After I had made the vanilla, I was pretty sure chocolate was going to be the next step. The question was, which chocolate recipe should I use? I was having a friend over that afternoon, so I wanted to get a move on. Just before I was going to fall back on the beloved Lebovitz book again, the UPS man knocked with a package: Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, the ice cream and baked goods recipe book from the owners of the Bi-Rite creamery and bakery in San Francisco. This had come highly recommended for the Salted Caramel ice cream recipe, but as that involved melting dry sugar over a stove (which means working with some VERY hot goo!) and the fact that we were going to have a passel of kiddos running around, I decided to see what their chocolate recipe looked like.
This was very clearly another custard-style ice cream, and after my previous result, I wanted to get back up on that horse and figure out what I needed to do to get a good French-style dessert out of my Cuisinart. But I have to say that the Sweet Cream recipe seemed deceptively simple… mix and heat the dairy products with the cocoa, temper the eggs and add them, cook a bit and chill. I read and re-read their description of what a custard looked like when it finishes cooking (you draw a finger across the back of your wooden spoon coated with heated mixture, and the trail you leave doesn’t immediately fade out), and decided to go for it. Here’s a link to the recipe I used; my cocoa was Ghirardelli. The custard set to the described finger-trail almost as soon as I added the eggs… I was worried that they weren’t cooked enough, but then realized I’d probably overcooked the eggs in the mint version and decided to trust my eyes. After an hour in the fridge to chill, we dumped it into the machine and crossed our fingers.
We were in the middle of a Chicago heat wave… the fourth day of withering, blistering sun. I think this stuff could have turned out to be terrible and as long as it was cold, we were going to snarf it down.
But it wasn’t terrible, not by a long shot. It was velvety smooth, rich and deeply chocolate. Next to the remains of the vanilla, the icy chunky bits from the former batch was in even stronger contrast. They were, of course, delicious together… but the chocolate was undeniably the shining star of the pair. This was a great recipe, and the guidance of the book really gave me the confidence not to screw it up and overcook it. Great stuff!