Monday, May 7, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

I hope you had a happy Cinco de Mayo! We celebrated Quatro de Mayo, Cinco de Mayo, and Seis de Mayo here at the 4 Pears house.  We made lots of yummy Mexican-inspired favorite foods like fish tacos and mango margaritas and even tried our hand at a few new things like Chiles Rellenos (which were delicious, by the way, but my technique needs some work because they weren't the prettiest fried peppers I've ever seen).  For dessert we had homemade ice cream.  I actually have no idea if ice cream is big in Mexico (my favorite part of Cinco de Mayo is usually the margaritas) but we are on a homemade ice cream kick over here right now and it is sooo delicious.

We made homemade ice cream out of Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc cookbook a couple of weeks ago and it was so good that I believe we'll be eating very few other desserts this summer.  I'm actually eating some right now while I'm typing this out.....

The ice cream base or "batter" is very much like a custard so you do have to manage to cook some eggs in hot liquid without scrambling them and it is a time-consuming process.  If you start tonight, you can have some ice cream tomorrow.  But, believe me, this is worth the trouble.....and the wait.

We've done  both the chocolate and the coffee (well and also the vanilla but I had a bit of an accident with my machine once and overcooked the batter another time so vanilla is not my friend) and they were both awesome.  So awesome that we even Craigslisted our old ice cream machine and bought the stand-mixer attachment which is super easy to use and doesn't take up an entire cabinet.

So, if you have an ice cream machine, I really hope you try this out.  You are going to love it!  If you don't have a machine, go buy one!  Just kidding.....well sort of.  ;)

chocolate ice cream, adapted from Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc
7 ounces 55% chocolate bar chopped into 1/2 in pieces
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
10 large egg yolks
pinch of kosher salt

Put the milk and cream in a medium-sized heavy saucepan over medium high heat.

Meanwhile bring a small pot with about 2 inches of water to boil and place a glass bowl containing the chocolate over top and stir until the chocolate is melted.  

Add the melted chocolate to the warmed milk and stir.  Heat just until it starts to simmer.

While the milk is heating whisk the egg yolks and sugar together in a large bowl until slightly thickened.

When the milk is just about to simmer add a 1/2 cup to the eggs, whisking the whole time.  Add about 2 cups of liquid, half a cup at a time, to the eggs to temper them and then pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the warmed milk whisking the entire time.  Switch to a slotted spoon and while the pan is on medium heat stir constantly until the custard is thick enough to coat the spoon.  Take it off the heat right away (especially when you see the steam begin to rise!) or the eggs will over cook and all will be lost.  Egg lumps.  Eww.  It won't take long so don't stop stirring or take your eyes off of it!

Pour the finished custard into a bowl and stir in the pinch of salt.  Let it cool, then cover it with a lid or some plastic wrap and put into the refrigerator to chill overnight.  Put the base into your ice cream machine the next day and voila!

It makes "a generous one quart".  It goes fast, but I store it in a plastic storage container.

 Amazing stuff.

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