Yes, those are potato rings circling the potato ice cream. But you don’t need to make them—the chocolate cake, potato ice cream, bacon toffee and chocolate sauce are more than enough to make this dessert very special. Photo © Idaho Potato Commission.
Grilled Idaho Potato Ice Cream Recipe
With Milk Chocolate Cake & Bacon Toffee
When you’re looking for a special twist on that favorite combination of chocolate cake and ice cream, turn to pastry chef extraordinaire Gael Gand, co-owner of Chicago’s illustrious restaurant Tru, and you’ll get something memorable. The Idaho Potato Commission asked Gael to think of a special potato dessert, and the result is with her compliments. The grilled potato skins give a slight, smokey flavor to the ice cream base (they are strained out before the ice cream is churned) which pairs well with the bacon toffee. The flourless milk chocolate cake is cut like a brownie.
Grilled Idaho Potato Ice Cream
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups cream
- 4-5 each skins of grilled Idaho potatoes
- ¾ cup sugar
- 9 egg yolks
Mash the insides of the potatoes and enjoy separately. Photo © Idaho Potato Commission.
- Bake potatoes. Cut in half; scoop out flesh and make mashed potatoes with it at a later time. Spray the denuded potato skins with oil (or for superb results, dab lightly with bacon fat) and grill. The idea is to get the skins smoky-tasting, but do not burn.
- Bring the milk and cream to a boil with the potato skins.
- Whisk the yolks and the sugar together. Temper the liquid into the yolk mixture and return to stovetop.
- Cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Strain and cool in an ice bath. Process in ice cream machine.
Milk Chocolate Flourless Cake
- 1-¾ cups quality milk chocolate
- 2/3 cup butter
- 4 each eggs
- 4 each yolks
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup almond flour or ground almonds
- Melt the milk chocolate and butter
- Temper the eggs into the chocolate
- Pour into a foil-lined half sheet pan.
- Bake in the still oven at 350°F until
done, about 15 minutes.
- Cut into 2x2.5" rectangles.
Scharffen Berger 41% cacao dark milk chocolate. Photo by Saidi Granados | THE NIBBLE.
- 2 cups cooked bacon, crushed
- 3 cups brown sugar
- ¾ cup water
- 1 cup glucose (or light corn syrup)
- 1 stick butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Combine water, glucose, butter, and brown sugar in a pot over med-high heat; cook to hard crack.
- While sugar is cooking, warm 2 silpats in the oven.
- Take sugar off heat, stir in bacon, vanilla, baking soda, and salt. Stir quickly until it gets lighter in color and starts to pull away from the sides.
- When toffee is ready, pour onto warmed silpat, and top with the other warm silpat.
- Roll as thin as possible.
- When cool, chop into small pieces. Reserve in airtight container
See our review of the best vanilla extract. Photo by Claire Freierman | THE NIBBLE.
If you don’t want to make chocolate sauce from scratch, you can buy a ready-made sauce. Our favorites are Somebody’s Mother’s and The King’s Cupboard.
- 3-¼ cups cream
- ¼ cup glucose (or corn syrup)
- 2 cups quality dark chocolate
- 1-½ tablespoons butter
- Bring cream and glucose to a boil.
- Pour over dark chocolate.
- Whisk to emulsify.
- Add butter last, whisk to combine.
- Transfer to squeeze bottle.
- To serve, sauce should be thin enough to spread into a thin circle when poured (may need to add cream or warm slightly).
Photo courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
Idaho Potato Rings (Optional Garnish)
To create this garnish, three concentric rings cutters are needed for each serving, plus a dehydrator. While it is an impressive touch for a professional pastry chef, for home presentation, it requires a lot of effort. You might instead consider sprinkling the toffee on top of the ice cream as the garnish.
- 3-5 each Idaho potatoes
- Sugar, as needed
- Salt, as needed
- Frying oil at 350°F, as needed
At right: You need a dehydrator to make this garnish.
- Thinly slice the potatoes on mandoline.
- Cut rings with 2 concentric ring cutters (3" & 2 3/4").
- Fry in oil until golden.
- Drain on paper towels and sprinkle lightly with sugar and salt.
- Dehydrate overnight.
- Squeeze the chocolate sauce into the center of the plate. It should spread on its own.
- Place a rectangle of the cake in the upper right hand “corner” of the pool.
- Gently score the cake to create “slots” for the potato rings.
- Place the potato rings in the slots, pushing into the cake slightly to make sure they are secure.
- Mound the toffee against the left edge of the cake, trailing about halfway around the pool of sauce.
- Put a few shards of bacon toffee on top of the cake.
- Here’s the final instruction from Chef Gand, and our revision of it: “Quenelle the ice cream and place on top of cake inside of rings.” Quenelle, referring to the shape of the ice cream, as opposed to the traditional rounded scoop. To slide it in to the three standing onion rings is a step that is done with great difficulty, and is recommended only if you have time and help in the kitchen (one person has to hold the rings as the other slides the ice cream into them).
Instead, you can mold the ice cream in a 2" x 3" mold, unmolded it and slice rectangles to fit (3"x1"x 1/2"h), obtained by slicing in half vertically and then cutting them in half again.
- Or, you can forget the haute-pastry-chef presentation and serve this dish as a home cook would. Place the cake in the center of the pool of chocolate sauce. Top it with a regular scoop of ice cream and sprinkle the toffee with your own creative flair. It will taste just as good. If you don’t think the dish is daring enough, you can top the ice cream with a piece of chocolate-dipped bacon.
Recipe © 2009 Idaho Potato Commission. Other material © copyright 2005-