Tuesday, April 03, 2007

chocolate chilli ice cream

They say the internet has everything. In fact, it’s not only them, sometimes I say that too. But lately my trust has been shattered.

First there was the traumatic experience of not finding a certain foot shaped birthday present for a certain someone. I mean, I was sure that once I was actually prepared to part with real money this magic world of ebay and suchlike would open up to me. All those shopping ads would finally have a purpose. But no, twas not to be.

And then on Friday there was the crushing realisation that there was not a recipe for chocolate chilli icecream to be found anywhere on the whole damn interweb. Nowhere in this whole damn place no matter if we say it dub dub dub or doub doub doub. Well maybe there were one or two. But none I’d trust. Some had white chocolate! And that's always the difficulty with internet recipes and special occasions – how to know who is gonna let you down?

Anyway, I fell back on my own inner strengths. And some cookbooks. And I made this leetle recipe by adapting a sherry ice cream recipe from the ever trustworthy Moro. (Trustworthy despite the fact that it is disturbingly written by a het couple called Sam and Sam. yuk.)

The ice cream was delicious. Just chilli hot enough to match the cinnamon and be lovely and warming. Very chocolatey. I used the icecream maker for most of it but then left it in there so long that it warmed up and was like a thick mousse. Oops. The bit that didn't fit into the maker I just threw in the freezer. That was a pretty perfect consistency after about 3 hours with just one stir in the middle.

Chocolate Chilli Ice Cream fit to finish off a guinness book giant nachos attempt.

7 egg yolks (yeah 7)
600 ml cream
300 ml milk
500g solid Mexican drinking chocolate (or dark chocolate)
sugar – maybe. I didn’t use any because the chocolate was sweetened. Your call.
2 cinnamon sticks
2 big dried chillis

Now the hardest thing about this recipe is probably judging the chilli factor. You want it to have a kick but more as an aftertaste than as a burning effect. I used two Guajillo chillies infused into the milk, plus a little chilli powder. These chillis are large and roasted so they don’t have too much of that sharp taste and pack just enough heat. Use your own judgement as chillies vary so widely.

Okay lets get started. Put the cream and milk in a biggish pot with the cinnamon and chillis and heat until just about to boil. Use all your predictive powers to figure out when to turn it off. Leave it to infuse. Beat the eggs for a good 5 – 10 minutes, until they go much paler and a bit thicker. If you want to add sugar, beat it in with the eggs.

Now you need to make the custard. Cos ice cream is really just frozen custard. But you knew that didn’t you smarty pants. So add a little bit of the milk mixture to the eggs to loosen them up. Then add all the eggy stuff to the milk pot and return it to a low heat. Stir it constantly and cook it until the eggy taste goes.

(And now a side note on custard, chickens and curdling
My guides Sam and Sam say “be careful not to curdle it” but they also say to cook until it thickens. This is a hard thing to judge and I actually stuffed it up and curdled it. Tallace was aghast and there was some momentary throwing around of the blame. I think though, it was a good thing. I’ve been reading Gay Bilson’s Plenty and she reckons everyone should cook a custard past the curdling point once. It helps you know what to look for and also not to be wimpy about how long you can cook it. Because the thing about custard is it’s like playing chicken. With the eggs. And if you wimp out too early your custard is going to be thin. That's bad. But ice cream is a good time to make the over cooking mistake because after it’s all frozen the curdling is not too noticeable at all.)

So anyway, cook gently. Mine got some little flecks in it which are the first sign of curdling. Hopefully yours won’t. When you’re ready to wimp out or happy with the thickness take off the heat and pour it into a bowl which is set over ice water. You wanna cool this baby down. Fish the cinnamon stick and chillis out.

Melt the chocolate and add it to the mixture. You might wanna test the hotness of your chilli now. It’s hard to judge as it will change as it freezes but at this stage you want it to have noticeable heat. Once your mixture is at room temp you can put it in the freezer. Pull it out and give it a good stir every time you remember. And soon chocolate chilli goodness will be yours. And all the props you get for making your own ice cream.

It should look like this:

1 comment:

thecoffeesnob said...

Chili chocolate. Mmm. I can't wait to try this with my new ice cream maker

I'm really paranoid about the whole custard curdling thing. Despite having made custard several times before, i curdled my custard the very first time i tried to make ice cream. hopefully it'll get better. anyway great blog! =)