A winning trio of smooth gelato, crisp chocolate wafer and a sprinkling of soft sponge
It was way back in 2014 that French baker Dominique Ansel revealed his answer to the 21st century tyranny of choice: the cronut. Created for those torn between croissant and doughnut, no sooner had this lovechild of dough and pastry hit the internet then it was spawning a series of copycats, from bronuts and brookies, to waffogatos and doissants.
Of course, to tar Gelateria 3Bis’ red velvet chocoshot with the same pastry brush would be criminal. Its appearance alone is a thing of wonder: a fresh, tessellated wafer with a chocolate lip studded with hundreds and thousands, filled with a tottering, billowing pile of panna cotta gelato and, above it all, a vivid dusting of red velvet cake crumb. Yet by default more than design, this crunchy creamy creation also serves to resolve the dilemma of cupcake versus chocolate versus ice cream.
First off, the chocolate. Raise a hand if you have ever finished your ice cream, looked at the bare crust of cone in your hand and wished it was just a bit more exciting. Throwing it away seems criminal, in a world beleaguered by food waste, but equally a plain wafer’s resemblance to cardboard is hard to ignore.
Smooth, sweet silkiness
Enter 3Bis’ chocolate coating: milk, white or dark according to preference, its addition to the inside of the cone adds a smooth, sweet silkiness to the biscuit, while also effectively waterproofing it—transforming what could wind up rather a soggy bottom into a solid biscuit base coated with a Yorkie-esque chocolate plug.
All that, and we’ve not even started on the ice cream—or, to be precise, the gelato. Far from being an Italian translation, gelato is a different beast altogether. It’s made on site each day with milk, cream and sugar (no egg yolk here)—and with half the fat and at least 50 per cent less air, it is noticeably denser and smoother. We opted for panna cotta. Lightly aromatic, creamy and decadent, it is the best complement to the crown of red velvet crumbs, advises 3Bis store manager Eleanora. After all, this cake is perhaps best known for its spiraling peaks of rich icing, making frozen panna cotta the perfect equivalent.
The smorgasboard that is Borough Market can induce anxiety in even the most decisive individual; 3Bis’ chocoshot is “the best of all worlds”, says Eleonora, rolled sumptuously into one.