Da Lat Spiced Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Da Lat Spiced Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart.

Our Da Lat Spice and chocolate are a particularly wonderful pairing —deep notes of coffee and cacao mirror and intensify chocolate’s richness; ginger and black pepper add bright contrasting notes and play up its fruity side. This recipe takes full advantage of that relationship and uses both cocoa and chopped dark chocolate to create a dreamy ice cream with tiny flakes of chocolate.

Although any type of cocoa powder will work in this recipe, we recommend using Dutch-processed for its smoother, less-acidic flavor and for its deep color. Tapioca starch (a.k.a. ‘tapioca flour’) is readily available online and in the Asian foods or Bob’s Red Mill section of many grocery stores. Both the starch and a touch of alcohol help to keep the ice cream scoopable. The alcohol may be omitted but the ice cream will freeze harder (just let it warm a little at room temp before scooping). 

For the custard:
1¼ cup heavy cream
1½ cup whole milk
½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 cup sugar
5 egg yolks
1 tablespoon tapioca starch
1 tablespoon Da Lat Spice
¼ teaspoon (heaping) sea salt

Post-cooking additions:
3 ounces 70% dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoons whiskey or other spirit 

Set the bottom pan of a double boiler or bain marie over medium-low heat; add water to about a 2-inch depth. While the water heats to a bare simmer, put all the custard ingredients into the top pan and whisk until the mixture is completely combined and smooth. Set on top of the bottom pan.

Cook the custard, stirring almost constantly until the custard thickens and its temperature is 170° F on an instant-read or candy thermometer. Remove the pan of custard from the bottom/hot pan. (The custard will be a saucy consistency. If you have any suspicion that the custard has curdled, strain it into a bowl and proceed with the bowl of custard, ditching the pan.)

Sprinkle the bittersweet chocolate over the hot custard and stir to melt and mix it into the custard. Add the whiskey and stir it in.

 Prepare an ice bath in a bowl that will accommodate the pan of custard; set the pan of custard into the ice bath. When the custard is cool to the touch (about 20 minutes), take the pan out of the ice bath. Dry the bottom of the pan and put it into the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour and up to overnight (cover, if overnight).

Pour the cold custard into an ice cream machine and process to soft-serve consistency. Scoop the ice cream into a quart container with a lid. Lay a piece of waxed paper or baking parchment directly onto the surface of the ice cream; put the lid on the container. Put the container into the freezer to ‘harden off’ the ice cream, at least 5 hours.


Alternate Vitamix or Blendtec method

If you have a super-powerful blender such as a Vitamix® or Blendtec,® the friction created by the machine’s high RPMs will heat and cook the custard — no stove time!

To make the custard in the one of these blenders, put all the custard ingredients into the jar of the blender and put the cover. Start the blender on low speed and gradually increase to high-speed. Let the machine run until the custard heat to 170˚ F on an instant-read thermometer, about 7 minutes. (Carefully insert the thermometer through the hold in the lid. Don’t let the custard get any hotter than 172° because the eggs will curdle.)

Put the chopped chocolate into a bowl, pour the hot custard over it and stir until the chocolate has completely melted and is combined into the custard. Stir in the whiskey.

Set the bowl of custard into an ice bath, then follow the recipe instructions above for chilling and freezing.

Curio Spice Co. has no affiliation with Vitamix or Blentec.



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