Heat Up Your Ice Cream With A Dusting Of Chile Powder And Cinnamon

Favorite ice cream toppings can range from simple classics (like chocolate fudge) to newer, less-expected options (like wasabi peas or pickles). While our go-tos aren't quite as out there as pickles, we still have a few you may not have tried yet. Trust us: Chile powder and cinnamon are sophisticated ice cream seasonings that are guaranteed to amp up your next dessert.

Sweet and spicy flavor combinations are found all over the world. The secret lies in the science of how you taste. Your tongue detects the sensation of spiciness thanks to the compound capsaicin, which is found in varying levels in almost all peppers — and to a far lesser degree, in cinnamon. Several types of culinary ingredients counteract the heat-inducing effects of capsaicin, one of which is sugar. In short, spicy flavors add an exciting kick to sweet ones, while sweet flavors bring down the intensity of spicy ones, creating perfect harmony on your palate.

The best chile powder and ice cream combinations

When it comes to pairing chile powder with ice cream, you can look to other sweet and spicy desserts for inspiration. Champurrado, or Mexican hot chocolate, for example, is the liquid analog of our spice blend of choice. To achieve a similar flavor profile, combine cinnamon and chipotle chile powder, and sprinkle it over (or fold it into) rich chocolate ice cream. A dollop of fresh whipped cream on top can take it to an even more luxurious level.

Another option is to add green chile powder to mint chocolate chip ice cream, as the herbaceous notes of the mint complement the vegetal quality of the green chile. Or sprinkle some chile de arból over strawberry ice cream or mango sorbet for a refreshing dessert reminiscent of fresh fruit and Tajín. With more than 150 varieties of chiles out there, the best thing you can do is get experimenting and find your favorite pairing.