I won’t give anything away to my dear readers who want to pick up the book; but Claire, the heroine of the novel, has a very fine sense of herbs, spices, and flowers and their effects on the eater. It was a really fun book, and an even more fun experience to get to try my hand at Claire’s profession. I used fresh mint which, when paired with flowers, cloaks your intent to the eater. Once your intent is concealed, rose petals and chocolate trigger romance and love. Successfully completing my concoction, I then ran all over Boston trying to feed this to as many cute bachelors as I could find. And by that, I mean, John, of course. Silly me.
Fresh Mint Ice Cream and Chocolate Rose Topping (adapted from here)
Serves: 2 (2 cups ice cream)
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup whole milk
12 edible rose petals (I found them at Whole Foods)
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1 egg white
1/4 cup sugar
Combine the whipping cream, sugar, and mint leaves in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir often until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from the heat and let the mixture steep for about 40 minutes (taste as it steeps to get the mint taste the way you would like). Strain and add 1/2 cup milk. Refrigerate the mixture for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Then, using your ice cream machine (and following its directions), mix the cream mixture until the ice cream is fully churned. Place in the freezer until ready to serve.
Make the Chocolate Rose Sauce. Combine the remaining 1/2 cup milk and 10 rose petals in a small saucepan. Stir until the mixture begins to boil. Remove from heat and steep 10 minutes. Strain. Add chocolate chips into the saucepan and heat over low heat until the chocolate chips melt and the mixture is smooth. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, before serving.
Meanwhile, add a few drops of water to the egg white and mix well. Brush the 4 remaining rose petals with the egg white and coat the rose petals in sugar. Shake off excess and place on a foil-lined cookie sheet. Let the petals rest for about 12 hours, moving them slightly to keep them from sticking.
To serve, let the chocolate sauce come to room temperature. Spoon some over the ice cream. Top with a candied rose petal and serve to the handsome man or gorgeous woman of your choosing!
Note that I did the rose petals the night before, moved them around on the cookie sheet a couple of times before bed and then once in the morning. They came out perfect. The best part of all is that both the sauce and ice cream can be made days in advance of serving; put it all together on that special day and let the magic fly!
July is National Ice Cream Month–and what better way to celebrate it than with someone special (or hey, just yourself–I am a big believer of just treating yourself well!).
This was such a fun adventure that I know I will find some real kindred spirits in this book club! I can’t wait for the next selection, which I am sure I am going to have a lot of fun with (in fact, I bought the book just last week and it is in my queue to read!).
Until the next time my oven is on…