Tuesday, March 22, 2011

March 12, 2011: Choc-ice Magic

I bet a few of you instantly recognise the chocolatey shard shapes pictured above, yes?  You might even be thinking, "It's Cottee's Ice Magic to be quite precise, and in just a few seconds it turns into crackly choc ice!"  (Or, if you grew up in the US, perhaps you know it as Magic Shell.)  This was my favourite treat when visiting my grandparents as a kid and in the past couple of years I've bought a couple of bottles and re-experienced the magic in full.  (That's some industrial-strength nostalgia right there!)

I assumed they were pulling out the industrial-strength chemicals to create the liquid-to-solid transformation, but it turns out you can make it at home.  With 2 ingredients.  They're not even very scary ingredients.  What's more, it's both vegan and gluten-free if you choose those ingredients well.  K and I got talking about it on twitter and she already tried it out in January.  What I can tell you now, as the temperature skips and dips more often, is that it behaves (as well as tastes) very much like the real deal:
  • you can store it at room temperature just fine, just giving it a little shake or whisk before serving,
  • it's perfectly crunchy yet silky about half a minute after you pour it on icecream,
  • at cooler room temperatures it tends to thicken, but sitting it in a hot water bath for a couple of minutes before the shaking/ whisking is all it takes for full revival.
This could have me eating icecream all winter long.  I suppose it could be dressed up with a little instant coffee, peppermint essence or even rosewater, but right now I'm still hooked on the original.

(For the record, I first tried this out as dessert for our third Simpsons Night after a dinner of Indya Bistro takeaway [thanks Mike].  That tag-line we used to run about being reformed Simpsons addicts is probably best forgotten.)

Choc-ice Magic
(based on a recipe from The Accidental Vegetarian,
found via In The Mood For Noodles)

1/3 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup chocolate (dark chips are best)

In a small saucepan over gentle heat, melt the coconut oil.  Add the chocolate and stir regularly, until the chocolate is melted and you have a smooth sauce.

Spoon the sauce over icecream and store leftovers in a jar at room temperature.


  1. Love your work ! Many thanks for this from a grateful vegan :)

  2. oh la la now I can make this myself! So cool! :)

  3. This was the only thing that made chocolate exciting in my childhood - and your picture brings back the memories - I think it would be perfect for a simpsons night

  4. I haven't had ice magic since I was in primary school - I'd actually forgotten about it till I read this post! Does the coconut oil affect the flavour of the chocolate in any way?

  5. The mint ice magic was the greatest.

    Oh god I want some right now!

  6. I've been making this for awhile now, isn't it great? Funnily enough, I never ever ate Ice Magic as a kid, but I firmly believe this is better ;)

  7. I've only had magic shell once. But a homemade version- yum! I need some in my life.

  8. Looks delicious! And so easy too, yum. I was just thinking about having some (pre-purchased)Ice Magic and creamy vanilla ice-cream... I was resisting quite nicely but this may have pushed me over the edge... it looks way too good :)

  9. I suspect you may have changed my life here.

  10. Yay, I knew there must be some fellow Ice Magic lovers out there. :-D

    Ellie, the coconut oil does add a faint coconutty flavour (which I'm quite content with), though this is probably highly dependent on intensity of the chocolate you choose. I hear you can also use other vegetable oils (such as sunflower) which may be more neutral tasting, though I haven't yet tried this myself.