Cigar Smoke Ice Cream
You will definitely surprise your diners when they are served a cigar on an ash tray as dessert! The dark chocolate cigar is filled with ice cream infused with cigar smoke and served with dipping spices that resemble ashes. This dish is a creation of molecular gastronomy Chef Joan Roca from 3 Michelin Star restaurant El Celler de Can Roca in Girona, Spain.
When Joan Roca attended an ice cream course he learned that ice cream easily absorbs aromas in the air. When he arrived home, he made ice cream while smoking a cigar and the ice cream ended up with cigar aromas. He then wanted to recreate a cigar and this dish was born.
A very thin layer of melted chocolate is spread on parchment paper and then rolled and let cool to make a tube about the size of a cigar. He then mixes an ice cream base while using a hand operated siphon pump to suck the smoke from a real cigar and release it over the whipping ice cream. The chocolate tube is then filled with this ice cream, one end is closed with chocolate and the other end is dipped in black sugar mixed with spices that pair well with tobacco and resemble the ashes. This is served on an ash tray that also contains some of that black sugar mix to resemble the ashes and in which the diners can dip the chocolate cigar. At his restaurant, this “cigar” is paired with a mojito dessert made of rum biscuit, lime soup, mint shaved ice and rum candies.
This recipe is not the original from Joan Roca. Instead of using a hand operated siphon pump, I used the Smoking Gun.
Ingredients for Ice Cream
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 4 g gelatin
- 1 Cigar
Ingredients for Chocolate Cigar
- 200 g (7 oz) dark chocolate
Ingredients for Ashes
- 4 tbsp black sugar
- 1/2 tbsp lemon peel powder
- 1 tbsp powdered ginger
- 1/4 tbsp ground cardamom
Cigar Smoke Ice Cream
1- Sprinkle the gelatin powder on half a cup of milk and let it stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
2- Warm the milk gently and stir until the gelatin dissolves.
3- Mix with the rest of the ingredients and follow the ice cream maker instructions to freeze. You should use an ice cream maker that is not completely closed and allows you to infuse the mix with cigar smoke while it is churning.
4- While the mix is churning in the ice cream maker, fill it with cigar smoke for 1 minute. You can generate the cigar smoke by using one of the two methods below:
a) Using a cheap hand operated siphon pump. Connect the cigar to the end of the in-take tube using latex cylinder (cut finger of latex glove). Light the cigar while pumping air squeezing the bulb. Continue pumping and direct the smoke into the ice cream mix using the discharge tube.
b) By putting small pieces of the cigar in the Smoking Gun.
1- Cut parchment paper in 4 rectangles of 13 cm x 8 cm (5 in x 3 in).
2- Using an offset spatula spread a 2 mm layer of tempered chocolate (see below) on the parchment paper rectangles leaving about 1 cm uncovered along one of the long sides.
3- Roll the parchment paper covered in chocolate to form a cylinder leaving the uncovered portion of the rectangle on the outside of the cylinder.
4- Place the cylinders in the fridge. Wait for a few minutes until they set and continue with “assemble and serve” right away unless you want to temper the chocolate again later.
Tempering chocolate is the process of melting and cooling chocolate in a way that causes the right type of cocoa butter crystals form to obtain a shiny hard chocolate that does not become gooey at room temperature. Work in a cool and dry room and use a good thermometer .
1- Chop the dark chocolate finely.
2- In a double boiler heat 170 g of chocolate at very low temperature, stirring constantly until it reaches a temperature of 48 °C (118 °F) but don’t get it over 49 °C (120 °F). Be careful so no moisture gets in contact with the chocolate.
3- Remove the chocolate from the heat and add the rest of the chopped unmelted chocolate. Stir until the temperature drops to 27 °C (80 to 81 °F) but don’t get it below 25 °C (77 °F) or you will have to heat it back up to 48 °C (118 °F) and start over again.
4- Reheat the melted chocolate to 33 °C (91 °F). To test that you obtained a good tempered chocolate, place a small scoop of chocolate in the fridge for a few minutes and if you did a good job it should be hard and shiny.
5- While working with tempered chocolate, stir it every few minutes and keep it warm at 32 °C (90 to 91 °F) using a heat lamp or other source of heat.
1- Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
Assemble and Serve
1- Using a decorating bag with medium tip fill the chocolate cylinders with cigar smoke ice cream.
2- Cover one end of the cylinder with tempered chocolate using a spatula. Store in the freezer until serving time.
3- Place a couple of spoons of the black sugar and spices mix in a clean ash tray.
4- Dip the uncovered end of the chocolate cigar in the black sugar mix and serve immediately on the ash tray.