Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Remember I told you about my bread machine broke down and left me some cabinet space to fill? Yup, I filled the space with a brand new ice cream machine! Yay, just in time for the summer. I’m so happy that I finally gave in and purchased an ice cream machine! In fact, I’ve made several batches of this Valrhona Dark Chocolate Ice Cream and some other flavors already. They were all gone so quickly that I hardly had a chance to capture a few pictures of them to write a post…until now.
Imagine velvety, smooth, cool and creamy dark chocolate heaven, in every single bite. In the process of my 2nd or 3rd batches of this dark chocolate ice cream, I was going to be adventurous (you know me) and add some other ingredients into this decadent dark chocolate ice cream, such as nuts, or orange zest, etc. But at the end, I left it the way it was because this dark chocolate ice cream was so good that you don’t really need anything else, period. I didn't want the additional ingredients to ruin the lovely texture and flavor. Is that even possible? Well, maybe if, only if, I ever get bored of this plain dark chocolate ice cream some day, then I’ll add some other ingredients. But for now, plain dark chocolate ice cream is all I need! It is by far the darkest and most chocolate-y ice cream I've ever tasted.
Let’s get into the kitchen and check out how I made this, shall we?
1) Chop up some dark chocolate, of course. Use any kind that you like. I used Valrhona 70% dark chocolate. Place the chopped chocolate and instant coffee in a heat proof bowl. Set aside.
2) In a medium saucepan, heat 1 cup of cream on low heat and whisk in the cocoa powder until the mixture reach a simmer. I used Valrhona cocoa powder as well. I love the deep dark flavor and aroma.
3) Pour the hot cream mixture into the chopped chocolate and stir until smooth. Like those in the picture below. Now, this is a very important step, REFRAIN yourself from drinking the chocolate mixture straight from the bowl before moving on to step 4!
4) Phew, you did it! Now, in the same saucepan, add the milk, sugar and salt and warm it up with low heat.
5) Whisk until the sugar dissolved and bring the mixture to a simmer.
6) In a heat proof bowl, whisk the egg yolks together.
7) While whisking, pour the hot milk mixture into the egg yolks.
8) Pour the hot egg mixture back to the saucepan and continue to cook on low heat, stirring constantly with a flat bottom wooden spatula.
9) The custard is ready when it coat the spatula as shown in the picture below. Run your finger through the custard on the spatula to check the readiness. (be careful in this step, the custard could be very hot).
10) Place a mesh strainer on top of the bowl of chocolate mixture and pour the custard through. Then stir in chocolate liquor (if using) and vanilla extract.
11) Place the ice cream mixture onto a larger ice bath and stir until mixture is complete cooled. Place in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or over night.
12) Follow Your ice cream machine’s manufacturer instructions to churn the ice cream…..churn churn churn…mine was done in as little as 25 minutes.
When it’s ready from the ice cream machine, the consistency of the ice cream is like the soft serve type. If you want it more solid, like a traditional ice cream, place the mixture in a freezer safe container with lid and chill in the freezer over night. When ready to serve, bring the ice cream out to room temperature for 3 to 5 minutes. When the ice cream softens up a little, it brings out the best in terms of flavor and texture. I used some chocolate liquor in my recipe and that really boost the flavor and enhance the texture as well. Since alcohol lowers the freezing point, so the ice cream stays creamier and smoother because it does not freeze as solid and is less likely to form ice crystals. You can’t taste the liquor at all but it really enhance the overall flavor of the dark chocolate, just like what the instant coffee does, as an enhancer.
I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe and be inspired to make your own ice cream at home. Stay tuned for more ice cream recipes to combat the heat this summer!
Valrhona Dark Chocolate Ice Cream: (Printable Recipe)
Makes: about 1 quart
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrhona’s)
1/4 teaspoon instant coffee granulate
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I used Valrhona’s 70% dark chocolate)
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of sea salt
6 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon chocolate liquor
Place chopped chocolate and instant coffee in a large heat proof bowl, set aside. Prepare a large bowl of iced water (for ice bath), set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat one cup of the cream and the cocoa powder, whisk to blend the cocoa powder into the cream. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer, whisking constantly.
Remove from heat and pour cream mixture into the bowl of chopped chocolate mixture, stir until all chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup of cream.
In the same saucepan, bring the milk, sugar, and salt to a simmer. In a separate heat proof medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Over medium heat, stir the mixture constantly with a flat bottom wooden spatula. Make sure to scrape the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula, until it reaches 170°F on an instant-read thermometer.
Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl of chocolate mixture. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla and chocolate liquor. Stir over the prepared bowl of ice water until cool.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (preferably overnight), and then churn it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.