Woo! Hit Explore #444 for February 9!
I've never been a big fan of chocolate ice cream - mostly because most commercial chocolate ice creams (even Haagen Dazs) taste far too milky, far too sweet to me - kind of like a chocolate bar. I'm a hardcore dark chocolate girl.
But ever since I got the ice cream maker attachment for my KitchenAid, I've been perfecting my chocolate ice cream recipe. It is now, without a word of a doubt, the most decadent and delicious chocolate ice cream I've ever tasted.
My recipe's a modification of one from Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop - his tasted far too milky and sweet for my taste as well, so I messed around with it until I was happy with it.
Don't blame me if your waistlines expand after trying it; however, make it for your girlfriend one particular week a month and she'll be your luv slave the rest of the month. Seriously. Mostly. ;)
The Best Dark Chocolate Ice Cream Ever *
2 cup heavy cream
4 heaping tbsp good cocoa (I use Valhrona)
6 1/2 ounces good dark chocolate 62% or more (I use Callebaut chips, but you could use chopped chocolate too)
1 cup milk
5 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
In a medium pot heat 1 cup of heavy cream with cocoa; whisk well to ensure the cocoa gets integrated properly. When cream is bubbling at the edges, remove from heat and add dark chocolate. Wait 30 seconds then give it a good stir until it's all incorporated.
Add remaining cup of cream to pot, stir to combine, then pour the contents into a medium sized non-metal bowl, scraping out the pot as well as you can, and place a strainer over the bowl.
Place the pot back on the stove, and add the cup of milk, 1/2 cup of sugar and your salt. I prefer more salt (1/2 tsp.) because I think it makes the chocolate taste amazing, but if it's your first go and you are not yet a devotee of salt-to-chocolate ratios, try the 1/4 tsp and then tweak your second batch to taste.
Heat the milk and sugar gently on the stove while you get your egg yolks ready. Whisk the egg yolks together and then grab the pot from the stove. SLOWLY drizzle warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking the entire time (this is called tempering) until everything's all combined. Then dump the liquid back into the pot. Stir constantly (so you don't cook the eggs) with a wooden or other heat-safe spoon or spatula over medium heat until the eggs thicken a bit, into a custard. You'll know it's done when you can hold up the spoon and run your finger through the egg-milk mixture and the line you drew with your finger stays there. (Like this.)
Pour custard through the strainer into the bowl. Add vanilla extract and stir to combine the chocolatey goodness. Place a piece of plastic wrap over the bowl, literally touching the entire surface of the ice cream base. (This means you won't get any nasty "skin" on top of the liquid.)
Refrigerate for at least 6 hours then prepare according to your ice cream maker's instructions.
Once you've got it into your final container, freeze again for at least 6 hours - trust me this stuff tastes WAY better cold, cold, cold. Remove from the freezer 10-15 minutes before eating so it has time to soften a bit before serving.
Makes many small servings - like fine truffles, this ice cream works best in small doses. Rich, chocolatey, creamy yummy decadence and if you'll excuse me, I must go get myself another bowl. :)
* chocolate quality matters here. Get the best dark chocolate you can get your hands on and make sure it's something you actually like to eat on its own.
Note: if you're frustrated by hard ice cream, stir in 1/4 cup or so of chocolate liqueur before freezing. It keeps it softer.