I turned 30 this year and in the spirit of excessive celebration (I love birthdays), we threw a potluck with a “dirty” food theme. Not funny-shapes kind of dirty but cooking dirty. Like dirty rice. My contribution and as it turns out, a gift to myself, was a cinnamon milk chocolate ice cream with chocolate cookies crumbles in it. We dubbed it Dirty Hot Chocolate Ice Cream. And then we devoured it.
Dirty Hot Chocolate Ice Cream
(Milk chocolate base adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)
8 oz milk chocolate (you’ll want one that has 30% or more cocoa solids – Trader Joe’s is a great source if you have one)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean
Pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1 1/4 tsp cinnamon (I used Vietnamese Cinnamon from King Arthur’s Flour – a wonderful birthday gift – it has excellent flavor)
1 tsp brandy
1 to 1 1/2 cups crumbled double chocolate sandwich cookies (I used the Late July brand)
Finely chop the milk chocolate. Tip: I’ve had better luck using a large serrated bread knife to chop chocolate. I can’t remember where I read this tip but it has come in handy.
Combine the milk chocolate, cream and cinnamon in the top of a double boiler (or a bowl over a pan of hot water). Stir until the chocolate is melted and remove the bowl from the pan. Set aside to cool slightly.
Warm the milk, sugar, salt and vanilla bean (be sure to scrape out those lovely sticky seeds into the mixture to get the full flavor and flecks) in the top of a double boiler. In a separate medium to large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the pinch of salt. When the milk mixture is hot and little bubbles are forming on the edges (but before it boils!), remove the pan from the heat. Immediately pour the hot milk mixture in a slow and steady stream into the eggs yolks while beating them continually. Pour the mixture back into the double boiler pan and return it to the heat. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until the mixture thickens (be sure to scrape the bottom to prevent eggy bits from forming). Once the custard has thickened, pour it into the chocolate mixture and mix together with the brandy. Here if you’re all serious, you’ll plunge the pan of this mixture into an ice bath and stir until it’s cooled. I’m lazy so I just remove it from the heat, put the pan on a cool surface (like the enamel part of the stove if the oven isn’t on) and whisk until I get bored. Then I pour it into a glass mason jar, let it cool to room temp before popping on a lid and putting it in the fridge. So far there are a few eggy bits that form sometimes but they are usually whisk-away-able later.
I figure most of you know how to make cookie crumbles but I’ve always wanted to have the phrase “bludgeon” in a recipe so:
To crumble the cookies, put them in plastic ziplock bag and bludgeon them with a heavy dull object like a rolling pin. Ultimately the size of the chunks are up to you but I recommend mostly crumbs with a few small pieces that will make for a bit of variety in the finished product.
Chill the mixture thoroughly in the fridge and then churn into ice cream in the ice cream maker of your choice. Just after the ice cream is churned, stir in the cookie crumbles. Put it in the freezer to finish it off to that solid ice cream consistency. Put the ice cream making bowl, paddle and spoons out for general frenzied licking for all household participants. Enjoy!