I blame the Chocolate blog.. Choca-blog and alot of leftover cream from making wedding pastries. A friend is looking into purchasing an ice cream maker.. many, many things had me thinking about ice cream.
And when I am thinking about ice cream, I am almost always thinking about chocolate..
There is nothing better than delectable rich vanilla, or a fruit fused ice cream, but today, chocolate won out. Starting with melted chocolate (as good a place as any), I used a 70% cocoa solids chocolate (ordered from Callebaut) gently melted over low indirect heat (shown here in a bain Marie). In no time, it is a silken puddle.
Cream and milk is another portion of this ice cream blend.. and making sure it is brought just to a boil is important to set the custard. I poured 500mL of a blend of milk and cream into a saucepan and added the seeds of a whole vanilla bean. The aromas of vanilla infusing into anything makes me weak, but I find enough strength to whisk yolks with sugar until light and lemon coloured.
Once the milk mixture is steaming, I ever so slowly pour it into the eggs whisking all the while.. so as not to make scrambled eggs! This satiny custard is the base of the ice cream and into it goes a sifted measure of cocoa, a tablespoon of just made caramel and a tablespoon or two of liqueur.. my preference being for Frangelico, a sweet hazelnut concoction courtesy of Italian monks. The mixture does need to chill before freezing. As soon as the custard mixture is cool, I use a Cuisinart model (the one with the freezer bowl) to churn.
Partner chocolate ice cream with raspberries or strawberries and a suitably matched liqueur.. a perfect ending to any meal.