This recipe came about because I had way too many persimmons and I basically was desperate to get rid of them. So I figured, why not make an ice cream with them? Persimmons are sweet, almost creamy, and very jammy when ripe, which are nice characteristics to incorporate into an ice cream base. The skin on persimmon, while edible, tends to have this acrid, dry after-taste(so I recommend either peeling the skin off, or after blending up your ice cream base, passing it through a sieve to remove any traces of the skin to keep that semi-unpleasant sensation away from this recipe). A lot of people would assume I would have gone the sorbet route with this, but I was specifically craving a more gelato-like consistency, so I opted for an actual ice cream with a creme anglaise(thin custard sauce) base instead. And then that’s when it dawned on me to make a little ice cream sundae that looks like a Torchic.
For those who have never played Pokemon before, Torchic is a cute little chick-like Pokemon that breathes fire. It is an orange color with yellow-orange highlights, although a shiny(super rare and alternately colored) Torchic is yellow-orange with orange highlights, which is ironically how this recipe came out. Based on past experiences with persimmon, I assumed that raw shaved persimmon would come out a lighter color than the ice cream I was making, especially since I used Thai tea powder in my ice cream to give it an even more deep orange color. Except in this case, my raw shaved persimmon was too ripe, so it wound up a darker color than I initially expected, and ultimately darker than the color of the ice cream itself. Hence why I needed to reiterate that my Torchic in the sundae is shiny.
For the ice cream, I used a lot of ripe persimmons and some Thai tea powder to create this vivid orange ice cream with a fragrant spice to it. The warming spices in Thai tea pair beautifully with persimmon, which is on the milder side and takes well to being seasoned with notes of anise, cardamom, and cinnamon, all things included in the Thai tea powder. I paired the ice cream with my favorite togarashi-walnut crumble, which adds a small spice(as an homage to Torchic being a Fire-type), and a ton of fun textures to contrast the ice cream with. To decorate the sundae, we have edible paint to draw on the eyes, and shaved persimmon to resemble the wings, beaks, and plumage on Torchic itself! Overall, I was pretty happy with the end result, shiny coloration aside, since it was a cute, yet effective way to use up all of my persimmon before they went bad!
For the Thai tea-persimmon ice cream:
4oz heavy cream
3 egg yolks
1/4 cup granulated sugar
10oz ripe persimmon, peeled and diced
1.25oz(about 1 small sachet) Thai tea powder, sugar and milk powder included
a pinch of salt
In a pot, heat up the heavy cream. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with sugar. Mix the heavy cream into the egg yolks, and then transfer the mixture into the pot again. Whisk over medium-low heat for 2 minutes, then pass through a sieve to remove any lumps. Transfer the mixture to a blender with everything else and puree. Pass through a sieve again. Churn in the ice cream machine for at least 20 minutes, then freeze for at least 2 hours. Spread a small portion of the ice cream on a silpat and flatten before freezing as well(this flattened portion will be for the top of your Torchic).
For the crumble:
4 tbsp white chocolate
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
a pinch of salt
1/4 tsp togarashi powder
Roast the white chocolate in a 350 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Mix into that the other ingredients to form your crumble. Allow it to cool down before using.
For the edible paint:
1/4 tsp activated charcoal powder
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 relatively unripe persimmon
Shave the persimmon on a mandolin(I did the 2nd thinnest setting). Cut out daisy shapes, and from there, cut out pieces to resemble the top crest of the Torchic, as well as the wings and beak. Using a smaller daisy-shaped cutter, cut out the frozen sheet of ice cream to form the smaller plumage that goes on the top crest as well. To assemble your Torchics, start with some crumble first, then a scoop of ice cream. I used a purple-handled ice cream scoop, as that is a relatively small portion of ice cream that keeps the size of the Torchic proportionate to the persimmon slices. Place down the little wings, then another scoop of ice cream on top of that. Finish with the eyes, the crests, the and the beak.