As someone who is a huge fan of both ice cream sandwiches and doughnuts, I figured that they were going to have to be combined at some point along the line. I had some leftover ice cream base after deciding I wanted to make philadelphia style for the project I was working on, so figured it was the perfect time to give them a spin. And ohhh my. The result was these chocolate choux ice cream sandwiches with double chocolate ice cream - a ridiculously indulgent treat, but a total crowd pleaser and an amazing end to a dinner party or a gathering with friends.
I started with a cruller type doughnut - chocolate choux pastry (same as used for eclairs), which I piped into circles with a star tip onto parchment, then froze solid before frying off. Freezing the dough helps it keep a perfect shape whilst being fried. The freshly fried doughnuts are then rolled in sugar, and once cool, sandwiched with a homemade dark chocolate ice cream, which is flecked with shards of dark chocolate. You can absolutely use a store bought ice cream here if you like - the creamy ice cream compliments the light doughnut perfectly.
A few wee tips:
The Chocolate choux dough can be made ahead, frozen solid on the parchment, then transferred to a ziploc bag until you are ready to fry.
A candy thermometer is super important to keep the oil for the frying at the right temperature. I prefer to fry in cast iron because of how consistent it is.
I made the ice cream for these because I had some base on hand, but using store bought ice cream would be just as good!
I found that frying these on one side and then turning half way through caused them to puff up unevenly. Flipping them every minute throughout the frying process helps to keep them nice and flat while they are cooking.
Because these have cocoa in them it is hard to tell when they are done - this is why a thermometer is important. I also recommend frying one off at the start just to double check your frying time.
If you aren’t planning on eating all of these on the day they are made, I suggest storing the frozen dough and frying off as you want them. You can cool the oil and store back in the oil bottle and re-use - because it gets so hot, it is safe to re-use, just don’t use oil that you have used to fry things such as fish as the flavour will transfer.
I included the recipe in grams, as even the slightest amount of differentiation in flour will change the consistency of your mixture.
I have included an extra 'just in case' egg in the ingredients. The reason that this is in there, is that sometimes you need to add extra egg to the pastry if necessary. You want the mixture to be at a consistency where if you dip in the beater of the mixer, the batter will form a 'v' shape and eventually break off. If it is too stiff, and breaks off very quickly, you may need to add another beaten egg, and mix again, before performing the test.
Chocolate Choux Ice Cream Sandwiches with Double Chocolate Ice Cream
- Makes 8-10 ice cream sandwiches -
Chocolate Flakes from Stella Parks / Serious Eats
Double Chocolate Ice Cream
4 large egg yolks
135g (⅔ cup) sugar
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tsp salt
35g dutch cocoa
360g (1 ½ cups) whole milk
360g (1 ½ cups) heavy whipping cream
55g good quality dark chocolate (65-70% cocoa solids)
15g refined coconut oil
Chocolate Choux Doughnuts
5g vanilla bean paste
165g all-purpose flour
25g dutch process cocoa
220g egg, lightly beaten, plus extra if required (see last point on notes)
Neutral oil for frying
About 100g (½ cup) Sugar for dusting
- PROCESS -
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM
In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, sugar, salt and vanilla bean paste. Whisk well until pale. Set aside.
In a large pot over medium heat, combine the whole milk, heavy cream and cocoa. Heat to just shy of a simmer
Pour half of the milk mixture into the bowl with the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Whisk briskly until combined. This will temper the egg yolks and stop them from scrambling.
Pour the milk yolk mixture back into the pot, and return to a low heat. Whisk constantly, until the mixture begins to thicken enough to coat the back of a spoon, and registers at 170˚f / 75˚c on a thermometer.
Strain though a fine mesh strainer. Transfer to an airtight container, and allow to stand at room temperature for an hour or so, and then chill for at least two hours, or overnight.
To make the chocolate shards for the ice cream, microwave the chocolate in a heat proof bowl in 15 second increments, until smooth. Stir in the coconut oil, then spread onto a parchment paper lined sheet pan and freeze for 15 minutes, or until completely set. Break into pieces your desired size. Store in the freezer until ready to use (I like to do this step just before I churn the ice cream)
Place a loaf pan or the container you are planning to store the ice cream in into the freezer. Pour the chilled chocolate ice cream base into the bowl of your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions. Once the ice cream is churned, add the chocolate chunks and mix in the ice cream maker until combined.
Scrape the chocolate ice cream into the chilled loaf pan or container, and smooth down. Press a piece of wax paper or plastic wrap against the surface of the ice cream, and freeze until solid, at least 4 hours or overnight.
CHOCOLATE CHOUX DOUGHNUTS
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Draw circles, evenly spaced, about 2 ¾” (70mm) in diameter on each using a pen or pencil - these will be your guide for piping. Flip the paper over so you can trace the outline without tracing on the ink. You need approximately 20 circles.
Line a large piping bag with a french star tip - I used a wilton 1m tip.
Sift together the flour and cocoa in a small bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the water, butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean paste. Place over medium heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the mixture has begun to boil. Remove from the heat, and add the flour and cocoa all at once, mixing quickly with a wooden spoon to combine. The mixture will form a thick paste.
Return to the heat, and, stirring constantly, cook the mixture for 2 minutes to help dry it out. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute to help cool down the mixture.
With the mixture running on low, slowly stream in the 220g egg. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes, or until the egg is fully incorporated. Test the consistency of the batter by dipping in the beater and pulling up. If it forms a v which eventually breaks off, you are good to go. If it seems too stiff, slowly add another beaten egg and mix to incorporate.
Transfer the choux pastry to the prepared piping bag. Using your traced circles as a guide, and starting from the middle, pipe rounds of pastry onto the baking sheet, ending each with a little flick of your wrist. They should look like rosettes. Repeat with the second tray until you have used up all your pastry. Transfer the trays to the freezer and freeze for one hour.
About 20 minutes before the hour is up, fill a heavy bottomed saucepan or cast iron dutch oven with about 4 inches of oil. Heat over medium until it registers 350˚f (180˚c) on a candy thermometer. Place a cooling rack on a sheet pan, and place ½ cup sugar in a shallow bowl (for coating the cooked doughnuts)
Working in batches, frying two to three doughnuts at a time, peel them off the paper and carefully lower into the oil. Fry for approximately 7 minutes, turning every minute to ensure even cooking, until cooked. Remove from the oil and allow to drain on the wire rack. Drain for a minute or so, then toss in the sugar and return to the rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining doughnuts - leave them in the freezer until you fry them.
To assemble, sandwich two doughnuts with a scoop of ice cream. Serve immediately. Leftover Assembled sandwiches can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container until ready to eat, but are best eaten fresh.