Monday, 10 February 2014

Um desejo de fazer sorvete decadente Baci


Champagne and chocolate have always been de rigeur for Valentines Day,and we all know that expression made famous by Madonna ”Italians do it better.” The phrase chimes nicely with their worldwide reputation as the apotheosis of that prized breed of male known by the term “Latin Lover,” which dates back at least to the days of the great Casanova himself. But is it true these days? I have had no hands-on experience of Italian men in this regard,so I cant comment and leave it up to you ladies to fill me in.I have however always wanted to make Baci ice cream.
It’s so quintessentially Italian, it’s almost an emblem of national flavour. It would be tantamount to treason for an Italian to dislike the heady combination of chocolate and hazelnuts.Consider the place that Nutella* has in the Italian national psyche … the allure of this combination has taken hold and is firmly part of tradition. Think of Baci chocolates from Perugia, with a whole hazelnut encased in a hazelnut praline centre, coated in smooth dark chocolate

… each one with its own romantic message attached. Swoon.
I was determined to get it right first time (yes, it was my first attempt.
All the recipes I googled used Nutella.I have nothing against Nutella* -not that I am particularly wild about the stuff either, but It's just that in my humble opinion I have always thought there must be a better way to achieve that heavenly chocolate - hazelnut combination.Well, use Baci chocolates of course.Maybe its their cost that puts people off, but I have also unearthed a lot of recipes that use Torrone.I thought why not capitalize on the Spanish specialty Turrón de Guirlache, which is so delicious and readily available in this part of the world.So get ready for Valentine's day by upping the ante and surprise your other half with balls of this decadent chocolate ice cream.It won’t be long before you are fastening you´re waistline, pegging a pant up and getting ready for a bumpy night of passion. So here is my version. Or, at least, my variation of a Baci ice cream.


A Decadent Baci Ice Cream
Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, really pushes the hazelnut out and is the only source I found that actually uses Baci chocolates.I upped the Italian ante by using a tub of Mascarpone for an extra richness.

200g Turron/Torrone
30g best quality cocoa powder (Green and Blacks)
50ml Boiling water
100g Good quality bittersweet Dark chocolate (Lindt)
6 large egg yolks
100g caster sugar
250 ml heavy cream
450 ml whole milk
250g mascarpone

8 Baci chocolates plus one extra per serving
In a food processor break the Turron up until you achieve a very coarse crumble.
Put the Turron pieces in saucepan over medium heat and add the boiling water.Add the cocoa powder and cook stirring frequently until the Turron is melted and the cocoa powder is combined into a soft paste.Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile break up the chocolate into pieces and melt in a bain-marie over medium heat.
Warm the cream and milk in a saucepan until almost boiling.Set aside.
Whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a roomy bowl until pale and creamy.Slowly beat in the cream and milk mixture,and then return the mixture to the pan.Stir constantly over a low heat until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.It must not boil or it will curdle.
Remove the chocolate from the bain-marie and stir it into the custard until it is completely incorporated.Transfer to clean jug immersed in cold water and leave to cool completely.
When cold,using an electric whisk,beat the custard into the mascarpone until combined.
Stir in the turron mix followed by 8 roughly chopped Baci chocolates.Freeze in a freezer container until firm,stirring once after two hours and twice more at hourly intervals.
Transfer the ice cream to the fridge at least half an hour before you want to serve it.
Scoop balls into glass bowls,glasses or sundae dishes and garnish each one with a Baci chocolate cut into quarters.Enjoy the heavenly sensation.

*I don’t want to rant about Nutella but one has to acknowledge that it is no longer the wonderful spread that it used to be.We all know why.No point getting on my high horse about it here. The recipe has changed dramatically over the years, which is unfortunate, as it is now a much more sickly sweet chocolate spread with some rather dubious ingredients. Rather unfair to children today, in my humble opinion, as the original was a sublime experience. I think most people over the age of 30 or 40 probably love Nutella for the sweet memories of childhood it invokes.These days, it’s a great idea to make your own and capture that wonderful flavour again.  It’s also easy.
 

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