22 August 2007

Day 11: An Accoutrement for Your Ice Cream

chocolate covered fleur de sel
Chocolate-Covered Fleur de Sel

Though I strongly believe ice cream can stand alone as a dessert, it often cries out for accompaniment. The crunch of a waffle cone, a little drizzle of caramel sauce, all are welcome in the enjoyment of frozen concoctions. While this ice cream accompaniment may sound unusual, let me assure you it is delicious: chocolate covered-fleur de sel, yep, that's right, chocolate covered salt. Salt can concentrate and intensify flavors, a principle taken for granted in savory concoctions, and often under-appreciated in sweet ones. Remember that salted-butter caramel, or the joy of a chocolate covered pretzel? I once read about a certain gourmand who always sprinkled a bit of sea salt on his ice cream. The same concept applies here, except here it is chocolate-covered sea salt, and I promise you it will be a revelation.

While I've long been an advocate of the meeting of salty and sweet, I will admit this idea is blatantly stolen from San Francisco's fabulous Bi-Rite Creamery. Nonetheless, making your own chocolate-fleur-de-sel is a cinch, and will be the perfect accompaniment to your next spoonful of ice cream. The only specification is that you use good quality salt, something with big chunky grains, like kosher salt or sea salt, which you can find easily in your grocery store. Obviously, you'll only want a few grains per serving, but trust me once you've tried it, you'll be sprinkling chocolate-salt on every dessert in sight!

Chocolate-Covered Fleur de Sel
2 oz dark chocolate
2 tbl good quality sea salt (fleur de sel)

1. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Place the salt in a bowl and drizzle in the chocolate, stirring, just until all the salt grains are coated. Spread the mixture on a sheet of aluminum foil or wax paper, try to spread the grains out so that they are not clumped together. Set aside to harden.
2. Once the chocolates have solidified, peel them off the foil and gently rub them against each other so that they break into individual pieces, but do not rub too hard so that the chocolate comes away from the salt. Store in a covered container. Serve a few grains sprinkled over ice cream.


Anonymous said...

This is slightly cheating...where is the ice cream?! Hehe, very creative though, nonetheless. :)

Quinne said...

Your ideas are just marvelous! Thanks so much for sharing this one, and I can NOT wait to try the grapefruit and coconut treats from the list. Blessings! Q

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

This is insanely divine! I love salt on my gelato, but I never thought to cover it in chocolate. Absolutely brilliant, Mercedes.

April said...

Oh yum! This sounds like it would be really good! Here's an odd sounding suggesting...on some vanilla ice cream try a sprinkle of sea salt with a little drizzle of good quality extra virgin olive oil. Weird but strangely addicting.

Lucy said...

What a great idea; what an incredible flavour that must be.

Have been reading about your month-long ice-cream experiment and am enjoying it enormously. Pleased to have found your blog!

Mercedes said...

Hillary- I think it would be dull if it were just all ice cream all the time, we need a bit of a respite, no?

Quinne- ah, excellent choices, enjoy!

Amanda- yay, another person who appreciates salt on their sweets, thanks!

april- stay tuned for tomorrow ;-)

lucy- glad you found me, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Oooh, yes yes yes. I might have to make this just to snack on, without ice cream even.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Somehow the odd sound of this sounds like it would be divine!

Nora B. said...

This is a genius! I like salted caramel so I am sure that I will like this. I still haven't found any fleur de sel though. I need to look harder.

Elisson said...

Sometimes unexpected flavors work wonderfully.

Here's another unexpected pleasure: Vanilla ice cream, with a little Scotch whisky drizzled over it, and a liberal dose of freshly-ground black pepper.

I can't wait to try this with my Balinese sea-salt.