Damn. It's summertime already and it's time to break out the ice cream maker. In my two year relationship with my ice cream maker, I haven't ever made a non-fruit based ice cream. I've done strawberry and blueberry variations (strawberry cardamom is dynamite) and i've done peach and apricot ice creams (apricot ginger!). And I've done a pretty good mojito ice cream. That was pretty much like making a cocktail, but it was mostly fruit. And I can't believe I haven't ever done chocolate. I think mostly it was my fear of failing at the most basic of ice creams that kept me from making chocolate. Man, I love chocolate.
So this is a chocolate ice cream with chocolate chunks and a mint chocolate swirl. The recipe is a pretty basic ice cream recipe. I took a cue from Alton Brown's recipe-- my experience with his work has been pretty good. I think his secret is just that he keeps everything no nonsense. In his version, he uses a mix of half and half and heavy cream. I skipped the heavy cream on my take (not because I think it's too heavy, I do... but because I was absent-minded and forgot about it).
summer summer summer time!
I'm not going to reprint Brown's recipe here. Just follow his, which I think is an excellent chocolate ice cream recipe. I will say that I used really good quality cocoa. In this case, it was Scharffenberger unsweetened cocoa. I also used pretty good chocolate for my chunk mix-- a 71% Valrhona.
For the swirl part of this ice cream, I took two tablespoons of dark chocolate spread (kind of like Nutella without the hazelnut) and two teaspoons of mint extract and microwaved it for 15 seconds, mixing right after.
Right when your ice cream is almost all set (about 20 minutes into churning in the ice cream maker), toss in about 1/4 cup of rough chopped chocolate and drizzle in the mint chocolate swirl. Try to get the drizzling into the center of the mix. I miscalculated a little bit and started throwing the extra stuff into the ice cream maker before the ice cream was consistently frozen enough. Once you disturb the mix with foreign objects like chocolate bits, the temperature of the custard rises and the ice cream starts to melt. I had to quickly finish my additions or ruin the whole bunch. Unfortunately, I didn't get enough of my mint chocolate swirl in there. Perhaps next time I'll try mixing the chocolate-mint sauce first, and then toss in the solid ingredients. Next time, next time...
But the final result was delicious. I'm about to take it to a barbecue.