We have been having some crazy hot weather lately and it brings to mind the long hot summer days when I was a kid. One of my favorite summertime memories was visiting my grandparents and walking with my grandfather to the corner store for an ice cream treat.
Smiling, he would hand my brother, sister and I some change and all three of us would run over to the freezer and slide open the door to reveal it’s frozen confections. My grandfather’s favorite was Eskimo Pies or “paddle pops” as he called them and they soon became ours too. I couldn’t wait to take that first bite… when the crisp chocolate coating gave way to the cold creaminess of the vanilla ice cream as both melted together in my mouth. Pure joy. Walking back to his house we quickly tried to eat every last bite before it melted off the stick and once the chocolatey, ice cream goodness was gone, we licked the stick every which way to get every last bit of sweetness that had absorbed into it, including the last bit of chocolate that was always left at the very end.
chocolate-covered ice cream pops
These chocolate-covered ice cream pops are a grown-up version of the paddle pops I ate as a kid. The bittersweet chocolate coating provides the perfect crunch and the creamy vanilla center is sublime.
For the chocolate coating, use the best chocolate you can (at least 60% cacao). Coconut oil, a solid vegetable fat is mixed with the melted chocolate and allows the chocolate to form a thin, smooth coating that sets within minutes.
stick tip: to prevent the pop sticks from floating to the top when using a pop maker such as the one pictured below, soak them in a bowl of water for one hour. Wipe the sticks dry and then place them in the pop mold. Or let the pops freeze for 2 hours and then place the sticks in the mold and return to the freezer to finish freezing.
Recipe for chocolate-covered ice cream pops makes 10 pops
ingredients for the cream base
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 1/3 cups heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk, cream and sugar and on medium heat bring to just below a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. The milk mixture should be steaming but not bubbling. Remove from the heat
In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks lightly and whisk in 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture into the yolks
Add the yolk mixture to the saucepan and turn the heat on to low
Stir the mixture constantly until the custard is just thick enough to coat the back of a spoon
Remove from heat and place in a medium sized bowl. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until cold
When the custard is cold, remove the bowl from the refrigerator and stir in the vanilla and lemon juice
Pour the custard into ice pop molds and insert the sticks
Freeze until firm, at least 6-8 hours and preferably overnight
To remove the pops from the mold
Fill a large bowl with hot water
Place the mold in the water to just below the rim for a few seconds and remove
Gently pull on the sticks to remove the pops from the mold and place on a baking sheet or wire rack lined with waxed paper
If the pops are a little soft, freeze for 15-30 minutes before applying the chocolate coating
recipe for chocolate coating
1 lb of bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon superfine or baker’s sugar (optional)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Fill a saucepan with a few inches of water and bring to a simmer
Combine the chopped chocolate and coconut oil in a heatproof bowl that will fit on top of the saucepan but make sure the bottom of the bowl will not touch the simmering water
Turn off the heat and place the bowl on the saucepan
With a heatproof spatula, stir frequently so the chocolate melts evenly, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl
When the chocolate is melted, add the sugar and vanilla stirring until the sugar is dissolved
Let the chocolate cool for 15 minutes
note: if the chocolate is too warm when applying the coating, it will slide off the frozen pops. The chocolate should be a thin consistency, warm but not hot.
add the chocolate goodness
Working quickly with a pop in one hand tip it upside down and using a large spoon, coat the front, back and sides of the pop. Let the excess coating run off and set each pop on wax paper. Additional toppings such as chopped nuts, coconut, and sprinkles can be added before the chocolate sets. Place the coated/decorated pops in the freezer for 15-30 minutes to firm up. Serve immediately or store in the freezer for up to 1 day.