Tuesday 13 November 2007

Childhood pleasures

Back in Singapore, I used to make ice cream a lot as the equatorial climate meant any day was a perfect day for ice cream. Since moving to London, however, I can count the number of times I've churned ice cream on one hand. To me, save for a few days a year, its just never quite warm enough to eat ice-cream in London. M, on the other hand, begs to differ. Ice cream is his hands-down favourite treat and if its sitting around in the refrigerator, its almost guaranteed never to live to see another day.

Since M has been working really hard again, I decided to surprise him with some homemade ice cream, in his favourite flavour no less - Mint-Chocolate Chip. We also purchased the UK equivalent of Magic Shell and some dark chocolate mint flavoured Cadbury fingers as toppings for the ice cream. Apparently, the combination of Magic Shell on ice cream was THE special treat in M's household growing up and though it was slightly disconcerting to see a grown man so excited by a bottle of chocolate sauce, its nice to know that some things never change.

Mint-Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma's Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups whole milk
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 tsp peppermint extract
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
Pinch of salt
90g bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tsp canola oil

In a heavy 2-qt saucepan, combined the mik, 1 cup of the cream, and the peppermint extract. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 20 minutes to steep.

Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, sugar, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup cream in a bowl. Whisk until smooth. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the warm milk mixture into the egg mixture until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the pan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4-6 minutes. Do not let the custard boil. Strain through a fine -mesh sieve into a bowl.

Place the bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water. Stir occasionally until cool. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.

About 1 hour before freezing the ice cream, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water. Stir the chocolate until it is melted, then stir in the oil. Transfer to a small pitcher. Let cool to room temperature.

Pour the custard into an ice-cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. When nearly frozen and the consistency of thick whipped cream, add the chocolate while the machine is churning or stop the machine temporarily, add the chocolate, and restart to mix. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days, before serving.

Makes about 1 quart

1 comment:

Deborah said...

I am a believer that ice cream can be enjoyed no matter what the temperature is outside!! And mint chocolate chip has to be one of my favorite flavors!