Italian ice-cream: It’s a ball!
Don’t let the name put you off, this easy Italian dessert doesn’t have anything to do with truffles – except for sharing the name! Shaped into a rough ball which resembles a truffle, this Italian favourite is loved by kids and big kids in Italy because it feels like a fun party treat. This is because inside the ball of ice-cream hides a little surprise such as fruit or syrup.
From what I have eaten in Italy, most of the time tartufo is made with two types of ice-cream but to keep things simple I only use one when I make them at home. Another common twist when it comes to tartufo is covering the ball of ice cream in a hard chocolate shell – achieved by rolling it in cooled but still liquid chocolate before setting it in the freezer. I find this too messy and difficult to achieve so opt for the easier but no less authentic shell of powdered cocoa. You could also use cinnamon or a combination of both.
My favourite ice cream flavours for this recipe have to be plain but really good quality chocolate or stracciatella – that’s vanilla with chocolate chips or shavings by the way! Absolutely perfect with chocolate topping and cherries, it’s a classic combination few can resist. Of course there are some people for whom glace cherries will always be a dreaded thought and at times like this I use hazelnuts – which always delicious with anything chocolatey.
Chocolate Tartufo Recipe – easy Italian dessert
Ingredients – makes 4
- 600g good-quality chocolate or stracciatella ice cream
- 4 glace cherries or whole hazelnuts, de-shelled
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder mixed with 1 tsp. cinnamon
- Good quality chocolate topping
- To prepare
- Baking paper
- String or food friendly fine rubber bands
- Take the ice cream out of the freezer around 15 minutes before you want to use it so that is softens.
- Cut out four, large-ish square pieces of wax baking paper.
- Place a rounded and fairly generous scoop of ice-cream in the centre of each piece of baking paper. On top and in the middle of this, place your glace cherry or hazelnut. If one hazelnut looks too small, add a couple more very close together.
- On top of this, place another scoop of ice cream around the same size of the first.
- Bring the sides of the baking paper up around the ice cream and quickly mould into a ball shape. Twist the top and tie with string or rubber band. Place in the freezer, positioned so they retain their shape.
- When it’s time to serve, scatter cocoa powder onto a plate. Untie the parcel and quickly roll in the powder, making sure it is evenly distributed. Roll into a cup or small bowl and drizzle with topping.