Monday, March 3, 2014

Chocolate Ice Cream

Welcome to March! Even though we had some snow flurries this morning, I'm still in a great mood because we're just a few weeks away from the start of spring and warmer weather and sunshine and all of that great, amazing, lovely stuff. I might be too excited but this winter has been tough! We were so spoiled last year because we had maybe two snow storms that required shoveling but this year I've had to shovel almost every week! I'm sure my health has benefited from that bit of exercise (basically, shoveling is the only exercise I get in winter) but that's neither here nor there because shoveling sucks.

I'm sharing a chocolate ice cream recipe today which reflects my good mood, which I owe to the fact that we're heading towards the light. The sun's been staying out a little longer each day and that makes me happy. This is the fifth ice cream recipe I'm sharing on my blog. I'm so glad I bit the bullet and invested in that ice cream maker. I'm not a huge ice cream fan (I'm like Ross and I think it's too cold and it hurts my teeth) but the homemade stuff is just so fun to make and so much fun to eat that I'm liking it more and more.
Ingredients:
3 cups light cream
½ cup chocolate hazelnut spread or chocolate spread or 1/3 cup chopped chocolate
¼ cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon espresso
¼ cup + ½ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
3 egg yolks
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Split the vanilla bean in half and use the back of the knife to scrape out the vanilla caviar. Pour the cream into a saucepan and add in the vanilla bean - caviar and the scraped pod - and 1/4 cup of sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, espresso, and the (preferably homemade) chocolate hazelnut spread (or chopped chocolate).
Heat the saucepan over low until scalding, whisking to combine the ingredients. Make sure the chocolate is melted and the cocoa is dissolved. The mixture will be relatively thick.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, salt, and 1/2 cup of sugar. Whisk until the mixture is pale.
Temper the egg yolks with a little of the hot chocolate cream and whisk quickly to prevent the yolks from scrambling. Add in the remaining chocolate cream and continue whisking. Return the chocolate custard to the saucepan.
Bring the custard to a boil, whisking continuously to make sure it doesn't burn. The mixture will already be quite thick to begin with so the "thick enough to coat the back of a spoon" method will be moot. Bringing the custard completely to a boil will be the only sign that it's good to go. Boiling means that the full thickening power of the yolks will be harnessed and a fully thick custard means a crazy rich ice cream.
Strain the custard to get rid of any lumps or scrambled yolk and the bean pod, etc. Use a rubber spatula to help you out, as the custard should be quite thick.
Make sure to scrape out all of the custard from the saucepan! Waste not, want not.
Cool the custard and then chill it in the fridge for at least 2 hours until it's nice and cold. When you're ready to make the ice cream, grab your custard and whisk in the vanilla extract. The custard should be quite thick - like a chocolate pudding - which is what makes this ice cream so smooth and rich. You could probably eat it as is, if you were really keen on having some pudding.
Pour the custard into the ice cream maker and make it according to your manufacturer's instructions. I let mine churn for a good 25 minutes until it was aerated quite a bit.
Scoop the ice cream into an airtight container and then stick it in the freezer to harden up for at least 2 hours. Then, you can dig in.
Yum! This ice cream is thick and velvety and rich and chocolatey and sweet but not too sweet and just perfect. I know it's not even warm outside, but no one said you had to eat this outside.
Here's the recipe page:

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