Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I'm still blogging with my laptop from my sick bed. Good times!
Like most viruses I catch, my body's plan of attack is to simply kick back let the virus ravage me until it gets bored and leaves on its own.
I fear if I don't get better soon, I won't have my St. Patrick's Day dessert finished in time and then I will get emails from disappointed readers (like I did for Pi Day). For the record the lack of a Pi day post was not an oversight, I was just too sick to get any cooking done this weekend.
Besides, everyday is Pi Day at Not So Humble Pie! We don't need a special day around here to engage in baking nerdery.
So today's treat: Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Ice Cream.
I got a hold of a huge bag of chocolate covered espresso beans in bulk last week and naturally they were involved in the ice cream making spree. I took my favorite super-rich chocolate ice cream recipe, from Fran's Pure Chocolate cookbook, tarted it up with a little instant espresso powder and the chopped chocolate beans.
Of course I have nearly 10lbs of the beans left over and as much as Mr. Humble insists that he can eat them all, I think I need to find another use for them. If anyone knows of a good recipe that includes chocolate covered espresso beans, do send them my way. I would be most grateful.
Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Ice Cream
adapted from Fran's Pure Chocolate
2/3 cup dutch processed cocoa, sifted (use extra-dark or 'extra-dutched' cocoa)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream (I'm using 40% min milk fat)
6 large egg yolks
5 ounces semi sweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder (using Medaglia D'oro)
1/2 cup chocolate covered espresso beans, roughly chopped
In a large heavy-bottomed sauce pan, whisk together the cocoa powder and half of the sugar. Pour in a half cup of the milk and whisk together for a couple minutes until a smooth paste forms. Add the remaining milk and the heavy cream, whisking well and place the pot over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes. Don't let the mixture come to a simmer or a boil, you simply want to cook the dry raw taste out of the cocoa powder. Once the mixture has the smoother flavor of cooked chocolate, remove from the heat.
In a bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar with the egg yolks. Temper the eggs with 1 1/2 cups of the warm chocolate-cream mixture, stirring constantly. Pour the tempered mixture back into the pot with the remaining chocolate-cream, stirring constantly and set over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon (roughly 160°F). Remove from heat and add the chopped semisweet chocolate. Allow the mixture to stand for a minute and then stir until smooth. Add the espresso powder and vanilla and mix.
You can then refrigerate this mixture, with a coating of plastic wrap pressed down onto the cream so a skin doesn't form, for about an hour until chilled. Then it is ready to be added to your ice cream maker.
However, if you're impatient like myself, you can pour the mixture into a stainless steel bowl sitting in an ice bath and stir occasionally until the mixture is chilled (10-15 minutes) and add to your ice cream maker.
Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. Add the chopped espresso beans to the mixture during the last five minutes of mixing. Pour the mixture into an air tight container and freeze for at least an hour until firm.
(Note: Fran's Ice creams are extremely rich, dense and freeze to a solid consistency. The best way to approach this ice cream is to allow it to sit at temperature for roughly 5-10 minutes. Then it will be ready to scoop, serve and be enjoyed.)