So its been over a year since I started my ice cream making escapades and I sure have learned a lot along the way. I can't say I have perfected the art or science of making the perfect batch but the process I finally get, so in 2009 I am challenging myself to not follow recipes to every last ingredient and to try to make some flavors of my own or at least switch up some basic recipes.
So here I go, this is my first try and I am rather pleased with the outcome. I was first inspired by a Chocolate Velvet Ice Cream recipe from the recipe book Ice Cream: The Whole Scoop. It was exactly what I was looking for but the one issue I had was that the recipe calls for eggs but it did not call for cooking them. Being pregnant, I am a bit wary of that so this was the perfect excuse to start experimenting.
Here 's how I came upon my Hot Creamy Cocoa concoction. I took a look at that recipe and thought about what exactly did I want? I knew I wanted a rich chocolate but I also always wondered how some ice cream shops make a chocolate that is a super dark brown (the flash made the ice cream in this photo look lighter than ice cream actually was...its not exactly what I was hoping for but still a bit darker and richer) and so creamy. How come mine never comes out that way? So I started with this basic recipe and first added more cocoa than it called for to make it richer and more egg yolks to make it denser and creamier. Then I felt like it needed a little bit of vanilla for more flavor. And really I just kept adding a little more cocoa and sugar until I got the color and flavor I thought was perfect. This definitely was a test run and I had a lot of fun making it my own. For once I wasn't so concerned about following the words on a page and added a little of this a little of that and couldn't wait to see what happened.
The result...a super creamy, oh so chocolaty, cocoa flavored ice cream that I am quite proud of. I did find that it freezes a bit harder than other ice creams I have made so I just let it sit out for a bit but overall I love it. As my 4 year old ate it she said "Mommy, this tastes like a yummy chocolate whipped cream or a chocolate bar!" I take that as a compliment coming from a girl who knows her sweets (not so proud of that but she does take after Mommy!). She also kept asking me what my "secret" ingredient was. Hmmm...never thought of it that way and was stumped on how to answer her! I guess I would say the cocoa. I didn't try to be fancy by mixing different chocolates. I just let the good old Hershey's unsweetened cocoa speak for itself.
Hot Creamy Cocoa Ice Cream
1.5 cups of whole milk
3/4 cup sugar*
1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa*
5 egg yolks
2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
Combine 1/2 cup sugar and 1 cup cocoa in a small bowl. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and sugar/cocoa mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, lightly whisk 5 egg yolks. Add heated milk mixture to egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour egg/milk mixture back into the saucepan and add heavy cream and vanilla. Heat on medium heat, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula. Heat until the custard lightly coats the spatula. (Do not boil...you will get scrambled eggs) Remove from heat and pour through a fine strainer (helps to smooth the texture) back into a clean mixing bowl. This is where I added the remaining sugar and cocoa to perfect the flavor.
Cool over an ice bath and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Then freeze in your ice cream maker according to your machine's directions..
* this is a guesstimate since I kept adding cocoa and sugar until I got the flavor I was looking for