For the first Tony's Chocolonely collaboration of the year, I was thrilled to be able to work with Ryan Fox and Ben Hjelm at Nomad to spread the word about slave-free chocolate. Ryan and Ben used Tony's dark chocolate to create a lavender-infused ice cream that they paired with poached and fresh blood oranges and topped with a sprinkling of heather flowers.
For the month of February, Nomad will be offering the dessert on their tasting menu at the chef's counter, as well as à la carte in the bar. Tony's also will be giving away small dark chocolate bars to all guests because there's no such thing as too much chocolate.
To help bring attention to the mission of Tony's Chocolonely, we threw a small gathering with friends to celebrate the new dessert. Human slavery in the cocoa industry is an ongoing problem, yet many people remain unaware of, despite the ubiquity of chocolate. The fact that the cocoa industry in east Africa is so reliant upon forced labor, often of children, is hard to reckon with the amount of pleasure so many people get from chocolate. Tony's is not only committed to shining a light on the issue for consumers, but also in changing the industry as a whole.
If you're not in the Portland area to check out this incredible dessert from Nomad, then definitely give it a try. The recipe at the end of the post, and if you're inspired to keep baking with slave-free chocolate, I also recommend chocolate shortbread cookies, chocolate mousse or semolina chocolate chunk fritters . Enjoy and stay tuned for more!
Lavender-Infused Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Poached Blood Orange
500 g milk
500 g cream
210 g egg yolk
200 g sugar
100 g lavender
200 g Tony’s Chocolonely dark chocolate, chopped
Poached blood orange:
250 g sugar
100 g water
1 blood orange, sliced horizontally
heather flowers for garnish
Whisk together the egg yolk and sugar, set aside. With a kitchen torch, burn the lavender until it starts to smolder, about 30 seconds. Place in a small pot together with the cream and milk. Heat until 170°F. Remove from heat, then temper in egg and sugar mixture. Strain over the chopped chocolate and then mix until chocolate is fully incorporated. Cover and refrigerate until cooled, at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and spin according to the instructions.
Mix together the sugar and water in a small pot over a low heat. Add the blood orange slices and cook gently in the syrup for 1.5 hours. Cool and serve next to the ice cream with additional segments of fresh blood orange.