I absolutely love tiramisu, my favourite dessert of all time. In fact, I love it so much that I must have tens of recipes and variations on it, and these ice cream truffles are the latest addition to the collection.
Chocolate truffles are great, but ice cream truffles are definitely the next level and I assure you they’re worth a try. You might not know, but the tradition of making ice cream truffles started in the south of Italy. Here, temperatures are usually higher than in the north of the country where the most common chocolate truffles were born.
As with every great recipe, the selection of ingredients is key. Therefore selecting a good quality coffee for your tiramisu is essential, even if it is in an ice cream format. This recipe was developed for Difference Coffee, a brand renowned world-wide for bringing the best coffees to Michelin-star restaurants all around the globe, Now, we can get those same amazing coffees in our homes too, in a useful Nespresso capsule size.
On this occasion I used Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee, a very special coffee with sweet floral notes and an overall lack of bitterness. I must admit, I don’t often use specialty coffees in my pastry, but when I do, I can definitely taste the Difference!
Chef’s tips: Don’t overstress if attempting this recipe at home. To make your life easier you can buy the ice cream from a good gelateria, and a simple milk or vanilla ice cream will work too. Instead of the coffee liqueur, amaretto could be used. Also, the chocolate cake I use as base for the dessert can be considered optional if you don’t want turn your oven on. Or, simply use crumbed cookies.
Serves: About 6, depending on the size of the mould
Preparation Time: 40 minutes plus overnight rest
Cooking Time: 10 minutes plus the cake
MASCARPONE ICE CREAM
300 ml whole milk
200 g mascarpone
2 egg yolks
80 g of sugar
COFFEE AND CHOCOLATE GANACHE
175 ml water
200 g sugar
62 g cocoa powder
50 g double cream
40 ml of coffee liqueur
2 espresso shots Difference Coffee
FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE CAKE
120 g sugar
150 g dark chocolate (55%)
150 g soft unsalted butter
180 g ground almonds
Extra cocoa powder to dust
Gold leaves to garnish
Crack the eggs in bowl, add the sugar and whip with a mixer until foamy and stiff. It should take about 3 minutes with an electric mixer.
Meanwhile, gently melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. When melted, let it cool slightly.
Gradually the almonds to the egg mixture and when uniform, gradually add the chocolate too. Now incorporate the soft butter.
Line a baking tin with parchment and pour the cake mix in. The mixture should be about 2 to 3 cm deep in the tin. Bake at 160 C for at least 35 minutes. Check with a toothpick to see if the cake is still wet in the middle. If it’s ready, let it cool, and if not, give it 5 more minutes at a lowered temperature of 150 C.
When cold, carve cake ‘circles’ from the cake using a pastry ring cutter or a glass of a similar dimension of the ice cream mould.
THE ICE CREAM
Beat the yolks with the sugar and bring the milk to a boiling point. Let the milk cool slightly and pour it over the egg yolk mixture. This should lightly pasteurize your eggs.
If a kitchen thermometer is available, you can make sure of this by slowly bringing the milk and egg mixture to about 80/82 degrees while mixing with a whisk.
Let the mixture cool and blitz in the mascarpone.
Now pour the mixture into the ice cream machine and let it swirl until ready.
When the ice cream is still soft, fill the silicone moulds with it and let it set in the freezer overnight until very hard. Half-dome moulds are perfect for this dessert, but any shape works too.
While the ice cream sets, prepare the chocolate ganache. Bring sugar, water and cocoa powder to a boil while mixing. When ready, pass it through a fine sieve to avoid lumps, and then let it cool. Now add the cream, the liqueur and the coffee. It should be loose but not entirely liquid. The alcohol, the sugar and the cream will help this ganache not to freeze completely.
Store the ganache in the fridge.
The day after, scoop out the middle of the frozen truffles and fill rapidly with the cold ganache (not to the top or it could overflow). Now put them back in the freezer for 1 hour to set slightly.
Cover the holes left in the truffles by the ganache with a bit of ice cream and remove any excess with a spatula. Put them back in the freezer 1 more hour to set.
Remember these truffles need to be defrosted approximately 5 minutes before serving.
Remove the ice creams from the moulds, place each of them on top of a cake circle and dust with cocoa powder. Garnish with optional gold leaves and enjoy.