Mexican chocolate is used in Mexican recipes such as mole, and is made up of dark, bitter chocolate mixed with sugar, cinnamon and sometimes other spices, making it rather grainy. It produces a very rich and distinctive flavor. When I found this recipe for Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream, I knew I wanted to try it. Not everyone enjoys the combination of chocolate and cinnamon, but the flavor combination is definitely one that I think marries well, as long as it’s done right.
(If you came looking for the Tuesdays with Dorie recipe this week, I’m sorry. :( We aren’t big on coconut and I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand. Things are a bit tight right now, so shopping for extras just isn’t in the “bread” box, if you know what I mean. My apologies to Carmen, our gracious host. If you are interested in seeing how the Coconut Tea Cake came out, visit her blog, Carmen Cooks.)
Now back to the ice cream… none of my kids would eat it. I had to eat it all myself. (I know, such TORTURE, right? RIGHT?) I loved the spicy tinge at the end of each spoonful. This tasty frozen goodness was creamy and smooth and full of rich flavor. I will definitely make it again, even if I’m the only one who enjoys it!
Amanda’s Notes: Mexican chocolate is usually available in the ethnic food aisle, not the baking aisle. Something important to note is that the outside of the package can be misleading, making you think it’s a hot chocolate mix. Mexican chocolate is used to make hot chocolate, and does come in powder form, but it also comes in solid bars, disks, or tablets. You can purchase Ibarra, a well know brand, or Nestle makes one called Abuelita, which is what I used.
Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream
adapted from Mangio da Sola
2 cup heavy whipping cream, divided
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 disk and 2 triangles of Mexican chocolate
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
Pinch espresso powder
6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brandy
Heat one cup of cream in a small saucepan. Whisk in cocoa powder. Bring to a simmer. Whisk until cocoa powder is well incorporated. Remove pot from heat. Stir in chocolate until homogenous.
Put mixture into a metal bowl and add the remaining cup of cream. Set that bowl over a larger bowl half-filled with ice water to help cool it down. Place a mesh sieve over the bowl with the chocolate mixture.
Put one cup of milk, the sugar, salt, cayenne, and espresso powder into a saucepan and heat until steamy (not boiling), stirring to incorporate the spices and dissolve the sugar.
Place egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Slowly pour the heated milk and mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly so that the egg yolks are tempered by the heated milk, but not cooked by it. Use a rubber spatula to scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the milk egg mixture constantly over medium heat with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon so that you can run your finger across the coating and have the coating not run. This can take anywhere from 2 to 10 minutes, depending on how hot your burner is. Mine only took 2.5!
As soon as the mixture coats the spoon, remove it from the heat and immediately pour it over the mesh sieve into the bowl of the chocolate cream mixture. Stir into the cream mixture.
Add a teaspoon of vanilla. Let the mixture cool a bit in the ice bath and then chill in the refrigerator until completely chilled, a couple hours or overnight. (Right before churning, add 1 tablespoon of brandy to the mix. This is an optional step, but it will help keep the ice cream from getting too icy if it is stored beyond a day.)
Churn the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Store ice cream in an airtight container in your freezer for several hours before eating. The ice cream will be quite soft coming out of the ice cream maker, but will continue harden in your freezer. If you store it for more than a day, you may need to let it sit for a few minutes to soften before attempting to scoop it.
Makes 1 quart.