Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

The first time I had Mexican chocolate ice cream, I was at Marianne's Ice Cream in Santa Cruz, California, as a little kid. I remember there being 71 flavors and I'd spend forever tasting samples and probably driving the employees crazy. Out of 71 flavors, I'd frequently decide on the Mexican chocolate as my scoop du jour, and come on, out of 71 delicious flavors, that's saying something.

The combination of chocolate and cinnamon is fantastic. I find it in a lot of baked desserts. So it was time I tried my hand at chocolate and cinnamon in a homemade ice cream. Plus, I just purchased David Lebovitz's latest cookbook Ready for Dessert and I was in dire need to try something, ANYTHING, out of the book.

The result is an ice cream so rich, so chocolaty, that one friend said she could hardly call it ice cream. She said it was as if she were biting directly into a piece of chocolate. This is the kind of ice cream where you really only need a junior size, or a teeny tiny scoop, or perhaps even just a spoonful. You'll want it with a glass of milk or water. It is that chocolaty and rich. And delicious! A true chocolate lover's ice cream!

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

Recipe by David Lebovitz in Ready for Dessert
Makes about 1 quart (1 liter)

3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons brandy
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 large egg yolks
1 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped

In a large heatproof bowl, combine the chocolates, cream, and brandy. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and stir occasionally until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and set a mesh strainer across the top.

In a medium saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, and cinnamon, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then gradually add some of the warm milk-sugar mixture, whisking constantly as you pour. Pour the warmed yolks back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan with a heatproof spatula, until the custard is thick enough to coat the spatula. Pour the custard through the mesh strainer into the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.

Set the bowl containing the custard over a large bowl of ice water. Stir the custard until cool, then cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions. Stir the almonds into the just-churned ice cream when you remove it from the ice cream machine.

Step-by-Step in Pictures

Heat the chocolates, cream, and brandy in a double boiler. Then pour into a bowl and place a strainer on top...

In a saucepan, warm the milk, sugar, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks, then add some of this milk-sugar mixture to the eggs to temper the eggs. Then add all the egg back into this milk-sugar mixture and cook until it coats the back of a spatula...

Pour the egg-milk mixture into the bowl of cream-chocolate through the strainer. Then cover and chill in the fridge overnight...

Last step! Churn into amazing Mexican chocolate ice cream!


Mom said...

I was lucky enough to try some this weekend. The flavor is so intense, I loved it. I am sad to say that if I want seconds, I have to make it myself (since I returned to Northern California). I don't mind making it,but after looking at your pictures, I just want it now!

Kristina said...

I always go into my local coffee shop telling myself 'I should try something new today' and always walk out with a Mexican spiced coffee. Sound like a familiar dilemma? :-P I need to try this!

Unknown said...

Hi there Marni, I found your recipe after having Marianne's Mexican ice cream last weekend in Santa Cruz. i used half and half instead of milk (all I had) and added a little more cinnamon plus a teaspoon of instant espresso. Results were out of this world, raves from my dinner guests and my beloved.

Menlo Park, Ca

Marni said...

Mom - You should make it again! I'll be visiting soon and then I can taste your version!

Kristina - Ooooh Mexican spiced coffee. I love that, too. I'm the same way with Baskin Robbins. I don't go often, but every single time, without fail, I order the chocolate peanut butter ice cream. I can't break the habit.

Lawrence - What a neat story! I love Marianne's Mexican ice cream. I've often selected that flavor, which is saying a lot when there are 71 or so flavors there! I like your modifications to the recipe, especially the addition of espresso. Glad it worked out and your guests loved it!

Susan Graham said...

Great suggestions and examples, especially for a newbie like myself who lacks a natural sense of web design.

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