We need ice cream! Not for us, exactly, although we’ll be having a taste or two, but for a small luncheon that we put together. We decided on chocolate ice cream; in particular, an egg-less, or Philadelphia-style, ice cream. We’d tried vanilla in this style with great success, so we figured chocolate would be just as easy. Wrong!
We searched for an egg-less chocolate ice cream recipe and found several, but they were really from the same recipe. We won’t list it here, since it caused problems for us, but we’ll give you a recipe that works, highlighting the most important step! It makes a really chocolatey ice cream.
We always like to use organic heavy cream and half-and-half in our ice cream — we don’t always do it, but we try — simply because it’s simple: nothing but cream and milk. Dutch-processed cocoa is less bitter than standard cocoa; plus, it’s darker in color, making your ice cream seem and taste more chocolatey. Finally, we only use pure vanilla extract, and it’s what we recommend.
Procedure in detail:
Cook cream. Well, more than the cream: place the cream, cocoa, sugar, and salt in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking nearly continuously to make sure the sugar dissolves and the cocoa incorporates. When it comes to a boil, be ready; it can foam up quite a bit, requiring you to move the pan off the heat quickly to prevent a boil-over.
Add chocolate. Whisk in the unsweetened chocolate and turn the heat to low. Continue whisking as the chocolate melts.
MELT COMPLETELY. This is very important! Keep whisking until the mixture is smooth and shiny. Dip a spoon in from time to time and look closely. There shouldn’t be any grains of chocolate in the mix. Failure to do this will result in an ice cream that’s gritty, and no one, absolutely no one, wants that!
Add half-and-half and vanilla. When the chocolate has completely melted, whisk in the vanilla and the half-and-half.
Strain. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer and into a clean bowl. While it might seem to be a bother to strain, you want to get out any lumps; mixtures that involve cocoa can have lumps, so make the extra effort.
Chill. Cover with plastic wrap and chill, at least eight hours, but preferably overnight.
Churn. Set up your ice cream machine and churn the chocolate mixture according to the manufacturers’ direction.
Pack and freeze. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze.
We had some problems with getting all the chocolate to melt and incorporate smoothly, so we highlighted that step above. If you don’t do so, you’ll end up with a gritty chocolate ice cream — not good. Because you need to be aware of this problem with this recipe, we’ll only give it four stars, although it still is a great-tasting ice cream.