Saturday, February 7, 2009
I don't know what it is about people these days, but it seems like for all the progress and advancement we've been making in other areas over the decades (women's rights, civil rights, um, Obama!!!), still many of my friends would think I'm crazy for suggesting spicy chocolate. What the heck. This is not 1950 and pepper and chocolate are no longer exotic. In fact, spicy chocolate has been around for over a thousand years, outdating most of you! I could make vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry ice cream every time, but where's the fun in that? (Though having said that, I have some amazing versions of those plain janes I'll be sharing with you soon).
This David Lebovitz ice cream is out of this world, and the chile powder in the recipe gives it a nice kick without being overwhelming or fire-extinguisher-requiring. And because it doesn't call for egg yolks, it's an easier ice cream to make than the custard method kinds. I'm adding it to my regular repertoire and my friends are just going to have to deal with it.
A Word About Ice Cream Cookbooks
If there is a single ice cream cookbook I would recommend to everyone, it is David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop. I own 6 or 7 ice cream cookbooks, and have dozens more cookbooks that have ice cream recipes within them. Many of the authors are fabulous, famous, even celebrity chefs. But I've never been more confident of an ice cream turning out than in The Perfect Scoop. I can guarantee you your ice cream will be perfect, as Lebovitz boldly claims in his title.
Aztec "Hot" Chocolate Ice Cream
Recipe by David Lebovitz in The Perfect Scoop
2 1/4 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
3 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 to 3 teaspoons chile powder (see Note from Lebovitz below)
2 tablespoons brandy
Whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil (it will start to foam up). Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, then whisk until it is completely melted. Stir in the milk, vanilla salt, cinnamon, chile powder, and brandy. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend for 30 seconds, until very smooth.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Note from Lebovitz: I like the taste of smoky ancho or chipotle chile powder, available in Mexican markets. They can vary in intensity, so if you're unsure of the strength of your chile powder, add the smaller amount and let it sit for awhile, then see if you like it before adding more. The subtle warmth can heat up as it stands.
Step-by-Step in Pictures