Serious Eats: Recipes

Scooped: Roasted Beet and Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

I don't know how it happened, but I lost some of my love for chocolate. It became too heavy, too waxy on the tongue. Be it Hershey's kisses or Valrhona 71%, the dark stuff just didn't stir my heart up like it did. Maybe, I thought, I need a break.

But some relationships are too important to let fall by the wayside. And breaks turn into months of awkward phone calls that no one enjoys but neither can end it. I couldn't let that come between me and cacao. How could I repair this life-long relationship?

Maybe all it needed was some redefinition, a little less exclusivity. Chocolate tends toward bossiness. Whenever it's around, it hogs the spotlight, making it difficult for other ingredients to show their love. So I decided to play with chocolate more as a seasoning than a primary flavor, something to enhance another ingredient rather than overpower it.

Beets may sound like an unlikely candidate for an ice cream, but they share chocolate's earthy, fruity sweetness, enhanced all the more so by roasting them first. Mixing beets with chocolate and churning them into ice cream dampens their funky qualities; this ice cream tastes more of marshmallow than vegetable, with only the subtle aftertaste of chocolate.

It's an ice cream for beet lovers, but if you want to turn up the volume on the chocolate, feel free to add a few more tablespoons of cocoa powder (keep in mind the chocolate flavor dials down as the custard cools and ages).

This ice cream casts chocolate in a supporting role, letting the honesty of beet shine through with an added push of something special. The result? Chocolate and I are in a much better place. We may now have an open relationship, but at least we've been saved from the dreaded "It's Complicated."

About the authors:

Ethan Frisch is the chef and co-mastermind behind Guerrilla Ice Cream. He's traveled around the world (30 countries, 5 continents) and worked as a pastry chef and line cook in some of NYC's great (and not so great) restaurants. He currently lives in London, where he really misses New York City tap water.

Max Falkowitz writes Serious Eats' weekly Spice Hunting column. He's a proud native of Queens, New York, will do just about anything for a good cup of tea, and enjoys long walks down the aisles of Chinese groceries.

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