Friday marked 3 months we haven't had gas to our apartment. And ohhhhh boy I am pissed off about it. Cooking on a wee camping style element is ok, until you have to make two things at once. Or, say, you would like all the components of dinner ready at the same time. A lady in my building told me she's just been eating tacos for three months. While we aren't that extreme, it's definitely annoying. But instead of coming here to complain more (lol, too late), I'm gonna pop this recipe here that still requires the use of a burner, but only one at a time and just for a wee bit - these toasted coconut ice cream pops with a passionfruit magic shell.
A couple of months ago I was invited along to the Valrhona USA headquarters to have a play with their new inspiration line! Turns out it's just in Brooklyn, same as me! This is what happens when you don't get out much - you don't realise things are just under your nose. Anyways, it was a super fun night, we got to meet their amazing pastry chef who showed us all sorts of fancy things, and we learnt all about their new line of fruit and nut couvertures (which is a fancy name for chocolate with a high cocoa butter content). They have recently released an almond and a passionfruit (!!) flavour, both of which taste insanely good, and also happen to be vegan if that sort of thing floats your boat. The release of these is going to be an exciting new development for vegan desserts, but also super exciting for people like me who are addicted to passionfruit, but also equally sad that they are almost impossible to get hold of here in NYC. So this is the next best option. The Passionfruit couverture is made with cocoa butter and passionfruit juice, meaning that it has an insanely punchy passionfruit taste, with the flavour not being drowned out by sugar as it would be in a nectar or juice.
One of the things that we were shown while we were there was a passionfruit magic shell. Magic shell is essentially chocolate warmed with a neutral oil, which means that when it comes into contact with something cold (like ice cream), it solidifies into an amazing, crunchy crackly shell. The pastry chef had made a passionfruit magic shell, which we dipped teeny little perfect bars of coconut sorbet into. My mind was blown, and I knew it had to be replicated at home, and so here we are!
I wanted to kind of keep the same flavour profile going as we tasted at Valrhona, but wanted to make it an ice cream base rather than a sorbet (because I like to think I'm fancy, but I'm not that fancy). So, I went with a toasted coconut ice cream - essentially an anglaise (custard), which you infuse overnight with toasted coconut before churning in your ice cream maker and freezing into popsicle moulds. Once they have frozen down, I took them out of the moulds, let them chill out in the freezer for a bit, and then melted down some grapeseed oil and the passionfruit chocolate, let it cool, then dunked the pops in. It's kind of stressful to dunk but also super fun to watch the shell set almost immediately into a perfectly smooth form. I then drizzled them with some white chocolate (totally optional but another step to make you look fancy), and we were all done! The toastyness of the coconut ice cream paired so perfectly with the punchy chocolate shell - these are going to be firmly on repeat whenever I feel the need to impress someone.
A few wee tips:
- The toasted coconut ice cream base ideally needs overnight to infuse the coconut flavour, so you will need to account for this. If you are in a pinch you can just chill it down with the coconut, and once chilled, strain it out.
- I made the magic shell using Valrhona Passionfruit Couverture, but if you aren't able to get that, a white chocolate, or milk / dark chocolate would also make an amazing magic shell coating to pair with the toasted coconut. The ratio for the magic shell is approximately 1 part neutral oil to 5 parts chocolate, by weight.
- These are the pop moulds that I used. I love how fancy they look, and they are the perfect size! This recipe will work in any pop mould though!
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Toasted Coconut Ice Cream Pops with Passionfruit Magic Shell
Toasted Coconut Ice Cream
- 150g unsweetened shredded coconut
- 475g whole milk
- 350g heavy cream
- 6 egg yolks
- 200g sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste
- ¼ tsp salt
Passionfruit magic shell
- 400g Passionfruit Couverture
- 80g grape seed oil
- Melted white chocolate, to drizzle
TOASTED COCONUT ICE CREAM
- Preheat the oven to 350˚f / 180˚c. Spread 50g of the shredded coconut onto a baking sheet, and bake for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until toasted and golden. Remove and allow to cool.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk and cream. Place over medium high heat, and bring to just shy of a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla and salt until the mixture lightens in colour.
- Remove the milk mixture from the heat, and whisking constantly, pour about half of it into the egg yolk mixture to temper the yolks. Mix well to combine, then pour back into the saucepan, and place over medium low heat. Heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the back of a spoon and reads 175˚f / 80˚c on a thermometer. Strain into a container, and stir in the toasted and untoasted coconut. leave to sit at room temperature for an hour, then cover and place in the fridge for at least four hours, until it has cooled to at least 40˚f / 5˚c. Strain the mixture through a sieve to remove the coconut, pressing down hard to remove as much of the liquid as possible.
- Transfer the cooled ice cream base to your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Divide the ice cream mixture evenly amongst your ice cream moulds. Add sticks and freeze until solid, ideally overnight.
PASSIONFRUIT MAGIC SHELL
- Create a double boiler by placing a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Do not let the bowl touch the water. Place the Passionfruit Couverture and the grape seed oil in the bowl, and stir well, heating until the mixture is smooth and cohesive. Remove the bowl from the pot, ensuring no water gets into the mixture, and set aside to cool to 37˚c / 98˚f. Transfer to a narrow jar or glass which is wide enough and deep enough to dunk your ice cream pops.
- Place a sheet pan lined with a silpat or baking paper into the freezer. Carefully unmould the ice cream pops, and place back into the freezer while you prepare and cool the magic shell.
- Working with one at a time, dip an ice cream pop into the jar of magic shell, ensuring that it is evenly coated. Allow any excess to drip off, then place back onto the sheet pan in the freezer (I like to do this near the freezer, only bringing one pop out at a time). Repeat with the remaining pops until all are coated. Allow to sit in the freezer for another 10 minutes to firm up completely before drizzling with melted white chocolate. If needed, add a little grape seed oil to the white chocolate to help make it easier to drizzle.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer.
Magic Shell recipe from Valrhona Pastry Chef, Sarah Tibbets