It was a dark and chocolaty night. . . May 17, 2012Posted by Toy Lady in Eating Down the Fridge, Food, random stuff.
Tags: I scream, we all scream for ice cream, you scream
It’s starting too look like summer really will get here – even here in upstate New York!
And you know what that means, right?
I mean besides Margarita Season.
Or Sangria Season.
Or even ginger ale season.
I mean, yeah, it’s time to think about all those lovely beverages, but once you hear the ice cream truck outside, you know it’s ice cream season, am I right? Of course I am.
So a while back, I started hearing about this Jeni person – and her splendid ice creams.
Then, though, I read an article here and a blog post there, and all the reviews I saw, both of the ice creams and the cookbook, were, in fact, splendid.
And when we had to buy a chocolate bar for another recipe, to only use part of it, I knew what I had to do.
I had to try Jeni’s splendid recipe for The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World.
However, I made a couple of adaptations. You know, like I do.
See, I had the better part of a quart of half and half in the fridge that needed to get used up.
What do you do with a quart of half and half? The only thing I use it for is iced coffee, and, really, I can only use just so much cream there.
So that leaves, what?
Well, the Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World recipe called for 2 cups of milk and one cup of heavy cream.
I went with 3 cups of half and half. I figured it was close enough – and I was right.
The cool thing about this recipe – or I should say technique – is that, rather than fiddling around with a bunch of egg yolks (which means, eventually, you either have to make angel food, or dog treats) the “custard” isn’t really custard at all.
The ice cream base is thickened with a corn starch slurry and a bit of cream cheese.
I know, right?
The really cool thing is that it really is simply a technique – you take your dairy (3 cups of cream/milk/half and half/yak milk/whatever), you make a slurry with 1/4 cup of the milk and 4 tsp. of corn starch.
Then in a saucepan you whisk together the remaining dairy (that would be 2 and 3/4 cups), 1/2 cup sugar, 2 Tbsp. corn syrup and 1/4 tsp. kosher salt. Bring to a boil, cook 4 minutes, and stir in your corn starch slurry, return to a boil, cook until thickened (about 2 minutes), then whisk 1/4 cup of THAT mixture with 3 Tbsp. of cream cheese (an ounce and a half, if you’re a scale nerd like me) until it’s smooth, then add the rest of the hot milk mixture.
Then, you add your flavor.
In this case, we wanted chocolate (since we had the chocolate bar and all!), so it was simply 1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa (don’t drop the box on the floor, though – it makes quite a mess!), 1/2 cup brewed coffee (since we seldom have leftover coffee, it sure is handy to have iced coffee in the fridge!) 1/2 c. sugar, and an ounce and a half of bittersweet chocolate.
We used part of a bar of Ghiardelli “Intense Dark” chocolate. It’s 72% cacao, which is just dark enough to be “bitter” but not so dark as to be yucky.
So you take the cocoa, the sugar, and the coffee, and your bring it to a boil for 30 seconds.
Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate melts.
That won’t take long – especially if you’ve broken up the chocolate.
Stir the chocolate mixture into the cream mixture, and, well, you go from there just like any other ice cream.
Chill thoroughly, then churn.
And here’s the final cool thing about Jeni’s technique – she directs you to dump the whole mess into a zip-loc bag and submerge it in a bowl of ice water in order to chill it quickly.
We didn’t do that – the mixture was in a Pyrex bowl, so I left it in there and submerged that in ice water.
Don’t do that – Pyrex doesn’t conduct cold very well. Either give up a plastic bag, or refrigerate the mixture overnight. You’ll be glad you did – when you’re enjoying your lovely ice cream half an hour later, rather than listening to the ice cream maker STILL running. . .
But wow, was that good ice cream – smooth and creamy, dark and chocolaty.
It seems that Jeni’s also got a “technique” for frozen yogurts and sorbets, too.
I may have to just go buy the book, this summer.