Tartufo may just be the easiest Italian dessert, ever! A scoop of vanilla ice cream holds an amaretto soaked cherry, and then it’s rolled in chocolate crumbs. Serve with warm caramel sauce.
Hello, friends! You may have noticed that I’ve been absent from the blog for a few weeks, which was longer than expected. May was a busy month full of baking and photographing things for clients and working on a special passion project. I also threw my parents an anniversary party, which was really great and I got to see a bunch of my family and friends all at once. It was nice to spend time with them, but now I’m ready to get back in the swing of all things blog related!
Tartufo may be the fanciest-to-eat but unfanciest-to-make dessert you should know about. It’s an ice cream dessert that originated in Italy, and the name tartufo means ‘truffle’. I first tried a chocolate mousse version of this dessert years ago at a local Italian restaurant. I always order it when we dine there, and digging for the amaretto-soaked cherry in the center is like a treasure hunt! This version is my own, but it doesn’t depart too much from the original. It only takes about 5 ingredients to make and I think it’s an elegant ending for a dinner party!
The recipe begins with amaretto-soaked cherries. You can find these cherries for purchase online and at well-stocked grocery stores – but you can also make a reasonable substitute at home! Soak maraschino cherries in amaretto liqueur overnight, or a minimum of 4 hours. The longer they soak, the better!
The usual tartufo coating is crushed chocolate wafer cookies, but I love using crushed chocolate waffle cones. The cone crumbs won’t turn soggy like the wafers, and they give the dessert a nice crunch.
Just before serving, place each tartufo on a bed of warm caramel sauce and sprinkle with chopped walnuts. This is a great make-ahead dessert that you can store in your freezer until you’re ready to serve. It’s a little bit fancy but totally approachable and great for summer!
- 5-6 chocolate waffle cones
- 8 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 8 amaretto-soaked cherries
- 12 ounces prepared caramel sauce I like Stonewall Kitchen
- 1/3 cup 40g chopped walnuts
- Place the cones in a zip-top bag and pulverize them to fine crumbs with a rolling pin (you can also use a food processor). Place the crumbs in a bowl.
- Using a round ice cream scoop, scoop out a ball of ice cream. While the ice cream is still in the scoop, use the end of a knife to poke a hole in the ice cream ball to the center. Push an amaretto-soaked cherry into the hole. Use the end of the knife to push it into the center and then smooth the ice cream over the hole using the knife edge.
- Use the scoop trigger release to turn the ball out into the bowl of crumbs. Use a spoon to cover the ball in crumbs and then place the ball onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat the process 7 more times until you have 8 tartufi. Freeze for 4 hours, or until very firm.
- Before serving, warm the caramel sauce and place a little onto each of 8 small plates. Top each pool of caramel with a tartufo. Drizzle more caramel on top of each tartufo, if desired. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and serve immediately.