Frozen Heat

We're rounding out our week of decadent ice cream treats with something that truly brings the term seasoned to your dessert bowl. If you've ever had the joy of savoring a mug of Mexican hot cocoa, you know how cinnamon and hot pepper marry beautifully with chocolate. But why limit that combination to a hot beverage? Now, while the weather is still hot and you're craving a little frozen in your bowl, turn to a simple recipe that requires no cooking and no ice cream machine, but will give you a bowl that looks like this:

The way I make sure each scoop has a ribbon of dark, spicy chocolate running through the rich, creamy cocoa-cinnamon ice cream is a trick of layering and how I scoop. By sandwiching the spicy chocolate sauce in the center of the container of ice cream, I merely have to dip my ice cream scoop all the way through each layer and I'll be guaranteed to get a ribbon of heat in each scoop. Conversely, you could opt to go for shallow scoops if you wanted to avoid the spicy chocolate. However, if that's your goal, make a different ice cream — this one's all about the spices!

This treat was one of many homemade frozen treats featured at a recent ice cream party. If you are planning on making this one and aren't sure everyone will enjoy the heat, feel free to make a couple other flavors to make sure your bases are covered. They mix up quickly and are easy to pop in the freezer. Then you just forget about them until it's time to serve them. You don't even need to take them out of the freezer early, like some homemade ice creams.

I added a little coffee to the chocolate ribbon to make it easier to spread and to give a little oomph to the chocolate flavor. You could also opt for a little of your favorite kind of spirits. Don't use more than two tablespoons, though, or you might find it won't solidify in the freezer! And you'll definitely want it set just right because you are going to want to go back for second helpings on this one. Enjoy!

Mexican Hot Chocolate Ice Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/3 c. high quality cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chocolate hazelnut spread
  • 2 T. strongly brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

Place the heavy whipping cream in a large bowl. Add cocoa powder and ground cinnamon and whip on high speed until stiff peaks form. Drizzle in the sweetened condensed milk. Fold in the whipped topping.

Transfer half of the mixture into a shallow, airtight plastic container. Combine the remaining ingredients (chocolate hazelnut spread through cayenne) to make a rich, chocolaty, spicy sauce. Carefully spoon the sauce over the mixture already in the plastic container and smooth to all of the edges. Cover the spicy chocolate sauce carefully with the remaining whipped cream mixture.

Seal the container and place in the freezer for at least 4 hours to allow the mixture to completely solidify. To serve, scoop through all three layers, creating a dark stripe of spicy chocolate in each scoop. Store any leftovers in the freezer.

  • Yields: 6 (1 cup) servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes plus several hours freezing time