I love ice cream. It’s not a common item in our house though… probably because I love it so much and it is just bad for the body. Well, sometimes it feels good to be bad so I made a mean batch of frozen custard- probably the worst for you of all the frozen delicacies out there. Go big or go home- right? We’re going to put together egg yolks, sugar, cream and chocolate to make some silky smooth, melt-in-your-mouth frozen chocolate custard. It’s homemade, easy to do and delicious- so let’s get started.
For this recipe, you will need some sort of ice cream machine. If you don’t have one, get on the phone with some of your friends- I guarantee that somebody has one that they are not using right now. Mine has been chilling (get it?) in the cabinet for probably 10 years without seeing the light of day. Most people would be happy to lend out this underutilized kitchen appliance. To use the machine, unless you have the kind that needs rock salt and ice (you’re on your own here), the base (carafe) will need to be frozen. Plan on making your ice cream 24 hours after you put the ice cream carafe into the freezer. I know, the directions say only 8 hours are necessary- but trust me, 24 hours is what it needs to get your frozen custard to set correctly.
We’re going to be tempering eggs in this recipe as well- so here’s the deal- when you temper eggs you are simply heating them up slowly with liquid so they don’t cook and make scrambled eggs. Nobody wants scrambled eggs in their ice cream- that would be pretty funky. In the event that you do see some lumps in your custard, don’t worry about it- just strain through a fine mesh sieve and all is right with the world again. I strain mine before letting it set anyhow as a precaution.
Ingredients for the Super Dark Chocolate Frozen Custard
5 egg yolks (save the whites for an omelette or something)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (Dutch processed for a super smooth custard)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (vanilla sugar if you have it)
1 1/4 cup whole or 2% milk (I used 2% because it is what I had)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
So when we get going, we’re going to do things in batches. There is some resting involved in this recipe (for the ingredients, which means that you can take a break too). The first thing to do is get the milk into a sauce pan over medium-low heat. We want to heat this just until it starts to bubble around the edges. As it is heating, take out a medium size mixing bowl and add in the yolks, sugar and cocoa powder. I needed to sift my cocoa powder because it had some good sized lumps in it. Mix it up in the bowl- if it gets stuck in the whisk, use a butter knife to clear it.
When the milk is hot, pour about 1/4 cup into the chocolate mixture at a time- whisking to incorporate. Do not pour all the milk in at once- this will cook your eggs. Once they are combined, return the mixture to the sauce pan and put over low heat. You’re going to want to stir this sauce constantly to prevent burning and cook it over low heat to prevent your eggs from cooking too much. If the mixture comes to a boil, remove from the heat immediately and continue to stir. Remember that we can sieve the cooked egg out prior to the custard setting. Cook the mixture for 5-6 minutes or until nappante (it thickly coats the back of a metal spoon).
Now, take the custard and pour through a fine mesh sieve (even if you don’t think you cooked any eggs- it is precautionary) into a bowl that will be covered with cellophane and leave in the refrigerator for the next six to eight hours (this is the resting period). You have just made a delightful and chocolaty custard base. If you wanted, you could have poured this mixture into some mini martini glasses for a fun dessert idea.
After the custard has set, remove from the fridge and take off the plastic wrap. Pour in the cream and vanilla. Mix gently. Pour the mixture into the ice cream carafe- make sure that you don’t go much above the halfway point! Remember that the ice cream will expand as the molecules freeze- just about doubling in size. Start the ice cream maker. I ran mine for about 30 minutes. You can see how thick the custard gets- it’s almost impossible not to stick a spoon in and taste it while it is freezing.
Thirty minutes flies by and it is time to put the custard into a bowl that will go back in the freezer. Although you have some soft-serve directly from the ice cream maker, it will melt quickly. I suggest putting the frozen custard back in the freezer for about 2 hours to firm it up a little. If you need it more quickly than this, make sure that your bowls and utensils are chilled to slow down the melting process.
After a couple hours, this ice cream is ready to eat. I’d say that it is almost too rich and chocolaty- which is hard for me to say because I love chocolate ice cream. What I did was made a quick pomegranate reduction- it’s fast, easy and really pairs nicely with this frozen custard.
Pomegranate Reduction Recipe:
1 fresh pomegranate, sliced and seeded (save the seeds, pitch everything else)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons agave syrup
Add the sugar and water together in a small sauce pan. Turn on medium heat and bring to a simmer. Add the agave and 1/2 the pomegranate seeds. Simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain out the pomegranate seeds (these are now candied, but the seeds themselves are bummers in the teeth) and cool the syrup in the fridge or freezer. Pour over the Super Dark Chocolate Frozen Custard and smile, cause it’s just that good.
Enjoy! More pictures below too for the Pomegranate Reduction-