Friday, December 26, 2008

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream

I felt that it was about time I did something holiday appropriate around here. I have a bunch of peppermint candy for something else I’ve been working on and wanted to do something fun with it. As a result, I made chocolate peppermint ice cream. Usually I prefer vanilla based ice creams because you can do so much more with them, but winter seems to equal chocolate. I use the light chocolate recipe from Ben and Jerry because it works better as a background for other flavors whereas the others are chocolate for rich, chocolately goodness sake. Make sure when grinding up the peppermint candies to get them as small as possible. The big chunks will sink to the bottom of the ice cream and often really get in the way. Unless you like big chunks, then just go for it how you want to. If you’ve made any of the other ice cream recipes I’ve posted, you’ll recognize the basic base in step 2, minus the milk. This is a little more complex, but still very delicious and rather easy.

Chocolate Peppermint Ice Cream modified from Ben and Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book:

1 oz. unsweetened chocolate
¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ c. milk
2 large eggs
¾ c. sugar
1 c. heavy or whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract
About 1 c. crushed peppermint candies

I crushed my candies in my mini prep food processor using the dull side of the blade.

Melt the unsweetened chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. Gradually whisk in the cocoa and heat, stirring constantly, until smooth. The chocolate may “seize” or clump together. Don’t worry, the milk will dissolve it. This did happen to me and while it takes some time to work out with the milk and whisking, it will de-clump. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time, and heat until completely dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 minutes more. Pour in the cream and vanilla and whisk to blend.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the cream mixture and blend. Cover and refrigerate until cold, about 1 to 3 hours, depending on your refrigerator.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer’s instructions. Mine takes about 25 minutes. About 2 minutes before the ice cream is done, mix in the crushed peppermint candies. Transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 2 hours, best overnight.

We had this the first time for dinner with friends and it was well-received. There’s still a little left and I may mix it in with my hot chocolate one of these cold days.

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