I am continuing my experimenting with ice cream and before I tried any more creative recipes I wanted to try a basic chocolate ice cream. Of course I needed a to give it a little twist by using agave syrup. This recipe is quite simple in concept but it does take a bit of time, including the chilling time.
I made the thin custard base of the ice cream one evening and put it in the ice cream maker in the morning. I couldn’t wait any longer to try the ice cream, and who doesn’t want chocolate ice cream on a Sunday morning? I was quite surprised at how much the custard thickened up in the fridge overnight, it was almost the consistency of pudding. There was an awful lot of spoon licking going on in our house that morning.
There is a down side to homemade ice cream. It freezes up into a solid block, which means you have to let it sit out for about 10 minutes before you can scoop it. Next time I may throw some liquor in and that will help keep it from freezing rock-solid.
I looked up some tips for keeping homemade ice cream from freezing rock solid and found David Lebovitz’s post about this subject concise and immensely helpful. One of his tips says that using a lot of sugar will help keep the ice cream softer but to me that is not a compelling enough reason to use lots of sugar. I feel that many desserts have too much sugar in them which diminishes the flavour of the dessert because all you taste is white sugar. I wanted the chocolate to dominate this ice cream, not the sweetness.
That being said, it is necessary to put sufficient sugar in because freezing dulls flavours in ice cream. I made a peach and blueberry ice cream a few weeks ago and did not put nearly enough sugar in so it tasted bland to me. On the opposite side, I made a white chocolate raspberry ice cream and put too much in because I didn’t take into account how tooth-achingly sweet white chocolate can be.
If you are interested in reducing the amount of sugar you eat, I strongly suggest that you cut out all artificial sweeteners. Don’t drink diet pop (soda for any American readers)! If you want a soda, have the full sweet version, you will be doing yourself a favour (disclaimer: if you are a diabetic don’t even consider listening to me – always follow your doctor’s advice. This rant is not for you). All artificial sweeteners do is increase your cravings for carbohydrates and sugar while not ever satisfying that craving. If you are a diet pop (soda) drinker, do you also eat a lot of bread, pasta, candy or chocolate and maybe consider yourself a ‘carb addict’? The diet drinks and low sugar food you eat are likely a big reason for that. I know several people who drink 3 or more cans of diet pop a day and think that is fine because it is diet. It makes me want to scream. If you start to reduce the amount of sugar that you eat, you will find that sweet desserts that you used to eat will be sickeningly sweet and if you do crack open a can of Coke after not drinking a Diet Coke or regular one for a month, you may not be able to finish it because it will be too sweet. Remember, when the manufacturers of processed foods remove fat they just fill that void with sugar and salt which doesn’t actually make it healthier. I actually believe that fat-free food and artificial sweeteners will make you fat. So endeth the sugar rant.
Make this ice cream with all the glorious fat, a real sweetener and anti-oxidant containing dark chocolate once in a while and you will be much healthier than if you ate reduced fat, aspartame or sucralose containing iced dessert-type product twice a week.
- David Lebovitz’s Tips for Making Homemade Ice Cream Softer
- Why Artificial Sweeteners Are Bad For You
A rich chocolate ice cream using 85% dark chocolate and a thin custard base. Agave syrup is used to sweeten the ice cream instead of white sugar. Note: you will need to chill the custard mixture over night before putting it in your ice cream maker. Makes approximately 1 1/2 quarts or 1.5 liters.
1 hourPrep Time
30 minsCook Time
- 3 cups whipping cream (35% cream)
- 1 cup milk
- 4 egg yolks
- pinch of salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup light agave syrup
- 8 oz 85% dark chocolate (such as Lindt) - I used two 100 gram (4 oz) bars
- Heat the cream and milk gently in a pot on the stove. Stir often so that the bottom doesn't scorch.
- Add the egg yolks to a large glass measuring cup for easy pouring, or use a bowl. Add the agave, salt and vanilla to the yolks and mix together.
- When the cream is hot (don't let it boil or even simmer), very slowing pour the hot cream into the yolks, whisking the yolks the whole time. Just dribble the cream in a first to warm up the yolks and then very slowing pour the cream.
- Once it is all mixed together, pour the whole mixture into the pot and heat gently, stirring with wooden spoon until the thin custard coats the back of the spoon.
- To test whether it is done, stir the custard with the spoon and then run your finger through the custard left on the back of the spoon. If it stays separate, it is done. If it runs quickly back together, then heat it a bit longer.
- Meanwhile, chop up the chocolate bars and put them in the bowl or measuring cup you had the cream and egg yolks in.
- When the custard has thickened, remove it from the heat and pour half of it through a fine mesh sieve over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate has melted into the custard. Now pour the rest of the custard through the sieve over the chocolately custard and stir to combine.
- You can use the same bowl to chill it or strain it once more through the sieve into another bowl. Either way, place a piece of plastic wrap right onto the custard and put it in the fridge over night to chill.
- When chilled completely, pour custard into your ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer instructions. Mine took about a half hour.
- When it is done, spoon the ice cream into an air tight container and keep in your freezer. Enjoy!