Thursday, August 02, 2012

Triple Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I'm not sure when I made the connection between what I ate and how I felt, but I do remember a point in college when I felt horribly sick after a night of eating pizza and ice cream. Ice cream has always been a trigger food for me--all that heavy cream and sugar tastes SO GOOD but leaves me feeling SO BAD. 

Imagine my sheer delight in stumbling upon recipes for coconut milk ice cream. The rich, full-fat "milk" of the coconut is a perfect base for many flavors. Some work better than others. In my opinion, this triple chocolate chip ice cream is the best I've ever tried. But I do love chocolate. Coconut milk replaces the cream, honey replaces the sugar, and the result: mouth-watering.

Starting with a super chocolatey base and then mixing in a chocolate ganache swirl and cacao nibs makes for a treat that not only tastes good but leaves me feeling good as well. Enjoy!

Triple Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
makes about 1 quart

2 cans full-fat coconut milk
1 cup cacao powder
heaping 1/4 cup honey
5 egg yolks (optional)
pinch of salt
1 TBS vanilla extract or vodka

1/2 recipe chocolate ganache (amazing treat by the urban poser)
1/2 cup cacao nibs

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring coconut milk to a simmer. Whisk in cacao powder and honey.

If using eggs, place yolks in a small bowl and beat well. Temper the egg yolks: take a small amount (say, 1/2 cup) of the warm coconut milk mixture from the pan and slowly pour it into the egg yolks, whisking rapidly. Once the egg yolks are tempered, pour them slowly into the saucepan, whisking all the while.

Add pinch of salt.

When mixture has thickened slightly, coating the back of a wooden spoon, remove saucepan from heat. Cool completely. (To speed cooling process, you can pour mixture into a separate glass bowl set inside another glass bowl with an ice bath).

Once cooled to room temperature, stir in vanilla extract/vodka and then completely cover surface with plastic wrap and place in fridge until thoroughly chilled.

Prepare ice cream in an ice cream maker following the maker-specific instructions.

Once ice cream is thick and well-churned, scoop into a large rectangular container. Drizzle half of the chocolate ganache over the top and sprinkle about half of the cacao nibs. Using a spatula, fold the ice cream gently up and over the ganache and nibs, swirling everything in. Repeat with remaining ganache and cacao nibs.

Cover surface of ice cream tightly with plastic wrap, add lid, and then freeze until serving time. (or just start spooning into your face, straight out of the container).

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