency.
8. Then, freeze the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the instructions that go along with your particular model. I found this ice cream took a bit longer and didn't freeze as solidly as some others I've made.
9. When the ice cream is frozen, get your container(s) ready. Start with a little bit of fudge ripple, and then add a spoonful of ice cream. Continue layering the fudge sauce and the ice cream until you're done -- you may end up with extra ripple, which you can store in the fridge and use on ice cream, fruit, etc.
10. Freeze the ice cream for a couple of hours before serving, and eat within a week.