Dominique Ansel has made a career out of pairing unexpected food combinations in a way that somehow makes perfect sense. The French-born pastry chef’s profile skyrocketed in 2013 when he invented the cronut; since then, he’s turned his hand to chocolate chip milk cookie shots, frozen s’mores and ice cream made from burrata (mozzarella and cream). He’s also opened a London branch of his cult New York bakery on this side of the Atlantic – in ritzy Belgravia, natch.
The dessert wizard’s latest creation is cold-brew ice cream: a crispy, caramel-coloured cone of coffee-flavoured soft serve, sprinkled with crunchy anise biscotti and milk foam and dusted with cocoa powder.
With origins in 17th century Japan, cold-brew coffee has been steadily rising in popularity in the UK for a couple of years now. Unlike iced coffee, which is usually brewed hot before being poured over ice, cold-brew coffee is ground, steeped in cold water and strained. It can take up to 24 hours to make, according to jamieoliver.com, but offers a more nuanced, less acidic drink than regular iced coffee.
Ansel says that his own cold-brew ice cream takes two days to make.
“We take our homemade milk base and infuse the coffee flavour into the milk overnight,” the chef tells Grub Street. “It takes another night to strain it, and then we mix it with our base and let it rest for 12 hours.”
The team uses a special blend of coffee brewed at the Dominque Ansel Kitchen in New York, which Ansel says sets their scoop apart from ordinary coffee-flavoured ice cream.
“It has a deep coffee flavour – it’s like drinking a nice glass of cold brew,” he says. “It’s completely different from coffee ice cream: richer when it comes to flavour, without being bitter or sour.”
Cold-brew ice cream is available from Dominique Ansel Kitchen in New York throughout May and June. We’ve reached out to the bakery’s London branch to find out if there are any plans to bring the sweet treat to the UK – and as soon as we know, you’ll know.
Main image: Dominique Ansel Kitchen