Most of my family and friends know ice cream is my favorite food. I truly love the creamy cold sensation of ice cream as it melts in my mouth. I prefer vanilla based ice creams, but I am not particular when it comes to good quality ice cream, especially homemade.
Homemade ice cream is an art in itself because you need a balance of cream, milk and eggs to create a nice base, but you don’t want it overly fatty, leaving a coating on your tongue. You can also be too cautious with your ice cream base and use too light of cream and milk, which tends to resemble ice milk, instead of ice cream.
One of the questions about making ice cream, is should you use stabilizers or not? Xanthan Gum is a popular thickener, which helps the ice cream stay creamier after being stored in a home freezer. Too much of it and yuck, it tastes gummy! But, by adding just a pinch or so, it creates a nicely thickened creamy treat that can be stored at home.
This recipe for Mocha Double Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream, I adapted from King Arthur Flour magazine. The mocha flavor comes from espresso powder, which is cooked in the cream base. I just love the light coffee-chocolate combination and the chunks — well…over the top! I hope you will create a batch for your family this summer, they will love you for it!
1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1 /2 cups cream
2 tablespoons espresso powder, not instant coffee
4 extra large eggs yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum, found in most grocery stores
1 large brownie or 4 small chocolate cookies
1/2 cup good quality chocolate chunks
1. In a large saucepan, combine the milk, cream and espresso powder. Whisk the mixture together and cook until simmering, about 5 minutes.
2. While the milk is cooking, in a large bowl, combine the sugar, salt, xanthan gum and eggs. Whisk until thick and golden yellow.
3. When the milk is hot, turn the heat off and temper (adding hot liquid to colder ingredients slowly, so not to curdle) a few tablespoons of hot milk into the egg mixture, while continuing to whisk. After adding, about 1/3 cup of hot milk into the egg mixture, pour the entire warmed egg mixture back into the rest of the warmed milk.
4. Continue to stir the ice cream base while the mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
5. The ice cream base should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
6. Pour the ice cream base through a fine mesh strainer or cheese cloth to remove any egg bits that may have collected in the bottom of the pan.
7. Place the hot ice cream base into a large bowl of ice water to cool slightly before refrigerating, about 20 minutes. It isn’t wise to put a very hot bowl into a refrigerator because it will cool down the entire refrigerator and possibly spoil other food.
8. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface of the ice cream base, so a skin doesn’t form on top of the mixture.
9. Refrigerate the ice cream base for at least 4 hours, but better if overnight. Remove the plastic when ready to process. Pour the mixture into your ice cream freezer. In my case, I have a double processor, so I split the mixture into two containers.
10. Turn the machine on and process the ice cream for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, cut up the brownie or cookies and chop the chocolate into fine chunks.
11. When the ice cream is thick and creamy, after about 15 minutes, add the pieces of brownie and chunks of chocolate in batches. You don’t want to pour everything in all at once, you want the pieces distributed evenly throughout the ice cream.
12. When the brownie and chocolate is all incorporated, continue to process the ice cream for 3 more minutes. Turn the machine off and remove the cover and blade. Spoon the ice cream into containers (I buy card board ice cream containers at Smart & Final) and store in the freezer, until ready to serve.
13. Scoop the Mocha Double Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream into your favorite bowls or cones and enjoy!