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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream


This ice cream is a healthy alternative to store-bought versions.

Instead of sugar, it is sweetened with honey. It's also full of antioxidants from real dark chocolate and cocoa powder, and a good source of calcium. Use cream and milk from grass-fed or pasture-raised cows for a healthy dose of omega-3 fats.

You will need a large airtight container to chill the ice cream mixture in the fridge and to store the ice cream in the freezer.
A lidded 7-cup Pyrex container works perfectly.

3.5 oz dark chocolate, 70% or darker
¼ cup honey
2 cups cream
½ cup pure unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup whole milk
Pinch sea salt
4 egg yolks

Special equipment: ice cream maker

Warm two inches of water in a medium saucepan. Add the dark chocolate and honey to a large glass or stainless steel bowl and set it on top of the saucepan. Cover and warm until just melted. Turn off the heat, remove the bowl from the saucepan and set it aside.

Empty the water from the saucepan, carefully wipe it dry (it’s hot) and return it to the stove. Add the cream and cocoa powder and warm over medium-low heat. Whisk to combine the cocoa powder and cream until thoroughly incorporated and hot but not boiling. Turn off the stove and pour the cream and cocoa into the bowl with the honey and chocolate, using a rubber scraper to wipe the pan clean. Place a fine mesh strainer over the bowl and return the saucepan to the stove.

Break the egg yolks into a heat-proof bowl and whisk them briefly. Add the milk to the saucepan with the sea salt and warm over low heat. Once small bubbles start to appear at the edges of the pan, whisk the eggs continuously while you add about half the milk, pouring in a thin stream. Slowly pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan, whisking continuously, and cook until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not overcook or the milk will separate.

Pour the milk and egg mixture through the fine mesh strainer into the bowl and whisk to combine. Transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth, taking care to vent the lid and prevent a heat explosion. Transfer to an airtight container, cover and refrigerate over night.

Freeze the chilled mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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