Alright we’re tackling one of my favorite childhood ice cream treats, I realized awhile back that it’s actually not that well known. If you’ve never heard of a Choco Taco check out the article I published on the glorious history of the Choco Taco, its an ice cream cone in the form of a taco. While the famous (not as famous as I thought) ice cream taco is far from an authentic Mexican dessert, I thought this would be something fun to tackle in quarantine. I also want to point out that my girlfriend, Liv is the pastry/baker/dessert chef in our kitchen, so she took full reign here. One of the big reasons for creating a DIY Choco Taco recipe has to do with its rarity; it’s not easy to find. While the Choco Taco is delicious it does have one draw back, which we have managed to fix, the shell never stays crispy. This recipe makes for a great party dessert, and is quite the conversation piece. I honestly can’t think of anything better than margaritas, one of our taco recipes and a homemade Choco Taco for some of the best cinco de mayo desserts around. The Choco Taco was/is a beloved ice cream product from my childhood so expect it to be a hit among kids as well this summer. A big plus to this recipe is that we are going to make the waffle cone recipe without the iron and we will be using tools you already have at home. Anyway lets get ready to make the king of dessert tacos.
- Skillet – we used an electric griddle
- We’ll make a template for a ring for making the shells uniform in diameter
- Pastry brush
- Small pot
- Heatproof bowl
- Parchment paper
- Creativity! When it comes time to form the waffle shells – we hung ours over the handle of a Swiffer, they cooled down to the perfect taco shells (we’re providing pictures)
- Speed – your’e working with ice cream, it melts.
- Room in your freezer and a good dish to place all the tacos in.
Choco Taco Ingredients
- Waffle Cone Batter – makes 12 shells
- 2 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup sugar + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
- pinch of salt
- 100 grams of all-purpose flour – sifted
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- Caramel Sauce – you’ll have left over sauce
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 1/2 stick butter
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- pinch of salt
- Vanilla Ice Cream
- Roasted and unsalted peanuts – shelled
- 1 – 3 oz 57% cacao bar of dark chocolate (Do not use common brand names, we want real chocolate)
- 1 – 3 oz 38% cacao bar of milk chocolate (Do not use common brand names, we want real chocolate)
Waffle Cone Batter – taco shells
- Let’s start with the basics to make your chocolate taco, you’ll need a good batter, this is key. We tried several different variations and we probably tried 4 “eh” quality cones before getting the cooking process and the actual batter just right. The consistency should be slightly more viscous than pancakes but not too thin like a crepe.
- Assemble all the waffle cone batter ingredients together and mix well together.
- If you are working with an electric griddle set the heat to 300-350 degrees.
- You’re going to need something with a circumference of 5-6 inches to use as a template for making the tortilla (waffle). We used the lid of a quaker oatmeal canister. We made a faux cookie cutter circular shape by folding over aluminum foil, taping the seam together and the top of the rim. To keep it’s shape a bit better. (pictured above in the directions)
- Using the mold and a preheated griddle, scoop roughly two tablespoons of the batter into your mold. Make sure to spread evenly and cook through, spread unevenly and not cooked long enough results in a gummy non-crispy waffle. A cooked waffle should have a good amount of browning to it, remember to cook both sides.
- You’ll need to set up some sort of station that allows your waffle shells to cool once off of the griddle. Best thing to use is a broom or in our case we used a Swiffer that we wrapped in parchment paper and placed between two chairs.(pictured above) This technique worked great and left plenty of open room in the taco to put the ice cream in later. Quickly move over the hot waffle to your cooling track contraption. Keep an eye how they cool, make sure they don’t fold too much in the middle opening. I also smoothed out the bottom so that it could stand up on it’s own.
- This will be one of the easiest caramel sauces ever! Full of flavor and so easy to put together. Mix all ingredients in a medium sauce pot on medium-low heat. Let it bubble gently for a few minutes. Cook while stirring for 5-10 minutes until it thickens. Remove from heat, pour into a glass container and store in the fridge.
Ice Cream Prep
- Let your ice cream sit out for a few minutes until it’s easy to scoop and spread.
- Use a large baking sheet and place some parchment paper down onto the sheet.
- Now that your ice cream is soft, start scooping out ice cream on the baking sheet. You’ ll want it to be roughly 1/2-3/4 inch in height. Set it in the freezer to harden (maybe 15 minutes).
- Once the ice cream has hardened a bit, you’ll drizzle the caramel sauce we made earlier. Drizzle how ever much you desire.
- Set it back in the freezer for another 10 minutes.
- Alright, here comes the fun part. Remove the ice cream from the freezer (again). We’re going to fold the ice cream over so that your caramel swirl is now inside. I found it easier to draw a line down the middle and pull back the parchment paper, then I carefully folded it over vertically.
- Guess what comes next? We yet again place the ice cream in the freezer! Good-bye to you for now.
Peanut and Chocolate Prep
- Just like Vince from Slap Chop said “You’ll want to give your nuts a good chop.” To get rid of smaller peanut particles/dust, you’ll want to sift through the peanuts until you’re left with smaller solid pieces. I did this process twice. This took a bit longer than I thought but, time well spent. What else do we have to do during quarantine than sifting through peanuts? I am not going to lie but, this section made me laugh a little.
- Now we melt some delicious dark chocolate. I chose melting the chocolate on the stove top. The double boiler is the preferred method just because you have better control of the heat and the chocolate. Get a medium sized pot and fill it about half way with water. Let it simmer. Now we grab a heatproof bowl that’s big enough to sit on the pot. Add in the dark chocolate and mix until it’s silky smooth.
Choc Taco Assembly
- Lets grab those taco waffle shells that we made earlier. Our next step is to coat these puppies with the dark chocolate that we just melted. I am going to be real with you, I finally caved and purchased a pastry brush for this. I high recommend using a pastry brush because it’s a little bit tricky maneuvering inside of the taco shell.
- Brush a light layer of the dark chocolate inside of the shells. The coating will ensure the shell stays crispy unlike the original Choco Tacos. Once coated, set them in the freezer to quickly set (less than 5 minutes).
- So this is where the real fun begins. I had Paul come in for this step, since we are working with ice cream, we have to be quick with this next step. I felt like I was on one those food network shows running against the clock. If you are making these on your own, time to put an extra pep into your step.
- Grab your sheet of ice cream, we are going to cut them into slabs to fit into each shell, a pizza cutter might actually come in handy here, but a knife works just as well. Regardless of what you use, things will get messy as you race the clock
- Slide each slab into its shell, use a large spoon to remove the extra ice cream on the corners.
- At this point I handed Paul the filled shell and he quickly put them in the freezer while handing me the next cone. The more you do, the faster the ice cream started melting on us. The last Choco Tacos will be messy, so work quickly. Your hands will be pretty frozen, treat them with a long hot water rinse.
- Take a break from the Choco Taco exhaustion. Put a movie on and let them set in the freezer. Or if you want to get these done and over with, set in the freezer for one hour.
- Alright guys we are almost at the finish line! We are going to now melt the milk chocolate for the top coating. It’s the same set up as the dark chocolate. I also threw in two dark chocolate pieces in with the milk chocolate. It’s time for the assembly line again. Set up your nuts and melted milk chocolate.
- We dunked as well as brushed the chocolate onto the top of each taco then sprinkled the peanuts on top of the taco after running each taco to the freezer give it may 15 minutes and you should finally be ready to eat one!