Dark Chocolate Dessert Shell

The only thing better than an ice cream or frozen fruit dessert, is an ice cream or frozen fruit covered in a rich, decadent, crunchy, ice cold dark chocolate shell.

Like many of my recipes, this Dark Chocolate Shell was inspired by a fuzzy warm childhood memory. My mother’s family lives in Connecticut, and growing up, when we’d head home from weekend trips, it was our routine to stop at Dairy Queen for ice cream cones. Because we didn’t really have Dairy Queen down in northern New Jersey, this was a highly anticipated event.


My go-to order: a cone with vanilla soft serve and that infamous, one-of-a-kind, DQ candy coating shell. I would mix it up between the cherry and chocolate, but this was ALWAYS my order. I still feel the excitement of watching as they’d flip my cone upside down (mystified that the ice cream remained perfectly positioned), submerge it into the pool of cherry or chocolate, and seeing it emerge as the shell, still in its liquid form, molded perfectly to those fluffy soft serve layers, hardening instantly like magic. Not only did it elevate my ice cream cone with that candy coating crunch, but it also worked as the perfect vehicle for containing the ice cream without melting down the sides. Ugh, brilliance, sheer brilliance. We’d sit on the trunk of my dad’s car, indulge as a family, and then begin our journey home. It was the sweetest way to end our family weekends.


This recipe, made with dark chocolate and coconut oil, is a version of this childhood favorite, and adds some health benefits to the mix, too! Pour it over frozen fruit skewers, homemade pops, or your favorite scoop of ice cream to instantly step up your dessert game. It’s so easy to prepare and you can really make it your own with toppings like flake salt, nuts, sprinkles, crushed cookies, and more - sky’s the limit! Biting into this sweet, cold, ultra crunchy shell brings me right back to childhood. I hope you’ll try this one out and create your own family memories enjoying it, too!


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 hours

Yield: Shell for 4 Pops

Ingredients

3 (3.5 ounce) dark chocolate bars, finely chopped

*NOTE: For an antioxidant and health benefit boost, I like to use 70%+ chocolate(the healthiest dark chocolate contains a cocoa percentage of 70% or higher), but you can use your favorite type of chocolate. The shell will still harden the same!

6 tablespoons coconut oil

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Optional(ideas for sprinkling on top): crushed nuts (¼ cup), flake salt, crumbled pretzels, sprinkles


Directions (Double Broiler)

1. Place ingredients in a heat-proof glass or metal bowl.

2. Add 2-3 inches of water to a small, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Place the bowl containing the chocolate on top. Make sure the boiling water is not touching the bowl. You want water about an inch below, simply heating the bowl. If it is touching, just pour some out and continue.

3. As the ingredients melt together, use a rubber spatula to keep scraping the sides so the chocolate will not burn.

4. Once melted, remove the bowl from the heat. If you are drizzling it, you can keep it in this bowl and use a spoon to drizzle the chocolate over your popsicles, fruit skewers, or ice cream. If you are dipping, transport the chocolate to a glass, making it easier to dip and completely coat the contents. Just make sure the glass is wide enough!

5. Place contents in the freezer and allow to harden for 15-20 minutes.


Directions (Microwave)

1. Place ingredients in a microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave in 15 second bursts. Remove from microwave and stir between each burst (this is very important, as the chocolate will clump or burn without stirring between bursts, meaning you’ll have to start over!). Once completely smooth, with no lumps of chocolate or coconut oil, set aside to slightly cool.

2. Once melted, add the optional nuts and stir to combine.

3. Follow steps 9 & 10 from above.


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