Lately I have taken to making ice cream quite frequently. Of course experiencing temperatures in the triple digits for an unusual number of days this year has driven me to find comfort in one of the few real comfort foods of Summer. Yum Sugar is hosting a one off event over at Is My Blog Burning?, called For the Love of Ice Cream Challenge that worked in nicely with my latest burning (okay freezing) obsession. And Rick says if I could only make garlic mashed potatoes work into an ice cream then I would really be the Queen of Comfort in the Summer too.
Recently, I made an “Ibarra Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream.”
I think I can safely say that Mexican Chocolate, in general, is one of Rick’s favorite flavours. He said that my latest version was the best he’s ever had and “Whoohoo Jackpot!” -that’s what I was aiming for! I started with a recipe off of Epicurious.com that had good reviews and of course I couldn’t leave well enough alone so I spiced it up with 4 types of cinnamon flavor and some vanilla and almond extract. So here is my version:
Ibarra Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream
3-3/4 Cups Organic Half and Half
1 whole vanilla bean, split and scraped
Ibarra sweet chocolate, grated or chopped finely (a serrated knife works great for this) use 3-1/2 disks out of the 18.6oz pkg.
3 whole eggs
a good pinch of salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
one good pinch each of Ceylon Cinnamon, Chinese Cassia Cinnamon, Vietnam Cinnamon
LorAnn Cinnamon Oil -you will use a very small amount of this.
First of all use good ingredients, I always use organic products where available. Ibarra Chocolate is available at some grocery stores and most Latin or Mexican markets. All of the Cinnamon varieties and vanilla beans are available at Penzeys. LorAnn oil can be found at some grocery stores or any confectionery supply store or at the link above. (It’s the kind we used to make cinnamon toothpicks when we were kids. -Did you make those too?)
Before you begin, chill your ice cream maker’s canister and have ice and rock salt at the ready if you are using a crank style freezer or freeze the bowl of a Donvier or Cuisinart style maker. Have a thin-walled metal bowl in an ice bath in a larger bowl at the ready and a stainless steel fine mesh strainer.
Then split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out with the back of a small paring knife. (Note: Reserve the empty bean and put it in your sugar canister to make vanilla sugar if you like. Good in coffee etc.)
Place the scraped seeds in a medium size, heavy-bottomed sauce pan and add the half and half and the chopped chocolate. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly until it starts to boil. Remove from heat.
Break the eggs into a small bowl and add a good pinch of salt (use your thumb and first two fingers for the pinch) then whisk, add the vanilla extract, the almond extract and the powdered cinnamon (3 kinds). Whisk a ladle full of the hot chocolate mixture into the eggs to temper them- go slowly and whisk hard you don’t want scrambled eggs here. Then whisk the tempered eggs into the hot chocolate and return to low-med heat until the mixture reaches 175degrees F. It may already be there- hold for a minute or two to cook the eggs into the custard.
Pour immediately through the strainer into the metal bowl in the ice bath. Use a flexible spatula to push it through the strainer leaving the solid bits behind. Stir it occasionally while in the bath until it is quite chilled. Now for the secret ingredient: take a toothpick and dip it about 1/4 inch** into the LorAnn cinnamon oil, then swizzle the toothpick through the custard. Stir it in thoroughly with a spoon. **don’t use too much- be careful this oil is very strong! **
This is now your custard. Once chilled you can refrigerate it further to reduce churning time or churn right away. Follow your manufacturer’s directions for churning. Muy Delicioso!
My note: I personally don’t care for the canister type freezers since it is impossible to further chill them once you start. You can add more ice and rock salt to the old fashioned kind to keep the temperature lowered. Of course if you are lucky enough to have a self-refrigerating kind – go for it -more power to you I say! Mine is an inexpensive electric model that uses ice and salt and I bought it for under 20 dollars. I sold my more expensive freezer canister model at our last garage sale.
Also this month, I made an Apple Cider Carmel Ice Cream that was pretty fabulous too. Danielle at Habeas Brulee gave me the idea. I did already have Kate Zuckerman’s book The Sweet Life, but I had not tried that recipe until Danielle wrote about it in her post. It is a very grown up type ice cream with a bit of a tang- a definite Tarte Tatin flavour. Kate, who is the pastry chef at Chanterelle restaurant in New York City, recommends pairing it with her Walnut, Currant and Cinnamon Rugelach and I haven’t tried that yet, but I will soon. It has Autumn type flavors for me so I will be revisiting it throughout Summer and into the Fall.