This is the realization of an ice cream dream flavor. Presented above is yerba mate ice cream, fernet spiked fudge, fresh mint candy, candied cocoa nibs, and creme chantilly.
The vanilla ice cream base is infused with mate tea before it is spun. A rich, thick, gooey dark chocolate fudge is finished with a moderate hand of fernet- a minty herbaceous digestif that is a staple in the Argentinian liquor palette. Here I combine two flavors that demonstrate a large culinary influence in Argentinian culture.
The ice cream is complimented with two crunchy textural items- a crumbly mint candy and the harder cocoa nib. The mint candy is a simple ingredient that I am very proud of. It is a method that I contrived by trial and a small dash of non-intention, or coincidence perhaps. I wanted to make a candy cane concept that was crushed. The main issue is that when you crush sugar candies they leave sharp shards that can impale the tongue. I figured that candy canes must be made from pulled sugar, and from there I intentionally created sugar crystals. Normally the crystallization of sugar in an end product is a mistake- it changes the entire texture to that of a sandy nature. I took that effect and manipulated it into a desirable form. These large crumbles have a strong flavor of fresh mint leaves, that quickly dissipate after a few rounds with the teeth.
I am pretty much obsessed with candied cocoa nibs- they are just divine. This very rich and bitter little nugget of raw cocoa responses alarmingly well to a dose of sugar-coating.
The final touch to the dish is a dollop of whip cream, a refreshing cloud of creaminess to lift the dish up, to add some air to the web of flavors and textures.