Oh, Choco Taco, why did you have to go? Klondike may have discontinued the ice cream novelty but they can’t discontinue my childhood. I will never again have the pleasure of tearing open the thin, metallic, plastic wrapper that cradled the ice cream truck favorite, and that breaks my polar-bear-loving heart. But the flavors of sugary waffle, ice cream, and chocolate covered peanut coating don’t have to be gone forever. You can make Choco Tacos at home.
If you’re familiar with the Choco Taco then you already share in mourning their extinction with me. A sugar cone folded to mimic a taco shell’s shape, stuffed with vanilla fudge-stripe ice cream under a chocolatey-peanut cap. The exposed cone at the bottom provided just the right amount of dry space for you to hold it and keep your fingers from getting sticky (that was the intention anyway). Sure, it came out of the packaging a little smashed sometimes, but that was all part of the appeal.
Since ice cream trucks and grocery stores will no longer be Choco Taco dealers, we have no other choice: We have to make them ourselves. Fortunately, we have a few options that not only serve the purpose of satiating dessert-taco cravings, but are undeniable improvements from the occasionally squished, low-fat ice cream filled Klondikes. The waffle cone is the most unusual part, since they don’t sell that shape (yet), but once you decide on your method, filling and topping it is relatively straightforward. Toppings can be nuts or sprinkles. Fillings can be any frozen dessert you want–vegan ice cream, low-calorie sorbet, how about gelato? Making your own at home opens the taco-shaped door to all eaters.
Make your own shell
For the devoted, dessert-project lovers out there, you should make your own shell from scratch. There are multiple recipes for great cones (like this gluten free recipe) that allow you to be in charge of the flavor, the ingredients, and the size of the shell. For the signature cone look and thinness, you’ll need a waffle cone press, but this recipe describes how to modify the batter to make it in a pan. Once you cook the batter into a standard circular shape, carefully bend the cone over a wooden spoon, the spine of a book, or a rolled up piece of paper towel until it cools.
Change the shape of a pre-made bowl cone
If you’re looking for a larger Choco Taco, or maybe you don’t want to start from scratch, half the work is done for you with this method. buy waffle cone bowls from the grocery store, and use one of these two microwave techniques. One involves brushing maple syrup on the waffle bowl, and the other gets wrapped in a damp paper toweland both getting nuked for about 15 seconds. Afterward, the cone is softened by the warm syrup or the humidity from the paper towel, and you can carefully adjust the shape. Once the newly formed “taco” shell cools, you can fill it with any flavor of softened ice cream and topping.
How to make a stroopwafel Choco Taco
The stroopwafel is about half as large as the original Choco Taco but it is technically two waffle halves pressed together with soft caramel in the middle, so I’m not complaining. Using the same damp-paper-towel-microwave technique that the bowl cone uses, you can gently morph the wafel into a taco’s shape. Let it solidify in the fridge so the caramel can set a bit stronger. I filled my stroopwafel Choco Taco with coffee ice cream (because no one’s the boss of me), and topped it with chocolate ganache mixed with chopped peanuts.
Once filled with ice cream, pop it in the freezer for a few minutes to get the ganache ready. The ganache should be just lukewarm and loose but absolutely not hot, or the ice cream will melt. You could use straight chocolate, but understand that you’ll need a higher temperature for the chocolate to be melted than for ganache to be in the same semi-liquid state. Take the ice-cream-filled taco out of the freezer and quickly dollop the ganache onto the ice cream sides of the taco. The temptation is to dip it, but resist! If you turn the cue upside down, the chocolate topping will continually just fall back into the bowl as it slightly melts the ice cream it touches. Just spoon it on top, and allow gravity to help. It should set within seconds.
Eat this Choco Taco stroopwafel immediately. If you leave it in the fridge for hours, the caramel in the stroopwafel gets crunchy and solid. Your other option is to warm the stroopwafel and slowly slide the sides apart to have two, thinner, wafels to make tacos out of. I found this way to be a little easier on the teeth. Either way, I recommend eating it right after the topping sets, while the caramel is sturdy but still chewy. The filling, topping, and shell will all be at a prime temperature—and besides, who wants to wait any longer to cram one of these in their mouth?
Stroopwafel Choco Taco
- 1 stroopwafel
- ice cream of choice
- 2 ounces of chopped chocolate
- 2 ounces of heavy cream
- Handful of peanuts (chopped)
Prepare the stroopwafel by folding it inside a slightly damp paper towel. Microwave the parcel for 15-20 seconds. Lift the flap of the paper towel and put a rolled up piece of foil in the middle of the wafel as a mold. Carefully use the paper towel to lift and slowly bend the stroopwafel over the foil rod to avoid cracking. If you decide to separate the wafels, do this on the paper towel first, while the caramel is hot, and then mold them over foil, caramel side in. You can always put it in the microwave again for a few seconds if the caramel starts to stiffen. Put the wafel with foil into the fridge to set.
Pour the chopped chocolate into a small bowl. Microwave the cream for 20-30 seconds. It should be very hot but not boiling over. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let it sit for two minutes. Whisk the mixture until it’s gloriously shiny and fully combined. Stir in the chopped peanuts.
Take the “taco” shell and quickly fill it with your desired ice cream. If the ice cream is too soft after filling, put the taco into the freezer for a few minutes to slow the process. Using a spoon or the whisk, dollop the chocolate peanut ganache onto the ice cream opening of the Choco Taco. Keep the coating just thick enough to cover the top. If you continue to dollop, the chocolate will take longer to set. It’s ready to eat once the ganache is just set.
If you prefer to store them in the freezer for a few hours or days, let the stroopwafel Choco Taco thaw slightly in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before eating.