Monday, June 15, 2009

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream with Brownie Chunks

My brother had a childhood friend in town and we had talked about all getting together for a visit--I thought it would be nice to bring a batch of homemade ice cream to share, but I wanted something a little out of the ordinary. Thinking about the old days brought me back to a favorite memory.

I must have been two or three, and it was the day my mother taught me about dunking as a breakfast ritual. Specifically, the folding and dunking of cinnamon toast--for her, into hot coffee. For me, into my cocoa.

Whenever I've mentioned this to--or, God forbid, actually done it in front of--friends or husbands, the reaction has always been the same. Horror. Why wet the toast? Bread and cocoa? Oh, the humanity!

But they're barbarians. Toast. Gets. Dunked. And long after the toast is gone, there's this lovely spicy buttery taste added to the hot chocolate that's delicious.

Which inspired this ice cream recipe. Well, that, and the small fact of a leftover half-pan of brownies that needed to be used.

I actually hoped to spice this mixture only with ginger for a little heat, but the 2-inch piece of ginger either wasn't enough or didn't steep as long as it should have. I added additional spices for a pleasant melange which really was more in keeping with the memory that inspired it.

Unfortunately, our plans with my brother's friend changed and the ice cream wasn't eaten. Well, not by guests, anyway.

Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream with Brownie Chunks
makes about 1 quart
If you don't want the brownie chunks, double the creme anglaise recipe to make sure you have a whole quart of ice cream.

1 cup water
2-inch piece of ginger, unpeeled and roughly chopped up (will eventually be strained out)
1/3 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch each ground cardamom and ground cinnamon
few scrapes nutmeg
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup agave nectar (I used amber)
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon salted butter
1 teaspoon dark rum
1/2 pan leftover brownies. (Mine were from half of a batch cooked in a 9x13-inch pan. If you want something that's more diabetic-friendly, try this flourless chocolate cake recipe. Very brownie-like.)

In a small saucepan, combine water and ginger. Cover and bring to a boil; remove from heat and steep 5 minutes.

Whisk in dry milk powder, cocoa and spices. Cool and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a medium stainless steel or glass bowl, whisk egg yolks with agave nectar to froth. Stir in cocoa mixture and heavy cream. Set bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the water doesn't directly touch the bottom of the bowl. Add butter and stir constantly until thickened. To test for doneness, stir gently with a spoon and pull it out; draw your finger across the back of the spoon. If the trail remains without filling in, it's ready.

Remove from heat; pour through a fine mesh into a clean bowl. Stir in dark rum. Cover and refrigerate until cold.

Process in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. During the last couple of minutes, add your cut-up brownie chunks. Don't allow that to process for long--you just want them folded in.

The consistency will be a little thin, so you definitely have to freeze this one to harden further.

Transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze to harden. Even after freezing for several days, my batch is nicely spoonable but still keeps it's shape.


SarahKate said...

I love this! What a great way to come up with a recipe... and lucky you getting to eat the results!

Amanda said...

Thanks, SarahKate! I quite like it, too... though I don't dare indulge in this one too often. For my own safety, I plan to share it with friends--soon!

Sara said...

I love the combination of spices with chocolate, especially cinnamon and chocolate. This looks great!

Amanda said...

Sara--thank you. I, too, love mixing warm spices with chocolate (and often cayenne or other peppers, too). It's just so right!

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