Monday, November 16, 2009

Aztec "Hot" Chocolate Ice Cream

This is the best ice cream I have ever made (which isn't hard since I have only made a few kinds), but it is also one of the best ice creams I have ever tasted. I found this recipe for Aztec "Hot" Chocolate Ice Cream in David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop. What makes this chocolate ice cream special is its complex flavor due to the chile powder, ground cinnamon, and brandy added. Lebovitz suggests using ancho or chipotle chile powder, which you can find at Mexican markets. I found whole dry ancho chiles in Dallas, Texas at a bulk food store called Sprouts Farmers Market, and ended up just grinding a couple up (after removing their stems) in a coffee grinder I rarely use. The coffee grinder create a pretty fine powder, but it was still coarse enough that it created a subtle texture in the ice cream. If you are worried about the strength of your chile powder, add a small amount and let it sit for a while and see if you like it before adding more.

Here are the ingredients for David Lebovitz's Aztec "Hot" Chocolate Ice Cream:
-2 1/4 cups heavy cream
-6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
-3/4 cup sugar
-3 ounces semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
-1 1/4 cups whole milk
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-Pinch of salt
-1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
-2 to 3 teaspoons chile powder
-2 tablespoons brandy

To begin, chop the chocolate and set aside.
Whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, and sugar in a large saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full rolling boil. It will start to foam up.
Remove from heat and add the chopped chocolate, then whisk until it is competely melted.
Stir in the milk, vanilla, salt, cinnamon, chile powder, and brandy.Pour the mixture into a blender and blend for 30 seconds, until very smooth.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze in your ice cream maker according to instructions.
Place your ice cream in an air tight container and place plastic wrap on top to reduce freezer burn.

If you get a chance to make ice cream - make this one! It is so satisfying - chocolatey, warm, and hint of brandy all the way through - you will not be disappointed.