I used to tell my little brother off for his tendency to go overly dramatic whenever he eats something he really likes. He closes his eyes and rolls it underneath his eyelids, tosses his head back, and just lets himself savor whatever it was he put in his mouth. Full unadulterated release.
I think I finally understand why he does that after I had a taste of this ice cream.
Pure. Silky. Decadent. Chocolate. These are the words that tumble through my mind whenever I eat this ice cream. It’s so creamy it literally melts in your mouth. The moment the ice cream touches your tongue, its lovely texture and full-bodied chocolate flavour seeps into every part of your senses. That’s really the best way I can describe the experience of eating this. It’s the sort of thing you don’t think about because you would be too busy mindlessly stuffing your face with it.
I imagine this will send chocolate-lovers into a coma. And just so you know, I don’t really like to say “best” anything, because it’s impossible to prove! But this is a special case, and for once I don’t mind attaching the word to a recipe I feel is the very definition of Chocolate Ice Cream if there ever was one!
This recipe comes from David Lebovitz’s book, also known to a significant chunk of the food blogging world as the ice cream bible. I admit this is only my second recipe from the book, but I go through it every so often, attempting to pick out which flavours to make first. That’s always my excuse anyway.
My younger brother from my anecdote above (I have three brothers, you see) has put it upon himself to draw me up a list- “to help you decide,” he says- which of the ice cream flavours I should prioritize. It’s his not-so-subtle way of making sure I make the ice cream flavours he wants, and I have no doubt he’ll keep pestering me until I do.
I looked over his list and saw that he picked out some very interesting flavours. I would be hard-pressed to admit this in person, but I do trust his instincts. For a kid, he does have good taste for the most part. He thinks himself a food aficionado, and I am hardly one to argue with the person who gobbles up most of what I bake. This particular recipe isn’t on his list, but I do believe it is the recipe featured on the cover. I can hardly allow myself to make all the “exotic” ice creams in the book if I don’t even make the basics and classics first. However, I do know that I’ll end up making them all and sharing my favourites here!
Apparently this month is National Ice Cream Month, and I don’t know to which countries this applies, but I’ve taken it as a reminder to make more ice cream flavours starting this month. Honestly, when I decided to make chocolate ice cream, it never occurred to me that perhaps I am making something too common or too simple. In my book, Chocolate is the ultimate classic ingredient, so in turn, Chocolate Ice Cream is the ultimate classic ice cream. Or at least, it is the other half (arguably the better half at that) of vanilla as far as classic ice creams are concerned.
My journey to this lovely Chocolate Ice Cream all started with a big box of Lindt Swiss Thins, courtesy of my Papa.
I am very lucky that I am the only person here who prefers eating bittersweet chocolate. All the rest of them prefer semisweet chocolate, and so it saved me the trouble of another sibling to sibling argument as to who gets how much proportion of the food item in question. On second thought, said arguments usually just happen with only one of my brothers. I think you can guess which one. Anyway, as soon as I touched the box of chocolates, my brain automatically sifted through all the recipes involving chocolate I could remember and entwined itself around this one.
I can truthfully say that the next time we have a surplus of bittersweet chocolate in the house, this ice cream is going into my to-do list.
Chocolate Ice Cream
Makes about 1 quart (1 Liter) ice cream
- 2 cups 500 mL heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons 21 grams unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa
- 140 grams 5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup 250 mL whole milk
- 3/4 cup 150 grams sugar
- pinch of salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Before beginning the recipe, remember to chill your ice cream maker's bowl as per manufacturer's instructions.
- 1. Prepare an ice bath by putting some ice in a large bowl, then add a cup or two of cold water so that the ice cubes are barely floating. This ice bath will help expedite the chilling of the custard.
- 2. Warm 1 cup (250 mL) of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly.
- 3. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining heavy cream.
- 4. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible. Set the bowl into your ice bath, and place a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.
- 5. In the same saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, and salt.
- 6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks.
- 7. Slowly pour or ladle the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Don't add too much liquid all at once or your eggs will cook and you may end up with scrambled eggs. Once all the milk has been added, scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
- 8. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula/spoon. The custard will begin to steam a little, but do not let the custard boil! Test it for readiness by running your finger across your custard-coated spatula. If your finger leaves a definite trail that doesn't flow back together, then it's ready.
- Likewise, you can check for doneness using an instant-read thermometer. It should read somewhere between 170°F (77°C) and 175°F (79°C).
- 9. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir the mixture over the ice bath until cool.
- 10. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator with the lid slightly ajar* until cool, preferably at least 8 hours or overnight.
- 11. Take the mixture our of the fridge and check it. If the chilled mixture has become a little too thick, whisk it vigorously to thin it out before pouring into the ice cream maker. Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.
** I cover my ice cream mixture up tightly after it has spent a few hours in the fridge, especially since I chill mine overnight. Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
I also wonder: What should I do with all these egg whites?