The best way to describe this ice cream is to say it tastes like dark clouds and thunderbolts.
Perhaps this is because I made it during a raging thunderstorm. The kind that sparks bright white shards from thick, black clouds and seems intent on shattering up the sky. The kind that swirls thickly around, gaining momentum from hot summer nights. The kind that pairs perfectly with ice cream so rich it makes you want to sin.
This ice cream is thick, explosively deep, dark, and intense. It booms along, warning: danger, chocolate approaching. In the best possible way. It is frozen custard of finest quality.
I started this process late last Monday evening. It started to thunder. And pour. Like the dickens. Outside, first. And then inside my apartment.
I had two choices: leave the chocolate custard on the stovetop and risk curdling or, baby, let it rain. My wet coffee pot dried eventually.
When this custard sets up, it lands somewhere between chocolate pudding and mousse. And it easily reaches death-by-chocolate proportions prior to being spun into ice cream. But the cold bites of chewy chocolate are worth waiting for. (It’s done churning and ready for the freezer when it becomes so thick that it literally stops moving.)
The recipe is from an old bon appétit that features (the fantastic) Mr. and Mrs. Fergus Henderson of St. JOHN restaurant in London. It came with a caption that read: the chocolate ice cream is so rich, it doesn’t melt—it just gets truffley.
Lusty spoonfuls are soon to follow.
Taza Chocolate Truffle Ice Cream
Adapted from bon appétite by way of Fergus Henderson of St. JOHN BAR and RESTAURANT
7 ounces Taza 70% Cacao Puro Chocolate Mexicano chocolate (or other high quality chocolate), roughly chopped into shards
2 cups plus 2 tbsp whole milk
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
6 large egg yolks
13 tbsp sugar, divided
¼ cup heavy cream
Place the chocolate shards into a metal bowl small enough to fit over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir chocolate until melted and smooth; set aside.
Whisk milk, cocoa powder, and pinch of salt together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a rolling boil; set aside.
Using a stand or handheld mixer, beat egg yolks and 7 tbsp of the sugar until very thick, light yellow ribbons form (this will take a few minutes). Whisking constantly, gradually add the hot cocoa milk mixture to the egg yolk mixture, a few tablespoons at a time. Be very cautious with this and add the mixture slowly so that the egg does not curdle. Once all the milk has been added, return the mixture to a saucepan; add the melted chocolate and whisk to fully combine.
Stir the mixture on medium-low heat until it starts to thicken up (this will take a few minutes; the article says to let it come to 175 degrees, I pulled mine off just around that mark, though I think it could have been pulled off a little sooner, without any negative effects). Fill a large bowl with ice. Strain the chocolate custard using a fine mesh metal strainer and transfer it to a metal bowl; sit the bowl of custard inside the bowl of ice, stirring occasionally to help it cool.
Meanwhile, make caramel by combining the remaining 6 tbsp of sugar with 2 tbsp of water and bring it to a boil in a saucepan over medium high heat, swirling the mixture occasionally. Watch carefully and swirl to dissolve and then brown the sugar; do not stir or your sugar mixture may crystallize. (It is often recommended to brush the sides of the pan down with a wet pastry brush, but I never seem to have to do this by simply swirling occasionally and avoiding spoons at all cost.) When the sugar turns a dark amber, gradually add in the cream, swirling it around to help it combine (it will spatter and spew). Using a rubber spatula, now stir the mixture to combine. Whisk the caramel slowly into the cooled chocolate custard.
Cover and chill the custard in the fridge for two days (it will get thick) and then churn in a frozen ice cream machine base until the mixture thickens and starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl (this took me about 20 minutes and the custard pretty much grinded to a halt). Pack into a freezer safe container and cover with parchment paper. Freeze three days before eating.
Makes a little short of a quart
-The recipe has the custard sit (in the fridge and then in the freezer) for a total of five days before eating it. This is said to deepen the flavor. It took the chefs at St. John years to finalize the recipe. So I just did what I was told.
-If you’d like to buy Taza chocolate (it’s wonderful), you can here.
-This would take quite kindly to a sprinkling of fleur de sel.