Okay, it’s time for the first FOOD post! Let’s all take a moment to celebrate.
This is dark chocolate strawberry ice cream and it’s delicious. Here’s how it’s done:
First and foremost, blast some tunes. Our current house obsession is Justin Timberlake’s lovely new record “The 20/20 Experience”. Put it on stat.
I start with the ice cream base by Jeni Britton Bauer’s ice cream cookbook miracle Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home. If you haven’t been lucky enough to have Jeni’s ice cream (the trailer was parked by Rainey St. during SXSW and I’ve gotten it in pints at the Flag Store of Hyde Park), you’re seriously missing out. Her ice creams are typically some funky flavor combinations but all are smooth, creamy and delicious.
SO we’re taking her ice cream base, adding semi-sweet dark chocolate, unsweetened cocoa powder, and strawberry compote, then churning that baby in our handy dandy ice cream maker and then freezing it in the house’s spiffy new ice cream container!
The trick to making this ice cream is boiling the base for the correct amount of time, thickening it with the cornstarch and then COOLING the mixture COMPLETELY before putting it in the churner. Believe me when I say that cooling the ice cream after cooking is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT STEP in a smooth-tastic creamy ice cream. If it’s not cold enough when it goes into the frozen container of the churner, there’s no hope for your ice cream ever to thicken up and begin to freeze. Be calm, be patient and let that sucker cool! Jeni suggests putting the ice cream into a plastic bag and submerging in an ice bath, and I like to start with that, then put the plastic bag right into the freezer for a half hour or so after all the ice in the bath has melted. The cooler the better.
Here’s how it’s done. “Ice Cream Base” adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home (http://www.jenis.com/). Makes about 1 quart.
DARINGLY DELICIOUS DARK CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM
(for the strawberry compote)
- 1/2 cup strawberries
- 2 tbs sugar
(for the ice cream base)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 tbs + 1 tsp cornstarch
- 2 oz bittersweet dark chocolate
- 1/4 c heavy cream
- 1 c evaporated milk
- 2 tbs cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 c sugar
- 2 tbs light corn syrup
- 1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
Cut up the strawberries and combine with 2 tbs of sugar in a small saucepan. Cook on the stove until the sugar dissolves. I also used a masher to squeeze some extra water out of the strawberries and mush them up a bit. Take off the heat and let cool.
Combine 2 tbs of the milk and the cornstarch in a small ramekin and set aside. Also fill a large bowl with ice and water for the ice bath.
Combine the remaining milk, cream, evaporated milk, sugar and corn syrup in a larger saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the cocoa and whisk it all together. Continue boiling for 4 minutes.
Remove the base from the heat and slooooowly drip in the cornstarch slurry, whisking as you go and watch it thicken up a bit.
Return to the heat and cook until the mixture gets a tiiiiny bit thicker (about 1-2 min). Remove from the heat.
Scoop the cream cheese into a large bowl and add the chocolate (chopped up), then slowly add the hot base, stirring to combine and melt the chocolate/cream cheese. Add the cooled strawberry compote.
Empty it all into a gallon plastic bag and submerge in the ice bath. I typically wait until all the ice has melted and the base feels like it’s reached the cool water temperature. Then I remove the bag, cover it in wet paper towels and throw it in the freezer for about 30 min or so.
Finally, add your cold ice cream to a chilled ice cream maker-container thingy (is there a proper name for that?!) and churn for 30-40 minutes, or until thick and delicious looking.
Press it into a container, cover in parchment paper, and seal. Stick it in the fridge for a few hours minimum until it hardens up and EAT IT ALL YOURSELF because you earned it!
Also as a quick closing note, so proud to be from New England. The second suspect was apprehended while I was in the middle of making this. Boston strong.