Those of you who have been hanging around here for a while know I am loathe to call any recipe "the best". There are plenty of great recipes out there, and certainly lots of lousy ones too. Here at Oui, Chef we try to bring you tons of the former and none of the latter, but the best of anything? You've never heard me say that a recipe you find here is the best that you'll find anywhere, and you never will. That's because as much as I love all the dishes we share with you, there is always room for improvement and reinterpretation, and in fact, one of the things I like most about writing this blog is hearing from all of you and learning how you've made our recipes work better for your tastes.
All that said, I can't imagine a better chocolate ice cream than this one. It was imagined by Fergus Henderson, the British chef famous for his "nose to tail" practices. According to a recent article in Bon Appetit, Henderson, his wife Margot and the chefs at St. John (his restaurant) worked for two years to come up with this monster.
It was time well spent if you ask me.
This is the darkest, richest, most satisfying choclate ice cream I've ever had, and yes I've had a few. There is some funky food-science magic behind this one that I won't even pretend to understand. Much of the magic has to do with rest periods, one before freezing the custard, and one after. Why are they necessary? You got me. The other "Potteresque" wave of the wand comes by way of adding caramel to the custard before chilling, and it was reading this little part of the recipe that prompted me to make it in the first place. In my world, everything tastes better with a little caramel slathered on it, just ask my wife, she'll tell you.
Make this, you won't be dissapointed.
Cheers – Steve
Chocolate Ice Cream
- 7 ounces dark chocolate (70% to 75% cacao), finely chopped
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 large egg yolks
- 13 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- Place chocolate in a medium metal bowl. Set bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir chocolate until melted and smooth. Set melted chocolate aside; let cool slightly.
- Whisk milk and cocoa powder in a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat until mixture begins to boil; set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 7 tablespoons of sugar in another medium bowl until very thick ribbons form, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, gradually add hot milk mixture to egg yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan. Add melted chocolate and whisk to blend. Stir over low heat until slightly thickened and an instant-read thermometer registers 175° about 5 minutes. Transfer chocolate custard to a large bowl and place over another large bowl of ice water. Stir until chocolate custard is cool.
- Bring remaining 6 tablespoons sugar and 2 tablespoons water to a boil in a small heavy, deep saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Boil, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush (do not stir), until a dark amber color forms, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Whisk caramel into chocolate custard. Strain into a large container; cover and chill for 2 days.
- Process custard in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to another container; freeze for 3 days before eating. DO AHEAD: Ice cream can be made 3 days ahead. Keep frozen.