Cool ice cream tips from ambassador chef Maarten Jordaens

story by Maarten Jordeans

Maarten works at Jordà®(Catalan for Jordaens), a producer of crispy, savory and sweet crumbles, sunflower oil-puffed grains and seeds, and sweet crispy crunches with chocolate and vinegar powders. Jordà®’s vinegar flakes concept won the ‘Grand Prix Sirha Innovation’ 2019 and Jordà also received the Gault Millau Culinary Innovators institution Award 2019.

“You couldn’t imagine a summer, hot day, or dessert menu without ice cream!”, says Maarten Jordaens. Working as a chef for several Michelin star restaurants, he became interested in creating crispy, tasty decorations, toppings and finishes to take dishes, desserts and ice cream to the next level. “When it comes to chocolate, recurring trends are surprising combinations with herbs and spices, as well as consuming chocolate at unusual moments, for example with an aperitif, as well using chocolates with a high cocoa content. Right now, we’re seeing a trend towards ice cream that contains less added sugar, or none at all, and vegan ice cream. These trends can also be seen in desserts in general. I’ve been carrying out tests to find sugar substitutes for sweetening and fibres to get the texture right.” Creating ice cream that is suitable for young and old, vegans or people with lactose intolerance, and doesn’t lose taste and texture, is quite an assignment!

“Chocolate and ice cream is a perfect match but all too often, we see familiar ‘classic’ combinations such as stracciatella ice cream, chocolate sauce, or chocolate ice cream. Personally, I like to make chocolate stand out as a crispy topping. For this, I use Veliche™ Gourmet Obsession 30, Intense 35 and Sensation 72 in combination with herbs, spices or fruit flavors. It’s important to really taste the chocolate in the ice cream.”

“When working with Obsession 30, I like to add red fruits, as well as vinegar or yoghurt powder, as the acids reduce the sweetness. Moroccan herbs and nuts are extremely tasty together with Intense 35 Belgian milk couverture chocolate. With Sensation 72, I like to work with ground coffees and tea blends, as well as peppers and smokey flavors. My personal favourite ice cream flavour is Hazelnut Praliné with a milk chocolate crunch, salted caramel and peanuts – just like a Snickers bar!”

“My advice would be to work exclusively with the best products. Every ingredient is important and indispensable. Real vanilla, for example, even thought it might cost a bit more, high-quality unsweetened fruit purees or tasty roasted nut pastes. It’s definitely worth investing time in discovering new trends and trying to come up with a new, unique flavour each year!”

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