Food Culture / Recipes

Parsnip Gelato with Caramel

Not to name-drop, but David Letterman was once served this and exclaimed, “Parsnip ice cream? Now you’re just showing off!”. Little did he know that a fellow Midwesterner, Jake Nemmers, one of our chefs de cuisine, had come up with the dessert. We could actually pass it off as a lighter, fresher vanilla-caramel swirl.


For the ganache

  • 300g of 32% milk chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 3 gelatin sheets
  • 420ml heavy cream
  • 180ml milk
  • 2 teaspoons glucose
  • 350g Parsnip Gelato
  • 50g Caramelized Sesame Seeds
  • Gray salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F).
  2. Spread the chocolate on a parchment-lined baking sheet and slide into the oven. Cook, stirring every 5 minutes, for 20 minutes or so, until the chocolate is a deep brown, the color of coffee beans. It will dry out a bit as it cooks; that’s okay.
  3. Transfer to a large, heatproof bowl.
  4. Meanwhile, bloom (soften) the gelatin sheets in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes, then squeeze out the water and set aside.
  5. Bring the cream and milk to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  6. Pour the hot milk and cream over the chocolate and add the gelatin and glucose. Let sit for 2 minutes, then blend with an immersion blender until smooth Cover and chill in the fridge overnight.
  7. Just before serving, pull the gelato from the freezer and allow it to soften for 10 minutes or so.
  8. Put the sesame seeds in a small shallow bowl.
  9. To serve, roll a generous spoonful of the ganache in the sesame seeds and place it in the bottom of a small bowl. Repeat to make a total of 6 servings. (You will have leftover ganache, which will keep for a week.)
  10. Top each ganache ball with a scoop of gelato and garnish each portion with a sprinkle of gray salt and a few cracks of black pepper. 
About Author

Born in Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, chef Ignacio Mattos discovered his proclivity towards cooking and baking at a very young age.