We’ve had temperatures in excess of 100 degrees F for the past 30 days and I don’t know about you, but I am so over it. Today, my thermometer reads 109 degrees F as I write this. So since I’m a hostage in the house, I’ve decided to “do time” in the kitchen.
I saw a cleverly titled article called “Churn After Reading” in the Summer 2011 issue of FreshHome magazine that featured four exotic ice cream recipes. I zeroed in on the Dark Chocolate Ice Cream with Paprika & Agave since a) I love chocolate, b) it doesn’t call for white granulated sugar, and c) it was the only one with commonly available ingredients. (I’ve never heard of or seen pandan leaves or pomegranate molasses anywhere!) As per usual, I altered the recipe slightly, based on my taste buds. This is really easy for an ice cream, super smooth, with a pleasant bite—very worth the 30 minutes or so it will take.
1 cup whole milk
½ cup agave nectar (available at most mainstream supermarkets or Whole Foods-type grocers)
1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or extract)
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk and agave nectar to simmering (do not boil).
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, paprika, and salt. Stir in the cooled chocolate.
3. Using a ladle, add 1 ladleful of hot milk mixture to the egg mixture and whisk until well combined. Continue adding hot milk by the ladleful and whisking until it’s all combined. Return the whole thing to the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture has thickened and coats the back of a spoon.
4. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Transfer the cooked mixture to a separate bowl, and set the bowl in the ice water bowl and let cool for 2 to 3 minutes.
5. Stir in the cream and vanilla; leave to cool for 30 minutes.
6. Churn in your ice cream maker for 25 minutes. Transfer to a freezer container and allow to freeze for several hours before serving.
Serve it with a pinch of chopped almonds on top.
Enjoy, and stay cool!