One day, when we've all got lots of time on our hands, I'll tell you about my brave sister, who went off to seek her fortune in Chile with her husband and their three small children in the late 1980s. I'll tell you all about how my mother and I went too and how I learned to shake up pisco sours, aged 12. I'll tell you about empanadas and manjar and chasing Nick, my then three-year-old nephew, down the street in my pyjamas after he made a break for freedom.
But today I need to tell you about Chomps, the little balls of choc-dipped ice cream we discovered on subsequent visits. Tomorrow my nephew Nick is getting married and I've made some in his honour.
Choc-dipped ice cream balls (aka Chomps)
On one visit to Chile there was great to-do after Nick was suspected of stealing Chomps from the freezer. In hindsight, I suspect my dad may have been just as guilty, because he was just as keen on them. I wish I had thought of making these sooner; Dad would have loved them.
These aren't hard to make, exactly, but they do take a bit of kitchen zen. If you're making more than this amount, do it in batches so the ice cream doesn't melt.
For eight truffle-sized Chomps:
about 500ml good quality ice cream - I used vanilla
175g dark chocolate
At least two hours before you want to eat the Chomps, line a plastic container with foil. Using a teaspoon, scoop out little balls of the ice cream. They don't have to look perfectly round. Put them in the foil-lined container and return to the freezer until they are hard.
Melt the chocolate, either in a microwave, in a bowl over a pot of simmering water, or in a low oven. Set aside to cool slightly. Line another tray with foil.
When you are ready to dip, take the balls out of the freezer. Working quickly, dip one at a time in the chocolate. The best way to do this is to let the ice cream ball sit in the melted chocolate and use a small spatula to coat it. Don't panic and roll the ball around - the chocolate will set and fall off. Lift out carefully and put on the prepared tray. When all the balls are done, either eat immediately or return to the freezer.
Have a great weekend, everyone x