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Saturday, May 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Brother: Part 1


As I mentioned previously, my brother's 22nd birthday was this week. As I've also mentioned previously, I am but a poor college student :( So as part of my birthday present to my brother, I invested much of my time this week into making various food items. First on the list: Coconut Chocolate Ice Cream with a Caramel Swirl. I was going for a Samoa (as in the Girl Scout cookie) flavored ice cream but the finished product tasted nothing like a samoa. Luckily for me - I mean, for my brother - this ice cream was delicious in a completely different way. The recipe is adapted from a chocolate ice cream recipe by David Lebovitz, who also happens to be the ice cream god.

Chocolate-Coconut Ice Cream

1 1/2 cups whipping cream
3 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa
3 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put 1 cup of the cream in a saucepan and sift the cocoa powder into it. Heat on medium-low heat, whisking to blend in the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then immediately reduce to a simmer for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips, stirring to melt and incorporate. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup cream, then pour the mixture through a metal strainer (to catch any cocoa powder lumps) into a large bowl, scraping out as much as you can. Place the bowl in an ice bath.

Warm the coconut milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl while you wait for the mixture to warm. When the coconut milk mixture is just warm (don't let it boil!), pour it slowly into the yolks, whisking vigorously to temper them. Pour the whole mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly. When the mixture has thickened (it should coat the back of a wooden spoon), pour it into the cream-chocolate mixture through the strainer to remove any cooked bits of egg. Add the vanilla and stir until the mixture has cooled. Refrigerate immediately.

When the mixture is sufficiently cool, freeze according to your machine's instructions. If you're adding the caramel swirl, alternate layers of ice cream and caramel in a freezer-safe container after churning the ice cream.

If you don't have an ice cream maker, go buy one! OR, instead of refrigerating the mixture after everything has been combined, put it in a container and stick it in the freezer. Every 30 minutes, remove the mixture from the freezer and whisk vigorously to break up the ice crystals. Keep doing this until you have reached ice cream consistency, but keep in mind this method makes for a more icy, less smooth (but still delicious!) ice cream.


As you can see in the picture, I made shortbread to go along with the ice cream because samoas are shortbread cookies covered in caramel, coconut, and chocolate. However, I preferred the ice cream sans shortbread, so I'm leaving the recipe out of this post. If anyone really, really wants it, just ask and you shall receive. I did, on the other hand, go with the caramel swirl. I decided to use a simple 1 part water, 2 parts cream, 3 parts sugar recipe because I'd never made caramel before:

3/4 cups sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup cream

Combine the sugar and water in a small-ish saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it begins to boil. Stop stirring it and increase the heat to high, watching it carefully (if hot spots appear, swirl the pan gently). Once it turns amber in color remove from the heat and wait for a few seconds, then pour the cream in slowly, whisking while you do. The caramel will bubble up when you add the cream, so be careful not to get burned! Keep whisking the caramel until the more solid parts melt.

If you opt for the caramel swirl in your ice cream (which you should, because it's pretty amazing), make the caramel AT LEAST an hour ahead of time. If it's too warm, it will melt your ice cream. Also, this recipe makes a little more caramel then you need so I wouldn't recommend using all of it. Unless you're a caramel fanatic, in which case you can use as much as you like. More power to you and so on.


The idea and recipes for samoa ice cream and components were adapted from My Kitchen Quest.

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