Monday, August 20, 2012

experiments with chocolate

I'm definitely a vanilla ice cream kind of gal.  I'd choose a scoop of pralines'n cream over a chocolate based concoction any day.  Justin has never loved chocolate ice cream.  Addie, on the other hand, always picked the richest darkest chocolate ice cream at an ice cream shop.  She's our chocolate lover.  Bella will take whatever she can get.  I'm not sure she even tastes her ice cream given how fast she inhales it.  Ashlynn has yet to be initiated into the world of ice cream.

With all that background in mind, I'd never made chocolate ice cream at home.  Poor Addie has been denied her favorite since we moved to Addis Ababa. I was perfectly happy with my sweet cream base getting dolled-up with all sorts of flavorings and add-ins.  Then, one of our friends made a plea for me to make her chocolate ice cream.  If I can sympathize with anything, it would be the plea of a woman in need of chocolate.  I decided to give it a whirl.

I wasn't thrilled with any of the recipes I had in my cook books.  I wanted a light chocolate flavor that wasn't too dense. Something I could add things to.  I cobbled together a few recipes and started experimenting.  My intuition served me well and I am really pleased with the results.  It has a nice chocolate flavor with an airy texture.  Perfect for add-ins.

Sara's Chocolate Ice Cream

1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup whole milk

2 eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp white sugar
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of course salt

Using a double boiler method (I use two sauce pans with water in the one on the stove top, placing the second sauce pan on top of the other).  Place the chocolate chips in the top sauce pan and slowly melt the chocolate as the water below boils.  When the chocolate has melted, whisk in the milk.  Turn the temperature down and don't boil the milk.  Add the cocoa powder, a pinch of salt and whisk.  When dissolved, remove the top pan and cool the chocolate mixture to room temp (or as close to room temp as you can).

While the chocolate mixture is cooling, in a separate bowl whisk the eggs until frothy.  Add the sugar gradually, whisking until combined.  Whisk in the cream and vanilla.  Add a small amount of the slightly warm chocolate mixture and whisk.  Slowly add the rest of the chocolate mixture, whisking continuously until the two mixtures are all combined.  Refrigerate overnight or for a few hours.  Whisk again right before adding to the ice cream machine.

I've made two different delicious chocolate concoctions both using the same chocolate base above.

Triple Chocolate Almond: chocolate ice cream with dark chocolate shavings and chocolate covered toasted almonds
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
2-3 Tbsp butter
dash of vanilla extract
pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter-eliminate if using salted butter)
1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 cup shaved dark chocolate

Microwave the chocolate chips and butter until smooth and combined.  Add a dash of vanilla and salt (if needed).  If the mixture is very thick add a bit more butter and microwave until smooth.  Fold in the almonds.  They will not become entirely coated with chocolate.  Turn out the clump of almonds and chocolate onto a baking sheet and spread or push into a semi flat clump.  Place in the freezer until frozen.  Break into small chunks and keep frozen.

Using a knife and a chunk of dark chocolate, shave off slivers of chocolate and place in the freezer.

When churning the ice cream add the chocolate almonds and shavings at the very end.  Freeze and serve.

Chocolate Malt Crunch (Photographed)
Freeze a box of malt balls like Whoppers.
Let your little one take a mallet to them in a plastic bag so they are all crunched up.
Add to your churned chocolate ice cream and freeze.  Enjoy!
The great news is that Triple Chocolate Almond seemed to satisfy our friend's need for chocolate ice cream! As an added bonus, my husband even likes my chocolate ice cream and I have a whole new collection of recipes to add to my ice cream rotation.  I might add that Addie is as happy as a chocolate loving clam!

1 comment:

Sweet Athena said...

Great post. Your first photo of the chocolate ice cream looks so yummy. I find it hard to photograph ice cream as melting time kicks in so quickly. I would love to try your triple chocolate ice cream! I for one happen to be a chocolate ice cream girl.