Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
On a dark, summery night two young boys, one five the other three, were enjoying a bowl of luscious mint chocolate chip ice cream–their favorite. Their messy faces spewed smiles and laughter about the kitchen. Mom and dad looked on with smiles of their own. It was a typical evening for this family of four. It was a typical dessert for these two young boys. Then something happened. With an explosive pop that rumbled the house, the ice cream bowls rattled and shook, clanging against the glass table top. Each and every window in view of the young boys instantly flashed from the black of night to a blueish white hue so bright it rivaled staring into the sun. A moment that may have only lasted a few seconds seemed to unfold for hours before these frightened children. A transformer in the backyard, in the childrens’ sanctuary blew. If they didn’t know better it was the beginning of world war three.
As quick as it happened the power was gone. Only the golden-red glow of a few small fires ravaging my father’s garden crept in through the pitch black surrounding us. Mom and dad were quick to assure a young me and a young brother of mine that everything was ok. Dad ran out to subdue the infantile flames. Mom called the power company. Before I knew it, or thanks to the spotty nature of a twenty-year-old memory, a fleet of men with a formative collection of huge, noisy trucks and powerful tools descended on our cul de sac right away. It didn’t matter if bed time had come and gone, I was far too fascinated with the activity in my back yard. My parents knew this and allowed me, an extremely curious kid, to stay up and watch.
For the next few hours our house was ground zero for a hive of action. Men called away from their own families, their own dinners and desserts were summoned to restore power for our block. For hours they treked in and out of our back yard. For hours they slaved away in the hot, muggy Texas summer evening. As the work began to wrap up and as our power flickered back on, I remember my parents offering up a treat for the hardworking men. They filled up paper bowl after paper bowl of ice cream. It was barely frozen, and struggling to hold it’s shape. It didn’t matter. The cold, creamy treat came as a pleasant surprise to the sweaty, exhausted men.
One of my earliest memories, surely jolted into a permanent place in my mind by a backyard explosion remained there as an image of menly men standing around my back yard enjoying ice cream. Determination and seriousness faded to frivolous smiles and chatter. They were being rewarded for their hard work and it all centered around a simple frozen dessert.
It is hard to eat ice cream and not smile. It’s a treat that seems to bring us all back to our childhood. Who didnt enjoy ending a meal with a bulging bowl of the cold stuff back then? Who doesn’t enjoy ending a meal with a big bowl of ice cream today? There is even an entire isle dedicated to ice cream in our grocery stores. Whatever flavor you can think of, a company has surely made it. So why make it on your own? It’s not necessarily cheeper, especially when you figure in time spent making it. It is a chance to make a completely unique flavor, perfected to your liking. It’s a chance to make a completely natural, preservative, chemical free treat. Or in this case, it is a chance for me to Tweak a very well known flavor to my preferred taste.
I’ve made many ice cream flavors before, including some you can’t find in stores easily: grilled peach ice cream, key lime pie ice cream, candy cane ice cream. Today though I’m tackling a simple favorite: Chocolate. And for my variation on the classic, I’ve chosen a few dark chocolates to create a rich, adult-friendly concoction. Of course I’ve decided to throw in chocolate chip pieces in for good measure. Ice cream may not be the easiest thing to make out there (it requires a lot of stirring and careful attention) but it is definitely far from the most difficult recipe to tackle. If you’ve got an ice cream maker I suggest trying this. If you don’t, go buy one. They’re cheap and after making homemade ice cream for the first time you’ll be addicted.
There’s a reason people are screaming over this stuff.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
1 quart half and half
1/2 cup whole milk
4 ounces (about 1 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 ounces 100% cocoa content chocolate bar, finely chopped
4 ounces dark chocolate (70% cocoa content), finely chopped
8 egg yolks
6 ounces sugar
4 ounces milk chocolate finely chopped
2 ounces dark chocolate (70% cocoa content) finely chopped
Step one: Pour the milk and half and half into a 3 quart pot.
Step two: Slowly stir in the cocoa powder. Bring the liquid to the scalding point over medium heat (it should be steaming and a foam will begin to appear on the top).
Step three: Remove the half and half mixture from the heat. Stir in the 2 ounces finely chopped 100% cocoa and 4 ounces dark chocolate to the mixture. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract (you can use 1 teaspoon extract if you don’t have paste).
Step four: In a separate bowl, whip the egg yolks and sugar together until light and fluffy (about five minutes).
Step five: Slowly pour in the hot half and half mixture into the egg mixture, stirring constantly. Pour the mixture back into the 3 quart pot.
Step six: Heat the mixture over low or medium low heat for 10 minutes (until the mixture thickens enough to coat the spoon), stirring constantly. Watch the mixture carefully to make sure it does not come to a boil as that will scramble the eggs.
Step seven: Set aside the mixture to cool. Then cover the mixture and refridgerate until it is completely cold. I suggest letting it rest in the fridge at least overnight.
Step eight: Process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturers instructions. Add the 4 ounces finely chopped milk chocolate and 2 ounces finely chopped dark chocolate chips two minutes before it is finished churning.
Step nine: Pour/scoop the mixture into to glass, metal or paper containers and freeze in a very cold freezer.
Step ten: Enjoy the ice cream! If you’re like me only half of the mixture will make it to the fridge as you will eat the other half as it is being processed.
Of course if anyone is near you when you are making this ice cream they are going to be adamant about helping you taste it as the process progresses. And once you set it out, it will be gone in a matter of seconds. While I was photographing the ice cream for this post, the five other guys at my house at the time popped into the kitchen every 30 seconds like clock work. “Can we eat it yet?” each one would inquire.
To get them back for their incessant interruptions, I made them eat the ice cream with those annoyingly tiny, gross-tasting wooden spoon things. Each one of them still managed to crack a smile while eating this delicious chocolate chocolate chip ice cream.