chocolate and rosemary ice cream

chocolate and rosemary ice cream

Heston Blumenthal has recently created a range of ice creams for Waitrose, including chocolate and rosemary ice cream. I got the chance to try this, along with popcorn ice cream at Waitrose’s Summer party held at the V&A. I was mesmerised by the taste, deeply rich and chocolatey, but with a smooth herbal note. It’s reminiscent of choc-mint ice cream as it provides a similar mentholesque flavour, but remains distinctly rosemary-y.

At the event I also realised a big dream of mine – to meet Heston. OK, we didn’t swap phone numbers or make plans to go see Pirates 4. But I did manage to tell him what an inspiration he is to me and how much I enjoy his work. He seemed genuinely appreciative, not merely saying thanks and walking off but keen to express his gratitude.

Gushing aside, I had to try and recreate that ice cream flavour that I’d sampled. I was looking to marry that rich smoothness with a warm herb flavour. After some experimenting I’m confident that I’ve nailed it. It’s chocolatey, creamy and really interesting. It would be a good one to wheel out when friends are over for dinner as all the prep is well beforehand and you only need a little to satisfy. It’s really nice with crushed pistachios. A quick tip – this needs a good twenty minutes defrosting to get smooth and easily scooped, so remove it from the freezer just as you serve the main meal.

Be warned: bring your whisking arm with you.

You can probably make this with an ice cream maker but I’ve never owned one so I can’t help you there. A lot of people go for the ‘ break it up with a fork several times during freezing’ but it’s never made any noticeable improvement to me, so I don’t bother.

Chocolate and rosemary ice cream (makes about 600 ml in volume):

40g cocoa powder

1 large sprig of rosemary

500 ml whole milk

125g dark chocolate (about 70% cocoa solids)

¼ teaspoon vanilla salt

6 egg yolks

100g caster sugar + 6 tablespoons caster sugar

100ml double cream

  1. Put the milk into a saucepan and pop over a medium heat. Roll up the rosemary but leave it intact (this friction breaks the surface of the herb and causes it to leak more oil). Whisk the cocoa into the milk as it heats, and keep whisking until the milk just reaches the boil. Take off the heat.
  2. Melt the chocolate. You can use a bain marie for this if you like but personally I find it less faff to use a microwave on low power. Zap it for 2 minutes at a time until smooth.
  3. Whisk the egg yolks and 100g sugar together until a pale ivory colour and thick. Add the hot milk to the yolks gradually, whisking all the time. Return the mixture back to the saucepan and put back on a gentle heat. Keep on whisking and add the melted chocolate, and whisk for a further 5 minutes until thickened. Again turn off the heat and leave to one side while you make a caramel.
  4. Melt the 6 tablespoons sugar with 2 tablespoons water over a medium heat. Swirl the saucepan round to combine but do not stir. Keep it going until it turns a lovely amber colour, then add the double cream and keep on swirling. When the caramel is smooth add to the chocolate milk, again with the whisking. Pour through a sieve into a freezable container and freeze at least overnight before serving.

13 thoughts on “chocolate and rosemary ice cream

  1. Nga

    Look amazing! Thanks for sharing Gary

    I’m not supposed to make more icecream, this is going to take a toll on my diet! But I will have to do it, no matter what :P I made vanilla based ice cream with chocolate chunks and caramelised nuts. Your recipe looks easier than I the one I used, it required mixing every 30 mins after putting mixture in the freezer until it became soft ice, only then it can be left over night.

    1. Gary Post author

      As usual, stunning photos. Great!

      Sorry about the diet, if it helps it’s so rich you only need a little at a time :-)

  2. Aveen

    When I first read this I wasn’t sure, but having pondered it a bit now I think chocolate and rosemary sounds like the most awesome combination ever. I’ve just recently acquired an ice cream machine, but I also managed to kill my rosemary plant so as soon as I acquire a new, not-dead one I’ll be trying this out, will let you know how it turns out.

  3. Nga

    This works out very nicely for me. My mixture set in 2 different parts: the more creamy part stayed on top and the solid one was at the bottom of the container. The creamy part did taste better though. My kitchen is full of chocolat coated tools for now :) also I couldnt find vanilla salt. Thanks again. Now back to diet (after this batch have gone ofcourse :D)

    1. Gary Post author

      Strange how it set in two parts. Vanilla salt is totally optional but gives lovely hints of flavour here and there if have some. Otherwise regular sea salt will do. Good luck with the diet!

  4. heavenlyhousewife

    I was so jealous that I wasn’t invited to that party. When I heard about it, I totally wanted to throw a tantrum. Please, if you have any way of getting me into the next one, help a poor housewife!
    I love the sound of your ice cream. I think the combination of the chocolate and the rosemary is inspired. I just got an ice cream maker this month. I’d love to try this.
    *kisses* HH

    1. Gary Post author

      I’ll put a word in for you ;-)

      Do try this with an ice cream machine, I’d be interested to know how it works out.

  5. Pingback: competition – win a heston blumenthal measuring jug | Big Spud

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