Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice Cream



Chocolate craving! Chocolate alert! My chocolate cravings come in waves. And I'm not even pregnant. What was I like when I was pregnant? I can't imagine. I do remember that I drank a few gallons of milk each week...without help. But I didn't need much chocolate. But now my cravings are for chocolate, and today I've got a new antidote. Funny that my children think they'll be getting some of this after dinner tonight. They must be crazy.

Adapted from the Chez Panisse Desserts recipe "Clay's Chocolate Ice Cream with White Chocolate Truffles."

Makes a generous quart:

1 C half-and-half
3/4 C sugar
6 egg yolks
6 ounces chocolate, split between semi-sweet and bittersweet or semi-sweet and unsweetened, depending on how rich you like your chocolate. I did half semi and half bitter. The original recipe calls for 5 oz semi and 1 oz unsweetened.
2 T unsalted butter
2 C whipping cream
1 T vanilla
1/2 C - 1 C of room temperature, natural peanut butter

Warm the half-and-half with the sugar in a non-corroding saucepan until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. You'll know it's ready when it starts to look translucently-milky. Just trust me on that one.

Whisk the egg yolks just enough to break them up, stir in some of the warm half-and half. Return the yolk mixture to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture coats the spoon. Strain into a bowl. Break up the chocolate and melt it with butter in a small heavy saucepan over warm water, stirring until it is smooth and glossy (or, alternatively, put the chocolate and butter in a microwave-proof bowl for a minute and a half to two minutes to melt both). Remove from stove top or microwave and begin to whisk in a little of the warm custard, a tablespoon or two at a time until the mixture starts to thin out. Adding the custard gradually will keep the ice cream from getting little grains of chocolate in it. When all the custard is incorporated, gradually whisk in the cream. Add the vanilla, taste (that's my favorite part) and chill overnight.

Freeze the ice cream according the the instructions that came with your ice cream maker and fold the peanut butter into the ice cream when you remove it from the machine. Freeze for at least three hours before scooping.

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