Chocolate. If honey was the nectar of our ancient ancestors, then chocolate is certainly the nectar of the modern age … at least the past 2 centuries or even more if you consider the native American Indians. Chocolate melts at body temperature that is about 36 – 37˚C, that is why it is so indulging, the way it melts in your mouth, the velvety texture and the taste combine to give an exquisite experience. It is one of those foods that you have to shut your other senses down and allow taste to take over … as explicitly used by many of the chocolate ads on TV and my favourite is the Galaxy ad with Audrey Hepburn lookalike, it is like watching her allover again. You can see I am a Audrey Hepburn fan. I am an even bigger fan of Revathy, the South Indian actress. Maybe Brin having a hint of resemblance (better exemplified by the Tamil word “saiyal / சாயல்” ) has something to do with it, or is it the other way round? The tricks your mind plays on you!
What can beat the combination of chocolate and the smooth coolness of ice-cream? Of course Vanilla beats is the worlds all time favourite ice-cream flavour but it is plain and that is its secret, there is nothing fancy, it is “vanilla”. I digress. Having experimented a little with using grades of chocolate with cakes and ganaches, the initial decision was easy, it was going to be at least 70% unsweetened bitter dark chocolate. Expensive but gives the most intense all consuming chocolate flavour. No contest there.
Now it is chocolate ice-cream and it is meant to be indulgent. No diet chocolate ice-cream is going to do. Can’t make it too bitter or Rohit will have a fit. He is a foodie but still a child but with adult tastes. Complicated. So it is going to be a rich custard with egg yolks, sugar and whole milk finished off with double cream. No additions, thats for later churns.
This is a straight forward and simple recipe, a direct progression from vanilla ice-cream. Not too complicated or intense so children can enjoy it. But delicious.
Homemade Chocolate Ice-cream
A brinskitcken recipe
100 gms 70% cocoa dark chocolate
85 gms castor sugar (balanced with a tinge of bitterness, if you want sweeter 100gms)
3 egg yolks (4 yolks makes it richer)
300ml whole milk
300ml double cream
30 gms cocoa powder ( optional, makes it more chocolately)
1. Bring milk to a simmer and take off heat.
2. Whisk the sugar and the yolks till light and fluffy. Mix the Cocoa powder if using.
3.Add the hot milk little by little and whisk to make a custard. Pour back into the pan and heat gently without boiling till thickened. Do not overheat or let boil or leave the pan without stirring, I guarantee you will get scrambled eggs.
4.Melt the chocolate either in a microwave or bain-marie or an induction stove and fold in. Chill overnight in refrigerator.
5.Next day, whisk the double cream till soft peaks, fold into the chilled chocolate custard. Pour into ice-cream maker and churn. Fill into container and freeze for 3-4 hours till done.
Notes about melting Chocolate:
1. To melt chocolate in a microwave, break into bite size pieces (but try not eat them all). Place in a microwave proof bowl and microwave on high for 20 secs initially followed by 10 sec a time with stirring in between. Stop when there are few small chunks left, but keep stirring till all the chocolate is melted. Easy!
2. If you have an induction hob, it is as easy. Use the lower 1 – 3 settings depending on your induction hob – try the lowest and go from there. Keep stirring gently till the there are a few small chunks left and take it off the heat and keep stirring till fully melted.
3. Bain-marie is a bowl, preferably glass for heat control, placed over a pan of gently simmering water without the water touching the bowl. The bowl is gently heated by the steam. Chocolate pieces melt melt in the gentle heat.
Notice a theme here, low heat and constant stirring. Chocolate melts at body temperature that is about 36 – 37˚C, and your aim is to melt it not to heat it. This temperature is reached by both the microwaves and hobs very quickly giving both a bad name about melting chocolate, after all no one blames themselves for their mistakes. It is always the tools’ fault. That is what the french bain-marie does, keeps the temperature low and controlled but microwaving is so easy.
Note to salvage custard which has started to scramble:
If the custard has just started to scramble and gets few little solid bits, you can salvage it. First take it off the heat and put the pan base into cold water and whisk like mad till it becomes smooth.