Saturday, July 17, 2010

Chocolate Caramel Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

I’m a sucker for chocolate ice cream, but frequently when I order it at an ice cream shop, I find it’s just not chocolaty enough for me. I like it really dark, preferably made with an excellent bittersweet

chocolate (I used Guittard 62% in mine). Sometimes you just have to make your own to get what you want. I’m not a purist, so I also 

like a lot of add-ins in my ice cream. Since I had some brownies on hand, I decided they would be an exciting addition. Then I drizzled 

in some extra-buttery caramel, and I had one of the best chocolate ice creams I’ve ever eaten. I bet even Ben, Jerry and Mr. Haagen-Dazs would approve of this one.

Chocolate Caramel Brownie Chunk Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart

Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream:
8 ounces excellent bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
6 large egg yolks
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups frozen brownie chunks (1/4 to ½-inch)*

Buttery Caramel Ripple:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
½ cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

*Note: I used this recipe.

Make the Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream:
1. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of the cream to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and whisk in the chopped chocolate until completely melted. Whisk in the remaining 1 cup of cream. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and set aside.
2. In the same saucepan, heat the milk and sugar over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Heat until bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the yolks and salt until well blended. Pour the hot milk into the yolk mixture, then return the entire mixture to the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon. Pour the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into the melted chocolate mixture. Whisk to combine. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Place the bowl in an ice bath and stir until cool.
3. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours. While the base is chilling, make the Buttery Caramel Ripple.

Make the Buttery Caramel Ripple:
4. In a medium, heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the sugar and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sugar becomes dark golden brown. Remove the pan from the heat and very carefully add the heavy cream. Stir until smooth (if there are lumps, you may need to heat the mixture over low heat until they dissolve). Stir in the salt and vanilla. Cool completely.

Finish the ice cream:
5. Process the base in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a large bowl and mix in the brownie chunks with a rubber spatula (or try to add them during the last minute of churning – my machine wasn’t tough enough to handle them).
6. Scrape one-third of the ice cream into an airtight container. Drizzle half of the Buttery Caramel Layer on top. Repeat layering, and then top with remaining ice cream. Cover the ice cream with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.