Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cappuccino Chocolate Chip Ice Cream with Salted Caramel Sauce

I succumbed, I fell into the "making your own ice cream trap". Blame it on the summer, blame it on the hankering, blame it on the caramel sauce leftover in the fridge that needed something to be paired with it. I don't really blame anything- I just wanted it, plain and simple.

I've made frozen things before. Earlier this season I had some mangoes that were over ripening and decided to whip them into a sorbet for a dinner party I was having later that week. The result was delish and Oh so easy. I've got some watermelon juice that's also calling my name that may get whizzed up into something soon.

When it comes to ice cream I've made them several times, but never using a custard base. This time I decided not to be lazy and give it a try. I've made creme anglaise many many times before, so I was not afraid to make the delicious delicate custard, I'm just so much more into instant gratification.

But it's an easy summer and there is no excuse not to give it a go.

As a kid I used to love Jamocha Almond Fudge ice cream and some part of me was needing to have that little kid in me satisfied. Not feeling the nuts though, and instead of fudge I chopped up some Cuizel semi sweet chocolate-72% and made it a stracciatella version. I like the little crunchy texture of chocolate with the creamy coffee ice cream, and this chocolate has enough heft to hold it's own.

The caramel sauce was left over from a cake job last weekend. Such beautiful gooey stuff. Is there anything more divine that creamy sweet burnt sugar?? This batch was particularly luscious and could not, would not go to waste (waist?). A little sprinkling of Maldon salt on top is just perfection. Sweet, burnt sugar, coffee, chocolate and salty creamy goodness.

Onward to the recipes, but not without first saying that photographing ice cream in a warm loft is not advisable. The close up is a little soft as the shot was hand held- sorry about that- but I wanted you to get a good look at this divinity.

Cappuccino Ice Cream:

4 egg yolks
1 c whole milk
1c heavy cream
4oz sugar (100g)
1/4 t salt
instant espresso powder to taste
2oz finely chopped semi sweet chocolate

makes ~ 2.5 cups

In sauce pan combine all but the espresso and whisk together. Over gentle heat slowly warm the sauce while continuing to stir with a wooden spoon.

After a few minutes the sauce with thicken. The time honored test to see if it's done is to draw your finger through the sauce on the back of the wooden spoon. When it is viscous to your liking it will leave a clean track and creaminess on the spoon. Don't be tempted to over cook- the sauce may break and be ruined.

Have a bowl with sieve atop at the ready. As soon as the sauce is thickened immediately remove the pan from the stove and pour the sauce through the sieve. 

Teaspoon by teaspoon stir in the espresso powder until it reaches the desired depth of mocha you prefer. Be sure to mix well as more comes out the more you stir.

Place bowl in fridge and chill until cold. I mean it, the colder the base the better the ice cream. In fact I recommend putting the bowl once it's cool into the freezer for little while. The faster ice cream freezes the smaller the ice crystals. The smaller the crystals the more refined the ice cream.

Once chilled pour cream sauce into your ice cream maker and follow directions. At the end simply add the chocolate and allow it to churn to an even consistency.

Take ice cream out of the mixer unit and place in freezer until ready to eat. The ice cream needs to set.

Some recommend a small amount of liquor, such as vodka, stirred in to allow it to be easier to scoop. I've not done this, but feel free if you would like. Or add Kahlua or some other complimentary liqueur.

Caramel Sauce:

1/2 c water
1.5 c sugar
2/3 c heavy cream
pinch of salt

In a heavy medium sized sauce pan combine sugar and water. Boil until golden in color. Take care as the color will darken once the cream is added, so don't over do this.

During the boiling process use a clean pastry brush dipped in cool water and wash down sides to avoid sugar crystals forming in the sauce. If this happens the sauce, though delicious, will be grainy.

Once the sugar has reached the preferred level of amber- REMOVE from the heat and stir in the cream. Take care and stand back as this will steam and bubble and can be dangerous. Stir down with a wooden spoon until the sauce is emulsified, which will take just a minute or two. Add a pinch of salt.

At this point you can leave in the pan to cool, or pour into a bowl. Do not pour into plastic containers just yet, that sugar is hot hot hot- and DO NOT be tempted to dip a finger in- it will burn you silly. So don't do it- promise?

Once cool and poured into containers it may be stored in the fridge for up to one month. Gently warm before serving.

Makes ~1.5 cups

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