Saturday, May 17, 2008
Chocolate Ice Cream with Chocolate Chips and Blueberry-Port Wine Swirl
When I added this as a flavor for the survey I had no idea it would win. I honestly thought that some of the other flavors were more interesting. So I was taken by surprise when it won the poll. I didn’t have a clue on what to make. All I knew is that if I pureed the blueberries and mixed them into the chocolate, the resulting color would be less than appetizing.
Since this is chocolate blueberry and not the other way around, the base had to be chocolate. So I went dark. It seems that the anti-oxidant craze has caused enough of a stir that consumers demand darker chocolate. M&M Mars and Hershey have both introduced new versions of some of their best sellers using dark chocolate. So I thought I would too.
If you make a lot of ice cream, you know that most recipes for chocolate ask for Dutch processed cocoa powder. I have never had success using the powder. It requires a longer cook time in order to truly remove the powdery taste and texture. So I prefer to rough chop chocolate bars and melt them in the milk. Having made the jam first, it became obvious that the chocolate should be very rich. For the ice cream base I used a combination of Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet and Theo 84% bittersweet because I had them on hand. Truthfully I find the Ghirardelli to be semi-sweet even though it is labeled as bittersweet, but the Theo bar more than makes up for this. The chocolate chunks are El Rey Apatame 73.5% (purchased at Whole Foods as a bar cut from a larger slab) which I chopped myself. You can use chocolate chips or chunks interchangeably. Whatever you decide, make sure that the chunks are at least as bittersweet as the base to avoid losing the flavor.
The swirl was made by the same method as the jam for the peanut butter ice cream except I added some port wine. The recipe below works really well if you intend to make a jam for more than just the ice cream. Unfortunately, once incorporated into the ice cream, the port flavor is pretty much lost. Next time I make the jam, I will make it “ice cream friendly” as opposed to “eat by itself friendly” and increase the port to at least one cup. Incidentally, I underestimated the berry ripeness. The original recipe was for the juice of half of a lemon and did not call for salt, but after tasting the finished product I need to add some ingredients to balance the sweetness of the jam. You may or may not need to add as much sugar, lemon juice, and/or salt. Also, as you can see from the picture I used Costco's house brand 10 year aged Tawny Port. You will do better with a less generic port. I felt that it was thin, too tannic, and lacked concentration.
For the Swirl:
18 oz blueberries
2 c sugar (adjust for berry sweetness)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
Pinch of salt (optional)
½ cup tawny port
1. Rinse the berries.
2. Put the berries, sugar, port, and lemon juice and lemon zest into a saucepan. Stir frequently until the sugar becomes liquid.
3. Simmer this stuff for about 30 minutes. The temperature should eventually get to more than 224o F.
4. Remove from the heat and cool.
For the Chocolate Ice Cream:
2 cups cream
2 cups milk
¾ cup sugar
6 egg yolks
½ tsp vanilla extract
7 oz bittersweet chocolate cut into chunks (for the base)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate cut into small chunks to add during freezing.
1. Combine the cream, milk, and ½ cup of the sugar in a saucepan and heat to a bare simmer stirring occasionally.
2. Combine the egg yolks with the remaining ¼ cup of sugar. Beat until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated and the mixture turns pale yellow.
3. Coarsely chop the chocolate.
4. Once the cream mixture is at ready, remove it from the heat.
5. Temper the eggs by mixing in a small amount of the cream, stir thoroughly, and repeat three times. You should use about 1/3 of a cup of hot cream mixture in total. Then pour the complete egg mixture into the cream pot.
6. Return the pot to the heat and stir constantly until the custard reaches 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Remove the pot from the heat. And add the chocolate. Stir until the contents are completely melted. If you are having problems getting the chocolate to melt, you may return the pot to the heat very briefly.
8. Stir in the vanilla extract
9. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl and let cool to room temperature.
10. Cover the bowl and chill overnight.
11. The next day, freeze the custard in your ice cream machine. During the last minute of the freezing process, drop in spoonfuls of the jam and the chocolate chunks.