Valentine's Day

Chocolate-Dipped Concha Ice Cream Sandwiches

July  1, 2021
3 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Food stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop stylist: Molly Fitzsimons.
  • Cook time 4 hours 30 minutes
  • makes 4 extra-large or 8 large sandwiches
Author Notes

When I was in Durango, Mexico visiting a friend, she told me: We have to go check out this ice cream sandwich vendor in the park. The creamy ice cream was sandwiched between a halved concha—a soft Mexican bread with a craquelin topping that, when baked, looks similar to the texture of a seashell. The flavor was blackberry, and it stuck with me. That's the inspiration for today's dish. Finished with a delicious dip in a spicy fudge sauce, these concha ice cream sandwiches hit all the right notes. —Rick Martinez

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe is a part of Chocolate Week—seven days of recipes and stories, all chocolate—presented by our friends at Guittard. A fifth-generation family business, Guittard has been crafting an array of chocolate offerings (like top-quality baking chips, cocoa powder, and baking bars) in San Francisco since 1868.Food52

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Chocolate-Dipped Concha Ice Cream Sandwiches
  • Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 2 1/2 cups crema or heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and seeds scraped out
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • Chile Fudge Sauce
  • 1/4 cup piloncillo or dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup or honey
  • kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (60% to 72% cacao), chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon ground chile de árbol or ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground canela or cinnamon
  • Spicy Berry Sauce
  • 1 pound fresh blackberries, blueberries, or strawberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon to ¼ teaspoon ground chile de árbol or ground cayenne
  • kosher salt
  • To serve
  • 8 small conchas or 4 regular conchas, halved lengthwise and warmed
  1. For the ice cream:

    In a large saucepan over medium heat, bring milk, cream, sugar, salt, and vanilla bean and seeds to a simmer. Once it comes to a simmer, turn off the heat and set aside; do not let the mixture come to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium heatproof bowl, vigorously whisk yolks and sugar (you can also use an electric mixer) until sugar has dissolved and yolks are pale yellow, glossy and are thick and creamy (this is called ribbon stage), 1 to 2 minutes. Place a clean kitchen towel over the top of a separate large saucepan and place bowl with egg yolk mixture on top of the towel. This will secure the bowl and allow you to whisk with one hand without having to hold the bowl with the other hand. Ladle 1 cup of the hot milk mixture into a liquid measuring cup. Using one hand to whisk the egg mixture, very slowly drizzle the hot milk mixture into the eggs until completely incorporated. Your egg yolks are now tempered—that means that you can now add them to the remaining hot milk mixture without them turning into scrambled eggs.
  3. Pour tempered yolks into the saucepan with milk mixture and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Do this for 6 to 8 minutes until you start to see wisps of steam begin to rise and the bubbles on the surface disappear; the custard will also coat the back of a spoon and an instant read thermometer inserted into the custard will read 175°F. Let cool completely; then transfer to an airtight container, place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the custard, and cover and chill until very cold, at least 4 hours. Chilling overnight is best, as the flavors will develop and intensify the longer it sits up to 24 hours.

    Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  4. For the chile fudge sauce:

    In a small, heavy saucepan fitted with a candy thermometer over medium-high heat, bring piloncillo, agave syrup, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 tablespoons water to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Boil without stirring until thermometer registers 265°F, 8 to 10 minutes. Add cream, milk, and butter. Whisk until butter is melted and mixture is smooth.

    Remove from heat; add chocolate, canela, and chile de árbol and whisk until melted and mixture is smooth. Transfer to a microwave-safe bowl. Let cool completely, and set aside until ready to serve.
  5. For the spicy berry sauce:

    In a medium saucepan, stir blackberries, sugar, ginger, chile de árbol, and a pinch of salt until berries are coated in sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally and skimming foam off the top, until berries are very tender and sauce is slightly thick and jammy, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to serve. This sauce can be made ahead, stored in an air-tight container, and chilled until ready to use.
  6. To assemble the sandwiches:

    Set a rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Reheat the fudge sauce in microwave in 10-second intervals, stirring occasionally, until heated through. Dip both top and bottom halves of conchas in the fudge sauce, one at a time, so that about ⅓ of the concha is covered in chocolate. Arrange on prepared sheet pan to allow excess to drip off.
  7. Re-dip bottom half of the concha in the warm fudge sauce so that ⅓ of the concha is covered in sauce, then transfer to a small plate. cut-side up. Top with 1 large scoop or 2 small scoops ice cream and spoon berry sauce over top. Re-dip top half of concha in the warm fudge sauce so that ⅓ of the concha is covered in sauce and place on top of ice cream.

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  • Yoojung J.
    Yoojung J.
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Rick Martinez

Recipe by: Rick Martinez

Rick Martinez is currently living his dream—cooking, eating and enjoying the Mexican Pacific coast in Mazatlán. He is finishing his first cookbook, Under the Papaya Tree, food from the seven regions of Mexico and loved traveling the country so much, he decided to buy a house on the beach. He is a regular contributor to Bon Appétit, New York Times and hosts live, weekly cooking classes for Food Network Kitchens. Earlier this year, he was nominated for a James Beard Award for “How to win the Cookie Swap” in Bon Appétit’s holiday issue.

2 Reviews

Alyson C. June 18, 2021
Wow! I don’t watch videos often but loved this one and am particularly fond of your cheery apron. I will definitely try this and I know my family will LOVE!
Yoojung J. June 4, 2021
I can't wait to try this! The perfect summer dessert I've been looking for!