Bring some heat to your Valentine’s Day with this Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream! I know it’s the middle of winter, but in my opinion, ice cream is a key part of a balanced diet year round. One of my best friends and I have a (not so) secret dream of opening up an ice cream shop someday. Granted right now we live on opposite coasts and are employed in a totally different line of work but we still talk about our future ice cream shop almost every time we chat. So each time I try out a new ice cream flavor I can chalk it up to future job training, right?
Anyway, I first made Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream a few years ago. It was actually my dessert entry for a chili cook off and I won for that category. This ice cream is smooth and very rich. Cinnamon adds most of the spice but if you really want to feel the heat, you can also add a crushed dried pequin chili pepper. Almonds and chocolate chips add texture to this otherwise silky dessert.
I started off by melting bittersweet and unsweetened baking chocolate in a double boiler while simultaneously bringing milk and cream to a boil in a large saucepan. I added the just boiled milk and cream to egg yolks beat with brown sugar, while whisking constantly to avoid scrambled eggs! Once combined I poured it all back into the saucepan and stirred constantly until it reached 170F on a candy thermometer, creating a custard, which I strained through a fine sieve.
Once strained, I stirred in the melted chocolate, cinnamon, and a touch of Kahlua, which is optional. Then I poured the mixture into the bowl of my ice cream machine and let the magic happen. I’m lucky enough to have a self-cooling machine, so I don’t have to let the mixture cool first (yay for less waiting for ice cream!) but depending on your ice cream machine you may need to let the mixture sit in your fridge to cool down for a bit before freezing.
At the very end of the freezing process, I added semi-sweet chocolate chips and toasted blanched almond slivers. This is where the crushed pequin chili pepper goes too if you’re using it. I skipped it this time around knowing that my toddler would be begging for a taste but I’ve used the pepper all the other times I’ve made the ice cream and it does add heat but is totally bearable since you have the cool creaminess of the frozen dessert to counteract the heat of the peppers. Just a note: make sure to wear gloves when crushing up the chili…the oil is no joke if you accidentally touch your face afterwards!
So spice up your Valentine’s Day, or any other day, with Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream! XOXO!
Spiced Chocolate Ice Cream
Yield: approximately 1 1/2 quarts
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup skim milk
6 large egg yolks
1/3 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons Kahlua (optional)
1/3 cup toasted blanched almond slivers
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon crumbled pequin chilies (optional)–this is 1 chili pepper
1. Melt the bittersweet and unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth.
2. In a large saucepan, combine the cream and the milk and bring just to a boil. In a bowl whisk together the egg yolks and the brown sugar. Add the cream mixture to the egg yolks in a steady stream, whisking continuously, then return the mixture back to the saucepan.
3. Cook the custard over medium-low heat, stirring continuously, until it reaches 170F on a candy thermometer. Strain through a fine sieve, then whisk in the melted chocolate, the cinnamon, and the Kahlua if using.
4. Let the mixture cool and freeze in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. During the final few minutes of the freezing process, add in the almonds, chocolate chips, and crumbled chili pepper if using. Transfer to a freezer-safe container to store.