Who doesn’t love ice cream on a hot summer day, or any day rather? I truly love the creamy cold sensation of ice cream as it melts slowly 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 the right combination of cream, milk and eggs to create a nice balance, without it tasting 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, adding just a pinch or so, 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 make a batch this summer!
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 online or finer grocery stores
1 large brownie or 4 small chocolate cookies
1/2 cup good quality chocolate chunks
1. In a large saucepan, combine milk, cream and espresso powder. Whisk mixture together and cook until just simmering, about 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, salt, xanthan gum and eggs. Whisk until thick and golden yellow.
3. When milk is hot, turn heat off and temper (adding hot liquid to colder ingredients slowly, so not to curdle) a few tablespoons of hot milk into egg mixture, while continuing to whisk. After adding, about 1/3 cup of hot milk into egg mixture, pour entire warmed egg mixture back into warmed milk.
4. Continue to stir ice cream base while mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
5. 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 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 entire refrigerator and possibly spoil other food.
8. Place a piece of plastic wrap on surface of ice cream base, so a skin doesn’t form on top of mixture.
9. Refrigerate ice cream base for at least 4 hours, but better if overnight. Remove plastic when ready to process. Pour mixture into ice cream freezer.
10. Turn machine on and process ice cream for about 20 minutes. Cut up brownie or cookies and chop 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 brownie and chocolate are incorporated, continue to process ice cream for 3 more minutes. Turn machine off and remove cover and blade. Spoon ice cream into containers (I buy pint containers at Smart & Final) and store in freezer, until ready to serve.