Chocolate Crispies from 101 Best Loved Chocolate Recipes

No, you haven’t stopped by the wrong blog. This really is me; the non-chocolate person. With a chocolate recipe. A very, very chocolate recipe. If you recall, the wonderful people at Hotel Chocolat provide me various forms of chocolate, enabling me to work my way through their amazing cookbook, 101 Best Loved Chocoalte Recipes. I may not be a chocolate fan, but I am surrounded by them, not just neighbors and friends, but the two that I share my life with as well. So, I make chocolate goodies. In this case, I make very high quality chocolate goodies.

These little gems are a simple treat that will make anyone happy. You can ask Hubby. He’s already had one and deemed it very good. Dudette has yet discovered them on the counter, but she will soon enough.

The best part about these Chocolate Crispies is the ease of preparation. What you need is chocolate (in this case I used Hotel Chocolat’s 70% Dark Chocolate Drops), butter, light corn syrup and corn flakes. Yes, corn flakes.

The chocolate drops, corn syrup and butter are put in a sauce pan over low heat and melted, then stirred to combine, incorporate, whatever term you want to use to make sure it’s smooth and mixed up. Then, off heat, the corn flakes are added and very carefully stirred until everything is coated.

I used a teaspoon to drop the blobs of chocolate-covered flakes into the muffin liners and it worked well. Then they were refrigerated until firm.

I wish I had had more corn flakes as I started coating them because I think I ended up with too big a ratio of chocolate to cereal and the coating ended up a bit on the heavy end. While I’m sure that wouldn’t bother most people, I think a lighter coating would have created an almost lacy end-product and would have allowed the corn flake to come through a bit more.

Even so, these are addicting. I can say that because I did take a bite of one to see how it tasted and though it was pretty good, even as a non-chocolate person. I left the rest on the kitchen counter while I came in here to write. From the beginning of writing up until now, the rest of the crispie has disappeared. I’ve gone back in a few time and whittled away at the thing little bite by little bite. Me. The chocolate disliker. If I am doing that, I promise that all the chocolate lovers out there will finish a batch of these in one sitting. They’re that good.

The final verdict is that these are a huge success. If you like milk chocolate instead of dark, use that. It’s probably what I would do next time around. If you like the more healthy darker chocolates, go buy corn flakes and make these today.

Mary Berry’s Chocolate Crispies
from 101 Best Loved Chocolate Recipes

225g (1 cup) dark chocolate, in pieces
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
50g  (3 tablespoons) butter
75g (1 cup) corn flakes

Set 18 paper cake cases on a large baking tray.

Put the chocolate, golden syrup and butter in a heavy-based pan over low heat and allow to melt, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and add the corn flakes, stirring gently until they are all evenly coated with the chocolate mixture.

Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases and place in the fridge until set.

Chocolate, Orange and Pine Nut Tart from Hotel Chocolat's 101 Best Loved Chocolate Recipes

A package showed up on our doorstep a few days ago, sending Dudette into gyrations of joy. Gyrations of joy up until the point where I saw the international stamps and told her that the package was not, in fact for her, but for me. At which point I began the gyrations of joy and she continued to perfect the art of the pout. 
The package contained chocolate. Not just any chocolate. This was a bag of Hotel Chocolat’s 70% Dark Chocolate Drops, or as they say, “easy melt baby buttons of gorgeous chocolate”  Can I hear an amen? Receiving the chocolate meant that it was time to open the cookbook for which my baby buttons fit perfectly, the 101 Best Loved Chocolate Recipes.
I had already tabbed the dessert I was going to make with these baby buttons and was anxiously awaiting their arrival, so this weekend I dove right in. The air was saturated with chocolate as I used both the cocoa powder and the chocolate drops to make the Chocolate, Orange and Pine Nut Tart. What a treat this would be for our regular Saturday night guests.

It all begins with the recipe itself. 101 Best Loved Chocolate Recipes has been a joy for me because I’ve been introduced to some amazing new chefs, most from countries other than the United States. The creator of this recipe is one of those; Chef Alex Mackay. I’ve learned that I like his style, his presentation and his philosophy of cooking.

For instance, he says; “Cooking is everlasting, ever changing, magical fun. I cook all the time, very often three times a day. I cook for work, I cook to relax, I grow things that I want to cook and I read about how best to cook them. And I really love to talk and write about it.”

I love that quote.

Chef Mackay’s tart begins with a chocolate shortbread pastry crust. Aren’t you in love with the dessert already? The ingredients, which include butter, confectioners’ sugar, egg yolk, flour, cocoa powder and water, are mixed together, gathered into a ball, wrapped in plastic and refrigerated.

While the crust chills, the orange zest and syrup are made and simmered and the filling is prepared, both of which are straightforward and simple enough. Unless your child is sick and napping and you don’t want to wake her up by running the hand blender in order to whisk the egg whites until firm.

In truth, I’ve seen chefs on Iron Chef America use a hand whisk so many times to beat egg whites, I figured there was nothing to it. Until I tried. It takes a long time and a lot of forearm endurance to whisk egg whites until their firm.  I was half-tempted to redefine the term, especially after I read on and saw that I needed to add sugar a tablespoon at a time and “continue whisking until stiff.” (Insert audible snort here.) That’s why they’re on television and get paid the big bucks.

Once the egg whites are stiff and body parts have been sufficiently rested, egg yolks and cocoa powder are gently folded into the whites until blended. Then the chocolate buttons, which have been melted in a bowl over a simmering pan of water and joined with butter and orange zest, are added in and mixed well but carefully. The filling is poured into the crust, sprinkled with pine nuts and put in the oven.

I didn’t mention the rest of the procedure with the crust, did I? That’s because I had one of those “this never happens in a test kitchen” moments. I’ve lost my removable bottom tart pan. I had one and now it’s gone. It could be that it didn’t make it when we moved to this house (but you think I’d remember that). It could be that Hubby tossed it for some reason (it happened once with a springform pan bottom because he thought they were disposable), but after aforementioned incident I don’t think he’d do that again. I don’t know where it is. So, I had to use my non-removable bottom dish.

Honestly, the best thing that a using non-removable pan does is enable the crust to be less than perfect. I’m sorry, Chef Mackay. I tried very hard, but my crust left a lot to be desired aesthetically. The flavor and shortbread deliciousness is there, but I’m glad that the sides of the pan hide the sides, which are uneven and a bit lumpy. I feel badly because as you’ll see in the recipe, a lot of time is spent explaining how to do the crust perfectly. ::sigh::

Anyhow, once the tart was removed and cooled, I dusted it with powdered sugar and topped it with my orange zest, which I made into narrow strips instead of wide ones. The wide ones look prettier but the narrow stripes become orange worms to a 4 year-old and that’s more fun.

As many know, I am unable to judge desserts such as this because I am not a fan of chocolate, the darker the chocolate, the farther from fandom I go. So I counted on our Saturday group to render their verdict and a positive one it was. Pieces were devoured and plates scraped clean. The dish’s chocolate was too dark for Dudette’s enjoyment, which makes me believe that this is solely an adult confection. That being the case, I’ll bet it would be wonderful with a splash of Cointreau in the filling along with the orange zest.

Hotel Chocolat and Chef Mackay, thank you for another delicious chocolate dessert.

Chocolate, Orange and Pine Nut Tart
from Hotel Chocolat’s 101 Best Loved Chocolate Recipes

Chocolate Shortbread Pastry:
80g (5 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
50g (just under 1/4 cup) confectioners’ sugar, plus extra to dust
1 egg yolk
80g (1/3 cup) all-purpose flour, plus extra to dust
40g (3 tablespoons) cocoa powder
2 tablespoons cold water

Orange Zest and Syrup:

4 oranges
200g (just under 1 cup) granulated sugar


75g (just over 1/4 cup) dark chocolate (72% cocoa solids), chopped
50g (3.5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, diced
4 eggs, separated
50g (just under 1/4 cup) granulated sugar
40g (3 tablespoons)  cocoa powder, sifted
50g (just under 1/4 cup) pine nuts

For the chocolate shortbread pastry, mix all the ingredients together until smooth, either by hand or in the food processor (the dough will seem very wet). Flour your hands well and shape the mixture into a flat circle. Wrap it in cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes to firm up before rolling.

Pare the zest from the oranges in long, fine wide strips, using a swivel peeler and set aside. Next, peel away all the white pith. Segment the oranges over a bowl to catch the juice and squeeze the juice from the membranes, too. Put the segments to one side.

Blanch the orange zests in a pan of salted water for 1 minute, then refresh under cold running water. Repeat this process, then put the zests into a small pan with the reserved juice and the sugar (but not the segments). Simmer over a low heat for about 10 minutes until the zests are translucent. Remove with a slotted spoon and l
ay half of them on a piece of greaseproof paper. Chop the other half as finely as possible and put into a small bowl. Add the orange segments to the remaining syrup and reserve for serving.

Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas 5 (it’s 374F so round down to 370). Set a 20cm flan ring on a baking sheet. To roll out the pastry, place it on a large sheet of floured cling film on your work surface. Dust the pastry with flour and top with another sheet of cling film. Roll out to a round slightly larger than your flan ring, giving the pastry a quarter-turn between rollings to ensure an even thickness. Chill for about 15 minutes.

Remove the top layer of cling film and drape the pastry over your rolling pin. Lift it over the top of the flan ring, with the other layer of cling film uppermost. Ease the pastry into the sides of the tin before pressing down the edges. Remove the cling film.

For the filling, melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of barely simmering water. Stir in the butter and reserved chopped orange zest, then remove from the heat.

Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until firm, then gradually whisk in the sugar a tablespoon at a time, and continue whisking until stiff. Fold in the lightly beaten egg yolks, then gently fold in the cocoa powder with a spatula. Take a third of this mixture and stir it vigorously into the still-warm chocolate. Carefully fold this into the remaining whisked egg white, then turn the mixture into the lined flan ring.

Sprinkle the pine nuts over the filling and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until firm around the outside, but still slightly runny in the center. Transfer the tart to a wire rack and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing the ring. Let cool to room temperature, but don’t refrigerate.

When ready to serve, dust generously with powdered sugar and top with the reserved candied orange zests. Serve accompanied by the orange segments in syrup.*

*Orange segments in syrup: Another thing that doesn’t happen in test kitchens. “Mommy, can I eat that orange? PLEEEAAASSSEE?” No orange segments in syrup for my recipe this time.

Chocolate Biscuits from 101 Best Loved Chocolate Recipes

In case you’re curious, this tastes like chocolate. Even my husband, who really likes chocolate, said this tastes very much like chocolate. Dudette, who loves chocolate, said that the chocolate cookie was really chocolate but the cookie with the cream in the middle was really, really chocolate. I can attest to both statements.

This recipe comes from Constance Spry, a famous British woman from the late 1800’s. Not only was she well known as an educator, but also as a florist, having put together arrangements for events as grand as Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation. Mrs. Spry also published a cookbook called Constance Spry Cookery Book. I’m thrilled that the recipe for Chocolate Biscuits is included in Hotel Chocolat’s 101 Best Loved Chocolate Recipes and that I am able to pass it along to you.

The item I used from Hotel Chocolat this time was the cocoa powder. In fact, I used quite a bit of it, truth be told. Like my family has mentioned; these “biscuits” (they’re really more like cookies) are really chocolaty. Because the recipe uses cocoa powder instead of chocolate itself, it’s much easier to pull together since there isn’t any need for double boilers and watching to make sure the chocolate doesn’t separate.

Instead, it’s a simple matter of beating ingredients well enough so they are well combined and then rolling the dough into balls and flattening it with a fork (much like a peanut butter cookie style). Once baked they are allowed to cool and then are held together with a thick chocolate cream (that includes coffee) that is so glossy and silky it’s a treat in and of itself. It’s also very simple to make and uses the cocoa powder.

I have to admit that I did eat two of these. I had one last night fresh from the oven and it was ok. I had another this morning dipped in my coffee and it was very, very good. The one recommendation I would make would be to use the bottom of a glass to squish the ball of dough more flat than it can get with a fork. The image in the cookbook makes the biscuit look more like a wafer whereas mine looks like a cookie. To get that wafer look, I’d have had to flatten the ball first, then use the fork (but the directions didn’t call for that.

Either way, it’s going to taste heavenly and is worth making. Serious chocolate here, folks.

Constance Spry’s Chocolate Biscuits
from Hotel Chocolat 101 Best Loved Chocolate Recipes

225g butter, plus extra to grease
110g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
50g cocoa powder
225g self-rising flour
50g cocoa powder
6 tablespoons strong coffee
50g powdered sugar, sifted
75-100g butter, sliced
few drops of vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Lightly butter one or two baking trays. Cream the butter in a bowl until soft, then beat in the sugar and vanilla extract. Gradually work in the cocoa powder and flour to make a smooth dough.

Divide the mixture into pieces, each the size of a walnut. Roll into balls and place on the baking tray, spacing them apart. Flatten each one with a fork, dipped in water, then bake for 12-15 minutes. Leave on the baking tray for a few minutes to firm up, then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Serve the biscuits just as they are, or fill them if you prefer. To make the filling, heat the cocoa powder with the coffee to make a thick cream, then remove from the heat and gradually beat in the powdered sugar, butter to taste, and the vanilla. Leave until cold, then use to sandwich the biscuits together in pairs.

Classic Milky Liquid Chocolat from Hotel Chocolat

We had frost warnings overnight and it was a balmy 36 degrees when we woke up this morning. A perfect Saturday for a fire in the fire place and a cup of hot chocolate.

Remember the package I received from Hotel Chocolat several weeks ago? Included with all the chocolate bars was a bottle of stuff called Liquid Chocolat. If you can see it in the picture, it’s not liquid. It’s flaky. “Huh,” I thought to myself. I tasted it. Unlike those packets of hot chocolate you buy in the store that are all powdery, this tasted like, well, like chocolate. Milky, smooth, creamy chocolate. I hope you’re sitting down, because I loved it. Of course, it was a small enough taste that it wasn’t overwhelming, but sometimes I do enjoy a bit of very milky chocolate. This is that.

Dudette wanted some and dubious as I am about using her as a guinea pig with new items since her recommendations vary from minute to minute and mood to mood, I went ahead and made up the first mugful since receiving the bottle.

I used 2% milk and recommend that over whole milk (you’ll find out why in a minute). Instead of using the microwave, I went with the stove because the instructions recommended that. Yes, normally, I just heat the milk for 30 seconds in the microwave, throw in the powder, stir and serve. In this case, I was dealing with chocolate flakes, full cream milk powder, caramel and malt. It deserved the stove.

Once the milk had come to a high simmer, I spooned in the  chocolate flakes and stirred continuously, keeping the simmer going the whole time. It did take longer for all the chocolate to melt than the minute that the instructions suggested I would need, but I’d rather that than a powder that dissolves immediately.

Once finished, I poured Dudette’s hot chocolate into a mug, topped it with whipped cream, snapped a picture, snuck a taste and then gave it to her. Do you know that once she reached the bottom of the cup there wasn’t a layer of dark sludge at all? That’s impressive.

My reaction: “Holy cow, that’s so good.” It was creamy, rich and smooth. Whole milk could not improve on the flavor so save the fat and calories. This is the way hot chocolate is supposed to taste. Of course, remember, I’m the chocolate wimp. I don’t like it and for that magical, once-in-a-while moment where I enjoy it to happen, it needs to be a high-quality very milk chocolate. There are plenty of options for those who like a more robust, hearty cup-o-choc. Included are the Macho Liquid Chocolat, the seasonal Gingerbread Liquid Chocolat, the spicy Aztec Chilli Liquid Chocolat, and many others.

Dudette’s reaction: The whole cup was inhaled and she was unhappy that I had taken a sip of it before giving it to her. She never once asked for a marshmallow for it, which she usually does, which means that it achieved muster without assistance. Score another point for the hot chocolate.

The only suggestion I have is that you one-and-a-half or double the batch. 200ml, which is what the recipe calls for, is not quite 3/4 cup or 6 ounces. Dudette wanted more. Anyone would.

For those who are curious, I’m not getting paid for these posts and I hope you realize that if I didn’t like the product, I wouldn’t have written about it. In fact, when the chocolate took so long to melt in the hot milk, I told my husband that I didn’t think I’d be able to write about it because it wasn’t turning out right. I just needed patience (of which I have very little). Hotel Chocolat sends me the products I need to go through their cookbook (which they gave me). They are also sending me a few speciality items, like the Liquid Chocolat so my family can try them and share the experience with you. The least I can do for all that they’re doing for me is include a few links to their site.

In order for you to know a bit more about those I will be using as family taste-testers during this time, here are some short introductions:

Papa:  This is Sophie’s grandfather; my dad. He was born and raised in France, immigrating the family to the United States shortly after I was born. He is the ultimate chocoholic, saying that the darker it is the better. He is a magician as well. He’s the only person I’ve met that can make chocolate disappear. Give him a bar and you will be unable to see the sleight of hand he uses to hide the thing, never to reappear. From what I understand, it’s hidden all over the house. He’s even broken a tooth trying to sneak a piece that he had hidden in the chest freezer in the basement.

Meme:  This is Sophie’s grandmother, my mom. She was born and raised in Belgium so she KNOWS chocolate. That being said, I’ve done the math and there’s a good chance that the first chocolate she ever tasted was a Hershey’s bar. She was about four during WWII and her family hid American soldiers in their basement. Belgian chocolate production was at a standstill during the early years of her life, but I would imagine that a four year-old, pig-tailed, red-head was irresistible to GI’s and she was given a Hershey bar or two. Even so, she adores good chocolate. Her weakness: chocolate cordials.

Jane: My sister-in-law who’s more of a sister than an in-law. Dudette adores her. I never thought I’d find someone who rivals my parents in chocolate love, but Jane tries hard. While there are people who will eat an entire bowl in one sitting, shoveling it into their faces as fast as they can, Jane is an relisher of chocolate. She can take a single piece (especially a truffle) and savor every bite. I appreciate this type of food enjoyment. When you shovel, you don’t really taste all the flavors. When you take the time to let the chocolate (or whatever) roll over your tongue and allow each taste bud its experience, the results are so much more fulfilling.  While Jane loves any kind of good
chocolate, her favorite is the truffle. She receives them every Christmas and like my father and mother can make them disappear like magic.

Those are the big three. There are others, of course, several of whom live close enough that I’ll be dropping taste-testing samples at their door or they’ll be knocking on mine when they hear that something’s in the oven. I hope you enjoy this journey I’m on with Hotel Chocolat.

Ultimate Chocolate Ice Cream from 101 Best Loved Chocolate Recipes Cookbook

After dinner last night Dudette requested dessert. We don’t normally do dessert, but we keep a basket of small candies and chocolates on the counter as rewards and treats so when the young lady asks, we generally tell her she can choose something from that. This time though, I pulled out an almost empty container of vanilla ice cream and spooned her up a cone.

“Why don’t we ever have chocolate ice cream?” she asked.  I admit that the only reason we don’t is because I never think of it. I don’t eat it so it doesn’t cross my mind. When I buy any ice cream it’s vanilla because it’s usually served with a pie or crisp. I felt bad. Just because I don’t like chocolate doesn’t mean I should deprive my family of it, especially since the other two love it.

Then I remembered my new cookbook. I was certain I had seen a recipe for chocolate ice cream in there. Aha! Page 146. “Ultimate Chocolate Ice Cream” by Robin Weir. He’s written books about the stuff so I guess he knows what he’s talking about. After Dudette went to bed I decided that my first recipe from this new cookbook would be the chocolate ice cream.

If you decide to do this, it will help if you know metric. If you don’t, make sure your liquid measuring cup has milliliter as well as cup measurements and that you have a kitchen scale that can change from ounces to grams. I’ll put in approximations for you, but having those two items will help you be exact, which is most important when baking.

I’ve never made ice cream the way this book had me do it and I was incredibly nervous. If I messed it up would they want the book and chocolates back??  The beginning was easy, mixing various things together, heating milk, whisking eggs, etc. Then came the part where things fell apart. It was after the egg mixture is combined with the chocolate mixture. At that point it’s all returned to the pan and should be heated slowly to 85°C (188°F).  At about 65°C the oil started separating from the rest of the mixture and I began to panic. “I’m messing it up,” I told my husband as I stirred the mixture and begged it to behave. He came to peek over my shoulder and then left quickly because he had no idea what he was looking at or for but he could feel the stress emanating from me like a tangible force field.

It will be tempting to stop the process when you see your gorgeous, silky chocolate mixture start to do things you think it shouldn’t, but trust me and keep heating it SLOWLY until it reaches that special temperature. When it did, I removed the pan from the heat and added the vanilla extract, coffee granules and sugar syrup (what we call simple syrup) to the chocolate. I stirred and magic happened. The chocolate loosened up again and became silky smooth. I breathed.

After cooling the pan in an ice bath, I followed instructions and strained the mixture into a bowl. It was thick enough that it was more of a pressing the mixture, but you should have seen how beautiful it was when it was all ready to spend the night in the fridge cooling down. At that moment I knew success was mine.

This morning I finished the process. This is where this was different than any ice cream I’ve ever made. I took my chocolate mixture out, added whipping cream to it and beat it until well blended. Have you ever done it that way before? Then I put it in the ice cream machine to churn. The book says about 20 minutes will do, but my ice cream maker begged me to stop it after about 10 and it was the perfect consistency. So, I put it in a container and into the freezer.

The consensus is that this ice cream is phenomenal. I had two chocoholics (including the one above) and two chocolate likers try it and they were wowed. This tastes VERY chocolate. Of course, using such high quality ingredients made a big difference. These weren’t basic semi-sweet chocolate chips measured from a bag. No, I used two bars of Hotel Chocolat’s high quality baking chocolate; one 65% cocoa solids and the other 70%. I also used a tiny amount of the 80% cocoa solids bar because each bar is 70g (2.5 ounces) and I needed 150g. That’s some REAL dark chocolate (which is healthier for you one of the chocoholics quipped as she kept sampling bite after bite).

Thanks to Hotel Chocolat, here is the recipe. Even if you don’t try it, read the second paragraph. I love how personal and polite it is. I love it. If you try the recipe, let me know how it turned out!

Ultimate Chocolate Ice Cream
provided by Robin Weir in Hotel Chocolat’s 101 Best Loved Chocolate Recipes

5 tablespoons cocoa powder
90g  (little less than 1/2 cup) granulated sugar
375ml (tad more than 1 1/2 cups) full-fat milk
150g dark chocolate (5.3 ounces) (about 70% cocoa solids), finely chopped
65ml sugar (1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) (simple) syrup
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
250ml (1 cup) whipping cream

Combine the cocoa powder and half the sugar in a small bowl. Mix in enough of the milk to form a thin paste.Bring the rest of the milk to the boil in a heavy-based pan. Pour the hot milk onto the blended cocoa, whisking constantly, then return the mixture to the pan. Return to a very low heat (or position the pan on a heat-diffuser mat) and heat slowly to simmering point, stirring constantly.

Now continue to cook gently, stirring, for 6 minutes. This stage is very important, as the long slow cooking ensures all the powdery flavour of the cocoa is cooked out. So take it slowly, and keep stirring, because the cocoa blend will catch on the base of pan the moment your attention wanders. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate.

For the sugar syrup, dissolve 50g (1/4 cup) sugar in 50ml (1/4 cup) water in a pan over a low heat, then bring to a boil. Allow to cool, then measure 65ml (just over 1/4 cup) for the ice cream and chill.

Beat the egg yolks and remaining sugar together in a bowl until pale. Pour in the chocolate mixture, beating vigorously, then immediately return to the pan. Again, with the saucepan on a very low heat or heat-diffuser mat, heat slowly, stirring until the temperature registers 85°C (188°F) on a cooking thermometer.

Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract, coffee granules and sugar syrup. Stir the base of hte pan in cold water to hasten cooling and leave until cold. Strain the mixture into a bowl (there will be bits in it), then cover and chill in the fridge.

Beat the cream into the chilled chocolate mixture. Now churn in an ice-cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions until the ice cream is the consistence of whipped cream, about 20 minutes. Quickly scrape into freezerproof plastic containers and level the surface. Cover with greaseproof paper and a lid, then freeze.

Ideally, the ice cream should be eaten within 2 hours. If frozen solid, soften for about 20 minutes in the fridge before serving. Scoop into dishes and serve on its own. Enjoy the experience …