Super Rich, Dark Chocolate Ice Cream - Now is the time to make this!

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The sun is high and strong every day here in California. When it comes to a summer dessert, nothing beats a rich and creamy ice cream, and this is one you will love. My stomach generally can’t tolerate the lactose in milk, but any kind of cheese, and dark chocolate ice cream… no problem.
Every time I have the opportunity to taste ice cream, or am socially “forced” to eat it, I choose dark chocolate ice cream. The best one I ever had by far was Maison Berthillon’s in Paris many years ago.
Since then I have had many opportunities to visit Paris, and Maison Bertillon has became a must-go place on my list. I don’t know what is in their recipe and never investigated what kind of chocolate, etc. they use. (I normally have the urge to do such sleuthing… it’s part of my profession.) But when it comes to Bertillon’s, I just go, wait in line, and enjoy it like a young boy, then wait in line again to get seconds. My stomach never had problems.
The second best chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had was in the Chez Panisse restaurant kitchen where I was a prep cook many years ago. I was offered generous tastes as soon as pastry chef/owner Lindsey Shere scooped out the dark gold from her old-fashioned ice cream maker. I still remember that it was a wooden bucket and you needed to put ice around a churning chamber and then place the motor on top. It is still such a memorable taste experience for me from that steamy kitchen on a hot summer day in Berkeley.


I really do not know why, but I make this ice cream quite often these days. Maybe because my secret special one loves it. And because this recipe is perhaps the best Number 3.
Dark Chocolate Ice Cream – Super Rich
Recipe adapted from Chez Panisse Desserts, by Lindsey Shere
Makes about 4 cups (one quart)
1 cup (250 ml) half-and-half
¾ cup sugar
6 egg yolks
5 ounces (150 grams) dark chocolate, chopped
1 ounce (30 grams) unsweetened chocolate
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
2 teaspoons cognac or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup (80g) cacao nibs (optional)
  1. In a saucepan, warm the half-and-half with the sugar until sugar dissolves. Whisk the egg yolks just enough to break them up, and stir in some warm half-and half.
  2. Return to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the spoon. Strain into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Melt the chocolate with butter in a small heavy saucepan set over a pan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and glossy. Remove from the hot water and begin to whisk in a little of the warmed custard, a tablespoon or two at a time until the mixture begins to thin out. Adding the custard gradually to the chocolate will prevent the ice cream from getting little grains of chocolate in it. When all the custard has been incorporated, gradually whisk in the cream. Add the vanilla, taste, and chill at least 2 hours.
  4. Turn on the ice cream maker and pour the mixture in the freezer bowl and let mix until thickened according to the manufacturer’s instructions… normally about 15-20 minutes. Stir in the cacao nibs last, before ending churning.


Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer about 3 hours.


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