I was all a-twitter (get it? get it?) last week about Mexican chocolate fudgesicles. It started with an insatiable craving for fudgesicles, and then my pastry brain kicked in and wondered how I could turn something lovely into something stupidly extravagant.
Now, I haven’t done any market research. Heck, I haven’t even googled the term. But I’m going to say that in my humble kitchen, on Thursday August 30th, when I was supposed to be writing a proposal, Mexican chocolate fudgesicles were born.
I started with Alton Brown’s fudge pop recipe (thanks to Lorna for the link), but made a few changes. To make it Mexican, I infused the cream/milk mixture with cinnamon and ancho chiles. I also tried it with two kinds of chocolate. The first batch used a mixture of chocolate (mostly dark, but some milk) that made me sad: samples that I picked up that just weren’t tasty or subtle or, if you’ll excuse the snobbery, worth my time eating. The second batch used one bar of Theo 84% Ghana chocolate.
Also, I added a pinch of salt – because salt makes everything taste perkier and happier.
Observation 1. The recipe, which calls for mostly cream and a little bit of milk, is too rich for my liking. When I think of fudgesicles, I think of melty, slightly icy popsicles. The high proportion of cream in this recipe means that you get a really rich, full-flavoured popsicle that isn’t very icy. I’m going to repeat this with more milk, which has less fat and more water than cream – and thus, should result in an icier fudgesicle.
Observation 2. The mixture of sad chocolate actually produced a nicer, meltier fudgesicle. The final mixture was probably about 60% cacao content, which qualifies as dark (and perhaps as bittersweet, depending on who’s doing the marketing).
The 84% chocolate was just too much for this recipe, and I should have known it. Chocolate with more than 70% cacao content usually isn’t good for putting in recipes, because it’s just too much cacao. The actual reason depends on what you’re making, but in this case the high cacao content made the end product less melty. Which is fine, but isn’t what I was going for.
Observation 3. Work-in-progress fudgesicles are delicious. As far as starting points go, this is a good one.
Alton Brown’s Fudgepops recipe (reproduced from the Food Network website)
[My edits are in square brackets.]
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
- 12 ounces (1 1/2 cups) heavy cream
- 8 ounces (1 cup) whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- [2 cinnamon sticks]
- [1 dried ancho chile, seeded and lightly toasted]
- [1 pinch of salt]
Place chopped chocolate into a medium glass mixing bowl. Set aside.
[Take the heavy cream and milk and heat in a medium saucepan over medium heat with two sticks of cinnamon and one dried ancho chile that you have seeded and lightly toasted. Bring just to the boil, pop a lid on it, and let it sit at room temperature for 20-60 minutes.]
Combine heavy cream, milk, and cocoa powder [and a pinch of salt] in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk constantly until cocoa is dissolved and mixture comes to a simmer. Remove from the heat [then strain out the cinnamon and ancho goodies] and pour over the chocolate.
Let stand for 2 to 3 minutes and then whisk gently until all chocolate is melted. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
Divide the mixture evenly among the molds and place in the freezer. Freeze for at least 4 hours or until solid. Fudgepops can be held in the freezer for up to 1 week in an airtight container.
[Yeah right, one week in the freezer. I dare you to make these and leave them for one week. DARE YOU.]