10 Years At Hotel Chocolat Watford
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Simply divine. Summer has had a shaky start but ice cream is here! Make up for iffy weather and rolling cloud cover with our new cocoa nib infused ice cream and chocolates inspired by your favourite scoops.
“You evil people! That’s torture,” a fan called Harriet wrote on our Facebook page last year, commenting on a tantalising picture of our new Ice Cream of the Gods. Well, Harriet, we’re glad to say the torment is finally over. Ice Cream of the Gods is now available in stores and cafés across the UK, and as far as Copenhagen.
It had to be extraordinary
It took us a while to finally make a Hotel Chocolat ice cream because we didn’t want it to be ordinary. We wanted something no one had ever tasted before.
“We’re always striving to be original,” says Angus Thirlwell, CEO and Tasting Club founder, “so we wanted to try something different with it. Of course, we had to work out how to do it first!”
Infused with Cocoa nibs
Going back to the drawing board, in this case, meant going back cocoa beans. Instead of making an ordinary chocolate ice cream, we decided to infuse ours with pure roasted cocoa. There were no recipes for what we wanted to do, so our chef David Demaison just started from scratch, crushing roasted cocoa nibs into a fine powder and blending it with ice cream.
We tried cocoa from all over the world, from leathery Ecuadorian to fruity Vietnamese, before choosing the robust depth of Ghanaian beans – the flavour was just perfect.
The first recipe had tiny black flecks and an intriguing crunchy texture. It was a good starting point, but we wanted our ice cream to be more luxurious: thicker, smoother and silkier.
Jersey cows to the rescue
David came up with the idea of infusing a mix of Jersey milk and cream with the cocoa nibs before removing them with a sieve. He left it for a couple of hours, then overnight. After 48 hours, the cream was transformed.
“The cream changes to a subtle taupe colour as the nibs infuse,” says Angus. “You might think it was vanilla, but then you taste it and realise it really is something else.”
The amazing feedback we got from everyone who tasted it told us we’d finally found the ice cream we wanted.
Less Sweet, 12% sugar
We believe everyone should be able to enjoy ice cream, without pause for thought. Most ice creams are laden with sugar, the worst offender on the market contains 24g (more than five teaspoons). Ours is different, based on our mantra ‘more cocoa, less sugar’ we’ve only added 12% – with such well-chosen ingredients, there was no reason to mask the divine taste.
Why ice cream of the Gods?
Not just for the heavenly flavour notes, but after the name of the cocoa plant itself: Theobromacacao, which translates literally as ‘cocoa, food of the gods’.
“Very creamy, subtle cocoa flavour. Not too rich and very moreish,” said one of the many tasters at our stand during the London Coffee Festival, who collectively rated our ice cream over 4 out of 5.
Building our very own shard
Arriving in September – the satisfying ‘snap’ of an elegant shard of chocolate in 65% Supermilk, originally modelled by our chocolate sculptress, Rhona. A finishing touch with a flourish.
Ice cream inspired Chocs-to-Chill
Why should cones have all the fun? We’ve translated your favourite ice creams, milkshakes and smoothies in our new Chocs-to-Chill Sleekster and H-box. Flying in the face of convention, these are chocolates designed to taste better after 30-minutes in the fridge. Everything but the Cone houses all our ice creams in one place, so everyone gets their favourite scoop. Choc Ice Little Dippers recreate that authentic ‘crack’ of a choc ice shell, with recipes we trialled and tasted straight from the fridge.
Our Chocolatier's favourite
Tarow’s favourite? Pink Lemonade. “You can taste the fizz. It’s made from the real lemon we use in our cheesecake recipe with real raspberries and we’ve dialled up the natural citrus zing. Chilled it’s even better.”
Anyone for… Ice Cream of the Gods? Nib-infused, divine and available in store. Share your favourite Chocs-to-Chill on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Which is the victor, Choc Ice reinvented or Raspberry Ripple?