Classic flavour combinations have usually justifiably earned their status and it is always a treat to revisit them. We have tinkered with the pairing of ice cream and chocolate sauce, by enriching the chocolate with olive oil rather than the usual cream, which brings out both bitter and fresh flavours and makes it a slightly less sweet dessert. With Olive Oil’s relatively high freezing point it means that recipe is like the grown-up version of chocolate sauce that hardens once it is poured over the frozen ice-cream. The spiced pecans add another layer of flavour and contain a little salt, which is perfect for the chocolate and olive oil.
90g 70% dark chocolate
90ml Crete Gold Extra Virgin Olive Oil
20g hot water
50g light brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt, preferably flaky
¼ tsp ground chilli/cayenne/paprika
1 litre good quality vanilla ice cream
Heat your oven to 150C fan/170C nonfan. Break the chocolate into small pieces, place in a heat proof bowl and set over a small pan of simmering water to gently melt. When melted, add the olive oil and stir to combine. Keep warm until ready to use by turning the heat off and covering. If you need to warm it up, then place back on top of the simmering water and gently heat. If it gets too hot, it can diminish the flavour the olive oil, so take care.
Whilst the chocolate is melting, begin making the pecans. Mix the hot water and the brown sugar in a cup or ramekin and stir till dissolved. Mix the spices and salt and stir to combine. Place the pecans in a mixing bowl, add the sugar syrup and stir till completely coated, then add the spice mix and again stir till completely coated.
Lay a piece of baking paper on a baking tray and the spread the pecans out on top. Bake for 6-9 minutes, so that the coating becomes crunchy, and the pecans are nicely roasted. Take out and allow to cool.
When ready to serve, scoop ice cream into a bowl or glass, adding pecans as you build up the scoops then top with a generous amount of warm chocolate sauce and a few more pecans.