In the area of Carrollton near Old Denton Road and George Bush Turnpike that’s densely populated with Korean restaurants, over-the-top treats are par for the course. Home to mountains of thinly-shaved ice and bubble jipanji, this neighborhood is also home to Cocohodo, one of Dallas’ only shops serving freshly made taiyaki ice cream cones.
Popular at the street stalls of Japan, taiyaki is traditionally a sweet, fish-shaped cake that is stuffed with fillings like red bean paste, chocolate, and custard. It’s unclear how exactly the fish shaped dessert originated, but in recent years, the old-school treat have seen a revitalization of sorts. Now, shops across the country are making a modern version of taiyaki that’s filled with sweet custard, ice cream, and toppings like Nutella instead of the traditional flavors.
Cocohodo’s signature dessert is a small, walnut-shaped pastry that is popular in Korea, but its riff on taiyaki is decidedly more enticing. Feast your eyes on the making of this totally fun, absolutely messy dessert courtesy of Eater photographer Kathy Tran.
A sweet paste, that resembles pancake batter in both texture and flavor, is poured into a special, fish-shaped taiyaki waffle mold.
The iron is closed and flipped like a traditional waffle iron, which allows the batter to fully fill the hollow fish shape and create room for ice cream.
Once the waffles are removed from the iron, excess batter is snipped away with scissors to produce a clean finished product.
A large scoop of Nutella, red bean paste, or pastry cream is added to the inside cavity of the taiyaki cone, making a watertight barrier that serves two purposes. It provides insulation for the ice cream against the warm cone, which slows the melting process, along with providing a watertight barrier that prevents the waffle from getting soggy.
Soft-serve ice cream (in chocolate, matcha, or vanilla) is swirled into the taiyaki cone, ensuring that the “mouth” of the fish-shaped waffle is filled all the way around with ice cream.
A stick or two of Pocky, strawberry skewers, and other toppings gild the lily. Sweet garnishes like cookie crumbs, chocolate sprinkles, and sweetened condensed milk can also be added.
The resulting dessert marries warm pastry and chilly ice cream, a perfect combination for these slightly-less-hot fall days.