Lavender Fudgesicles—Nostalgic treat inspired by my favorite ice cream shop
On a perfectly warm afternoon last October in Split, Croatia, I made my leisurely way over to my favorite ice cream shop, Luka Ice Cream & Cakes. I just happened to stay right around the corner from Luka’s during my month in Split, and I can tell you that they make some of the best ice cream anywhere. Anyhow, on that particular afternoon, I chose a scoop of lavender and a scoop of chocolate. I sat down on the little round bench in the square, and I was in heaven. This recipe for Lavender Fudgesicles, rich, dark, and oh-so-smooth, with just enough lavender to make you take notice, is inspired by that cone.
This particular lavender ice cream was so subtle and smooth
Lavender ice cream isn’t that uncommon—my old local Honeycomb Creamery in Cambridge, Massachusetts, makes an excellent Honey Lavender ice cream. However, this one from Luka had a subtleness that I loved. Lavender can get overpowering pretty fast, which is a pity, because in small amounts, it is transformative.
I know! I’ll make Lavender Fudgesicles!
My ice cream maker has gotten ample use on this blog, so I thought it was time for something different. My mind flashed to fudgesicles and those great old-fashioned molds. Wouldn’t it be fun to make a grown-up fudge pop with really good cocoa and lavender?
And indeed it was fun—and Lavender Fudgesicles are so delicious!
Not the fudgesicle from the ice cream truck
This isn’t the fudgesicle you remember from the ice cream truck. It uses good cocoa powder (I used Droste, but any quality Dutch-processed cocoa powder will do the job) and milk infused with lavender. The result is one rich little treat—you won’t be tempted to eat all four of them in one sitting! You can scale the lavender up if you want to, but I’d start with what’s recommended. I used this Alice Medrich recipe from Food-52 as a base.
Fudgesicles are basically frozen chocolate pudding
If you’ve never made fudgesicles before, you’re basically making chocolate pudding and freezing it. You combine milk, sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and a little pinch of salt and cook it slowly over low heat until it thickens. The only real trick is to make sure that you’re scraping the sides of the pan with a spatula to prevent lumps from forming. While you do need to whisk constantly as the base cooks, it’s very low heat and over very quickly, so you won’t break into a sweat.
Once the base has thickened, you whisk in a little vanilla, and pour it into molds and freeze (at least six hours, but preferably overnight—chocolate benefits from flavors being able to meld). It’s much faster than making an ice cream base—and less work overall.
The twist here is that we’re infusing the milk with lavender before making the pudding base. It sounds fancy, but basically, we’re heating the milk with the lavender until it gets nice and steamy (don’t boil it!). Once it’s steamy, remove it from heat and cover it with a lid and let things steep for fifteen minutes or so. Give the milk a little taste—it should taste of subtly of lavender. This is the milk we use for the fudgesicle base.
Popsicle molds or improvisation works!
There’s loads of popsicle molds out there—I fell in love with the vintage design of these stainless steel ones—but you don’t even really need formal molds to do it. Freezer-safe cups with sticks can do the trick, so long as you cover it to prevent freezer burn. If you’re doing it that way, you’ll want to chill the fudgesicles for a little bit before adding the sticks (or even without and just use a spoon to eat your confection).
Best enjoyed outside!
We can’t all enjoy exquisite ice cream cones in Split, Croatia, all the time. However, grab your Lavender Fudgesicle and head outdoors, and you’ll capture the nostalgic magic of childhood in a decidedly adult treat.
- 1 popsicle molds I use these cute vintage ones
- 1½ cups whole milk substitue low-fat milk or plant-based milk
- ¾ tsp culinary lavender this is to taste. This amount gives the fudgesicles a subtle lavender flavor. If a stronger one is desired, use more
- 6 tbsp granulated sugar
- 6 tbsp cocoa powder, good quality Dutch process
- ¾ tsp corn starch
- pinch kosher salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
To Infuse the Lavender Milk
- In a small sauce pan, add the milk and lavender. Heat gently over low heat until you see a lot of steam coming off (do not boil). Remove from heat1½ cups whole milk, ¾ tsp culinary lavender
- Cover and steep for 15 minutes. Taste the milk: It should have a subtle lavender flavor, not an overly strong one. Strain the infused milk, discarding the lavender
To Make the Base
- Have a silicone spatula handy. Add all of the dry ingredients to the pot and whisk to combine. Add enough of the infused milk to form a paste, and then add the remaining milk and whisk thoroughly6 tbsp granulated sugar, 6 tbsp cocoa powder, good quality Dutch process, ¾ tsp corn starch, pinch kosher salt
- Over low heat, slowly heat the mixture, whisking constantly. Scrape the sides of the pan as needed. Take care that the mixture does not boil
- Continue whisking and scraping as the base thickens. When it looks like loose chocolate pudding, remove from heat and add vanilla¼ tsp vanilla extract
Add to the Molds
- Add the mixture to the molds, leaving ¼ inch at the top to allow for expansion. Cover and add the stick
- Freeze for a minimum of six hours (overnight is better, if possible)
- To unmold, dip the mold into a glass of warm water for a couple of seconds until loosened enough to remove
- Best enjoyed outside!