By Kristina Vanni
While exploring the New York Chocolate Show this fall, I discovered the unique and delicious Fire and Ice Cocoa Mix from 2 Chicks with Chocolate. Their combination of dark chocolate and cocoa nibs along with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves is simply irresistible. I love using the mix to create the unique and delicious Fire and Ice Martini. Simply prepare the mix with milk and cream, and shake it up with chilled Cold River Vodka*. This super-premium vodka is a craft distiller from Freeport, Maine. From “Ground to Glass” this vodka is produced from scratch with potatoes from their farm and with water from a nearby aquifer.
Fire and Ice Martini
1 ¼ cup milk
1 ¼ cup cream
1 ½ cup 2 Chicks Fire and Ice Cocoa Mix
8 ounces Cold River Vodka
If this week you are short on time and need a special Christmas dessert, this Peppermint-Fudge Pie is the answer. The pie can be prepared days in advance and served straight out of the freezer. A slice of this pie along side a Fire and Ice Martini is a festive addition to any holiday party!
1 cup sugar
1 5-ounce can (2/3 cup) evaporated milk
2 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, cut up
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 pints (4 cups) peppermint ice cream
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup meringue powder*
10 striped round peppermint candies, crushed (1/4 cup)
1. Prepare Chocolate Crumb Crust. For fudge sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the 1 cup sugar, evaporated milk, butter, and chocolate. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly; reduce heat. Boil gently for 4 to 5 minutes or until mixture is thickened and reduced to 1-1/2 cups, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. If necessary, beat until smooth with wire whisk. Set aside to cool completely.
2. In a chilled bowl, stir 1 pint of the peppermint ice cream until softened. Spread over cooled Chocolate Crumb Crust. Place the cooled fudge sauce in a pastry bag fitted with a round tip about 1/4-inch in diameter.** Pipe half of the cooled fudge sauce over ice cream. Freeze about 2 hours or until nearly firm. Repeat with the remaining peppermint ice cream and the remaining fudge sauce. Return to freezer while preparing meringue.
3. For meringue: In a medium bowl, dissolve the 3/4 cup sugar in the boiling water. Cool to room temperature. Add the meringue powder. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined; beat on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Using a wooden spoon, fold 3 tablespoons of the crushed candy into the meringue. Spread meringue over pie, sealing to edge. Freeze about 6 hours or until firm.
4. Preheat oven to 475°F. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes or just until meringue is light brown. Cover loosely with foil. Freeze for 6 to 24 hours before serving. Sprinkle with the remaining crushed candy before serving. Makes 12 servings.
Chocolate Crumb Crust: Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly coat an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup very finely crushed vanilla wafers (about 22 cookies), 1/3 cup powdered sugar, and 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder. Stir in 3 tablespoons butter, melted. Pat crust mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 7 to 8 minutes or until crust is firm. Cool in pan on a wire rack.
*Test Kitchen Tip: Meringue powder is a mixture of pasteurized dried egg whites, sugar, and edible gums. Look for it in the baking aisle of your supermarket or at a specialty food store.
**Test Kitchen Tip: If you do not have a pastry bag, dollop small spoonfuls of the fudge sauce over the ice cream layer.
Click here for a step-by-step video demonstration of this recipe.
* Cold River Vodka will be exhibiting at the National Restaurant Association's International Wine, Spirits & Beer Event (May 23-24) at Chicago's McCormick Place in conjunction with the restaurant industry's premier event, NRA Show 2010 (May 22-25).