Friday, October 28, 2011
homemade cornetto cones.
Personally, no ice cream treat is complete without a cone. I love having ice cream on a cone so much that I even judge an ice cream parlor by the quality of its cones. For some, it's like having ice cream on a warm fudgy brownie- it's a must. You get me?
I believe this manic obsession with cones has something to do with Cornetto. Back when I was still an ignorant child, with absolutely no experience with gourmet ice creams (not even ben & jerry's!), Cornetto was one of the few ice cream brands that I knew. And it was my favourite too, because at each pointy bottom, there would be an inch of pure chocolate. The problem with Cornetto is that most of the time, the cones were soft and soggy. I think this is because the ice cream was manufactured quite some time ago, and even stashing it in the deep freeze would cause the cones to lose its crispness over time.
I guess that was the reason that made me a little cranky, and I decided to make my own. I used store bought waffle cones and created a little stand for them using a mini chiffon pan and a sheet of cling wrap. I intended to use aluminum foil but I was short of it. The concept is really simple- just wrap a sheet of foil over the top of the pan nice and tight and then just pierce the ends of the cone in as deep as you can to secure it. You know what? I should ever never subbed foil for cling wrap. Cling wrap isn't as sturdy as foil and it only caused my cones to topple at the slightest shake. Lesson learnt: use foil.
Like a classic Cornetto, I started off by filling the cones with a teaspoon or so of melted chocolate. Such a simple task, but I messed it up. Oh boy. When I melted the chocolate, some water got into it and the whole ramekin's worth seized up. I couldn't bear to throw it away so I got more cold chocolate and stirred it in, letting the heat from the warm chocolate melt the cold one. Chunk after chunk of cold chocolate, the seized up mixture started to loosen and become more fluid. Even though it wasn't as smooth as regular melted chocolate, it was good enough for me to spoon and fill those cones. Disaster averted!
I made sure to set aside some chocolate for rolling the tops of the cones in. Not very Cornetto, but I thought some sprinkles would look lovely as well as add some crunch. After this filling and coating of the cones with chocolate, I stuck them in the freezer for a while to set.
P.S. Honestly, I wished I could have rolled the entire cone in chocolate.
I filled these up with a homemade coffee dulce de leche ice cream. The inspiration struck when I came across an adapted version of David Lebovtiz's recipe for Vietnamese coffee ice cream. The recipe is really simple- just strong coffee, milk and sweetened condensed milk. I had some dulce de leche in the fridge, which is technically pure caramelized condensed milk, and coffee and caramel just jive together so coffee dulce de leche ice cream was born! It may be a bit too sweet, so I've provided directions in the recipe below on how to modify it to make it less so.
So basically, I took the frozen cones, chocolate-filled and all, and poured in the ice cream which should be soft. For those with ice cream makers, if you're making the ice cream fresh, you could start filling these cones once the machine is done churning. For ice-cream-machineless people like me, the ice cream can be used after the final churning. Then, return the filled cones to the freezer to fully freeze, at least 3 hours, and start brain-storming for how you want to top the cones.
I went with sweetened whipped cream, because that's the easiest way to get some height out of these flat-topped cones. But before I piped it on, I snuck in 3 reese's pieces on the top of each cone. I mean, it's pretty obvious that coffee + caramel + peanut butter= awesome.
You could go even further and top each mound of whipped cream with chocolate sauce, chopped nuts and more but I think they look perfect just the way they are.
It's a super fun project- I would totally do it again! And since I still have some unused cones... I wonder what kind of ice cream should I make next time? Chocolate chip cookie dough? Bacon? I would love to see you try making your own Cornetto with innovative flavours and toppings!
Coffee Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
slightly adapted from Cafe Fernando
makes enough to fill 4 small cones
If you're worried that the ice cream may be too sweet, cut the dulce de leche by 1 tbsp and add another 1 tbsp of milk instead.
1/4 cup dulce de leche
1/4 cup very strongly brewed coffee
1 tbsp + 1 tsp milk
Whisk together all the ingredients and chill the mixture thoroughly. Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.
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