Nothing says "the holidays" like chocolate ice cream.
.....Right? Isn't that the saying?
My brother gave me a Williams-Sonoma gift certificate for Christmas. Since I'm with the husband's family right now, my family used Thanksgiving as a chance to exchange gifts. While most of the gifts were booze (which prompted us to name the holiday "Boozeexchangegiving"), my bro gave me the opportunity to buy something frivolous at FancyPants-Sonoma. And while they have many frivolous things, an ice cream maker was at the top of my Frivolous Shit To Buy list.
So, I got this guy. His name is Frank. He is beautiful.
Frank gave me a scare while making my first batch of ice cream. I put Frank's freezer bowl in the freezer 24 hours in advance of when I wanted to churn out some creamy goodness. In the meantime, I made the 'batter.' This batter, by the way, is quite expensive if you make it with the good stuff. And you should definitely make it with the good stuff.
Anyway, 24 hours pass and I'm all excited to bust out some ice cream while hubs and I eat pizza and watch King Kong. .....aaaand the freezer bowl wasn't frozen. Cue abject misery. It ended up taking over 36 hours for the bowl to freeze. But it was worth the wait. This recipe is magnificent.
If you've been looking for ice cream that is so chocolatey that it's more chocolate than ice cream, this is your man. It's super thick, uber-custardy, and unbelievably rich. You will be tempted to dole out a big dish like I have in my photos. But you won't need it. A little bit of this goes a long way.
Deep Dark Chocolate Ice Cream (from Cuisinart)
-2 1/4 cups whole milk
-2 1/4 cups heavy cream
-1 vanilla bean
-1 1/8 cups granulated sugar
-1 1/8 cups Dutch process cocoa
-2 large eggs
-2 large egg yolks
-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
-12 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1. In a large saucepan, combine the whole milk and heavy cream over medium-low heat. With a sharp knife, split the vanilla bean lengthwise; use the blunt edge of the knife to scrape out the "seeds" of the vanilla bean. Stir the seeds and bean pod into the milk/cream mixture. Simmer the milk/cream mixture over low heat for 30 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean pod and discard it or rinse and reserve for another use.
2. Combine the sugar, cocoa, eggs, and egg yolks in a medium bowl; using a hand mixer on medium speed, beat until thickened like mayonnaise. (**NOTE: It will NOT have a mayonnaise texture. It will be so thick that it will all stick to the beaters and barely be beat-able. Don't sweat it. Just proceed with the next step.**)
3. Measure out 1 cup of the hot milk/cream mixture. With the mixer on low speed, add the cup of hot milk/cream to the cocoa mixture in a slow, steady stream and mix until completely incorporated. Stir the chopped chocolate into the saucepan with the hot milk/cream. Stir the egg mixture into the hot milk/cream. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and begins to resemble a chocolate pudding. Transfer the chocolate mixture to a bowl and stir in vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the chocolate mixture, and refrigerate until completely cooled.
4. Pour the chilled custard into the freezer bowl, turn the machine on and let mix until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
-Makes 14 1/2-cup servings
Note: My friend Julien tried out this recipe shortly after tasting my faboo results. He used 1% milk instead of whole milk and had less-than-satisfactory results, at least initially (I believe it wouldn't freeze very well). He popped it in the freezer for a few hours and it got more solid. If at first you don't succeed, try, try again!