Da Lat Spiced Dark Chocolate Ice Cream
Makes 1 quart.
The custard is cooked entirely in the Vitamix – no stove time, no straining.
For the custard:
1 ¼ cup heavy cream
1 ½ cup whole milk
½ cup Dutch processed cocoa (Valrhona is good)
1 cup sugar
5 egg yolks (from large eggs)
1 tablespoon cornstarch (tapioca starch would probably work, too)
1 tablespoon Da Lat Spice
¼ teaspoon salt
3 ounces 70% bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1½ tablespoons whiskey or other spirit
Put the chopped chocolate into a mixing bowl, set aside.
Put all the custard ingredients into the jar of the Vitamix (8-cup jar), cover with the long mixing stick inserted into the hole in the lid.
Start the Vitamix on low speed and quickly increase all the way to high-speed. Let the machine run until the custard heats up to about 170˚ F on an instant-read thermometer. This should take between 5 and 7 minutes. If you need to re-start the machine to continue heating custard, start on low- and re-ramp quickly to high-speed. The custard will not be as thick as pudding, it’s more like crème anglaise. It will thicken further as it chills.
Pour the hot custard over the chocolate in the mixing bowl. Stir to melt chocolate and blend. Stir in the whiskey.
Set the bowl into an ice bath and let it cool for about 20 minutes. Then cover and transfer the bowl the fridge. Chill for a minimum of 4 hours, or better, overnight. Cold custard works much better in your ice cream machine.
Transfer the chilled custard to the bowl of an ice cream maker. Follow the maker’s instructions to freeze the custard to thick soft-serve consistency. Transfer the ice cream to a quart container and then to the freezer to “harden off,” which takes at least a few hours.
• If you don’t have a Vitamix or Blentech, I’m sure that you can make the custard in a bain marie on the stove. I haven’t tested that, but imagine that you’d cook the custard, strain it into the bowl of chopped chocolate, then whisk in the alcohol before cooling it in an ice bath.