Malted chocolate ice cream cake aka Malteser Viennetta
I do love a good bit of kitchen dabbling. This is the result of one happy experiment, borne of some double cream without a home and half a jar of malt extract left over from the ale and cheddar bread I made a little while ago. Double cream never goes to waste in my house – I’ll happily whip up a couple of spoonfuls of cream, stir through dash of whatever I have in the cupboard (baileys is a particularly reliable option) before stashing it in the freezer, barely more than a couple of mouthfuls waiting for a moment in need of a little sweetness.
I was so very pleased with the little pot of cream I spiked with malt extract and milk chocolate that I knew a malteser-based ice cream pudding was in the making. I couldn’t quite settle the format in my head, until a conversation at work brought up the endless retro appeal of a viennetta, which inspired me to make this. If you’ve never had a viennetta, it’s a soft, fluffy ice cream bar with thin shards of chocolate traversing its length, bringing a welcome crisp to an otherwise soft and sweet dessert.
This isn’t a proper ice cream, no churning custard mixes here. Just some easily whipping and stirring, followed by enough patience to allow it to freeze. You’ll need a loaf tin approximately 20cm long x 10cm wide.
Start by making the chocolate shards for the filling. This is probably the most fiddly bit, although since they will be stashed inside the ice cream, the end result is of little consequence. Melt together 100g dark chocolate and 100g milk chocolate in a bowl placed over a pan of hot water. Lay out a few sheets of silicone or other non-stick paper. Using a pastry brush, paint rectangles of the melted chocolate on the paper, the approximate size of the loaf tin you’ll be using. You want the chocolate to form nice and thin wafers once it has set. Don’t worry too much about the exact size and shape as they’ll probably break up a bit when you take them off the paper, although if you’d prefer more accuracy then use the base of the tin to draw outlines on the paper. I made about 20 pieces with this amount of chocolate. Put the sheets of chocolate in the fridge to set whilst you make the ice cream mixture.
Melt another 100g milk chocolate and set aside. Crack 2 eggs into a large bowl or food mixer and add 3 tbsp caster sugar. Whisk together for a few minutes until the mixture is thick and mousse-like. When you lift the whisk out of the mixture it should leave a ribbon trail on the surface.
In another bowl, whisk 300ml of double cream until soft and thick. Stir through the melted milk chocolate and 2 tbsp malt extract. Gently fold in the egg mixture – I found it easiest to quickly stir through a couple of spoonfuls to lighten the mixture before folding the rest through.
Now it’s time to assemble. Line your loaf tin with a large sheet of cling film. Take 1 sheet of chocolate out of the fridge and peel off the chocolate wafers. Because the chocolate is so thin, it will melt very quickly if handled too much, hence I’d recommend leaving the other sheets in the fridge until you need them. I found it easiest to turn the sheets upside down and peel the paper off the back, which avoided me touching them too much. They will probably break but it won’t matter once they’re in the ice cream.
Start with a layer of chocolate in the bottom of the tin then layer up the ice cream and chocolate sheets. You only need a thin layer of the ice cream mix between each chocolate layer. Cover with more cling film then pop in the freezer, preferably overnight, until set.
To decorate the loaf, I used crushed maltesers on the sides, extra maltesers on the top and some dark chocolate to drizzle. You need about 150g maltesers in total. Set aside a couple of handfuls for the topping then crush the rest in a bag with a rolling pin or other heavy object until you have a nice coarse texture. Melt about 50g dark chocolate and set aside.
Remove the ice cream from the freezer, turn it out onto a plate, remove the cling film then let it soften slightly, just for a couple of minutes, so the crushed maltesers will stick. Tip the crushed maltesers into a tray then press each side of the ice cream bar into them so that there is a thorough coating.
Use the melted chocolate to glue the left over maltesers to the top, then drizzle over any remaining chocolate. Put the whole thing back into the freezer till you’re ready to eat.
Serves about 6. Initial prep takes about an hour, plus freezing and decorating time. Contains raw eggs.
200g milk chocolate
150g dark chocolate
300ml double cream
2tbsp malt extract (try your health food store if not available in the supermarket)
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 loaf tin, approx 20cm x10cm
whisk, preferably electric, or food processor
silicone or other non-stick paper