I first encountered stracciatella in two very different dishes, while I was living as a student in Rome many years ago.
One was a soup – similar to egg drop soup – and the other was a gelato.
If you’re wondering how the same culinary term could be applied to soup AND ice cream: stracciatella is derived from the Italian verb stracciare (“to shred”) and means “a little shred”.
The soup gets its name from the beaten egg that is drizzled into the broth as it cooks, forming little eggy shreds. And the ice cream is typically made by folding melted chocolate into the milk base toward the end of the recipe. The chocolate freezes on contact, and forms into little flakes and shards as it’s stirred in (if you like chocolate chip ice cream you will LOVE stracciatella – maybe even more).
I decided to play with this idea in the form of a popsicle (natch), incorporating thin layers of the melted chocolate into the ice cream. I was going to go with my usual popsicle base – or maybe just some good quality vanilla – when I came across a recipe for tahini banana stracchiatella ice cream on Lily’s beautiful blog. And I couldn’t stop thinking about how insanely delicious those chocolate shards would be when combined with tahini. The banana on the other hand? Not so much for me.
I went back and looked at my halva pops from last year and decided to bump up the tahini, since there’d be no halva this time, and I wanted that tahini flavor to be strong.
And it was as simple as that.
The stracciatella layers freeze when they hit the tahini layers, but when you push your popsicle sticks into the molds, the layers break up and you’ve got those delicious shards.
1/2 cup tahini
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon brown sugar
pinch of kosher salt
1 cup good quality bittersweet chocolate chips (or equal amount chopped chocolate)
2 tablespoons coconut oil
Whisk tahini, milk, cream, condensed milk, brown sugar and salt in a saucepan over low heat till smooth and emulsified. Transfer to a measuring cup and refrigerate overnight (or up to one week).
Melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in the top half of a double boiler set over barely simmering water. Remove from heat and transfer to a measuring cup (for easier pouring).
Pour a little of the tahini mixture into the bottoms of your popsicle molds – freeze for an hour and drizzle with a layer of melted chocolate. Freeze for 10 minutes. Repeat layering till the molds are filled, insert your popsicle sticks and freeze overnight.
To release the pops, hold molds briefly under hot water.
This delicious recipe brought to you by Sheri Silver