Some of the best desserts are the simplest ones, and Dame Blanche is a sure-fire winner every time. You might recognize it as a variant of the classic ice cream sundae, but this method is an authentic Belgian hand-me-down. Vanilla ice cream drizzled with warm molten chocolate and whipped cream – what’s not to love?
About the dish
Dame Blanche translates from French as “white lady” and it’s an expression that stems from folklore. The “white ladies” (“Witte Wieven” in Dutch mythology, and “Weisse Frauen” in German) were wise women with healing powers and other supernatural gifts.
It’s not really known how the Dame Blanche dessert fits into this folk tale. Perhaps the recipe got its name from the look of the dish itself, white ice cream covered in a chocolate bonnet. One thing’s for sure though – this dessert recipe definitely has magical healing properties!
It’s one of those desserts that are everywhere in Belgium, and you’ll find Dame Blanche on nearly every Belgian restaurant menu. What will differ, however, is how the dish is tackled from place to place. Everyone has a different opinion on the best Belgian chocolate sauce recipe, what to sprinkle on top, and how to serve it up.
The heart of Dame Blanche is the chocolate sauce. Sometimes recipes include cream, sometimes water, sometimes even condensed milk. This recipe is an easy syrup made from sugar, water, chocolate, and a bit of butter – all melted together and drizzled yummily while hot over the ice cream.
If the chocolate sauce is the heart of the dish, then the whipped cream is surely the soul. The fresh cream on top acts as a foil for the hot chocolate on the cold ice cream. This recipe has an easy but clever twist – a dash of vanilla sugar mixed in with the cream. This provides an aromatic lift to the recipe.
Presentation is everything with Dame Blanche. Slop it carelessly into a bowl and it can all too easily look like a dog’s dinner. Take your time – scoop a healthy serving of ice cream into the bottom of the bowl (or glass), pour over the warm chocolate, and finish with your vanilla cream.
Some recipes recommend serving the dessert with a maraschino cherry or even a sprinkling of flaked almonds on top, but you can go crazy here and add whatever garnish you want.
There are a few easy variations of the dessert with slightly different ingredients – you can make a “Dark Lady” (use a serving of chocolate ice cream instead) or a “Green Lady” (with pistachio ice cream).
Dame Blanche Recipe by Mom
For 4 people
- Vanilla ice cream
- Chocolate (70% cocoa or more, depending on your preference)
- 100ml water
- 100g fine sugar
- 1 cube of cold butter
- 200ml whipped cream
- 3 tbsp vanilla sugar
1. Heat the water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Break the chocolate into pieces and melt it in the sugar water over low heat. Stir well to obtain a smooth paste.
2. Turn off the heat and mix in a knob of butter.
3. Mix the vanilla sugar into the whipped cream and beat. You don’t want to beat it too hard.
4. Put a few scoops of ice cream in a bowl and serve with the hot chocolate sauce and the whipped cream.
You’re done! Now eat your Dame Blanche ice cream quickly before anyone else can steal it off you. Some final words of reassurance – there is absolutely no shame in making this for yourself as an afternoon treat. No shame at all.
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