Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Ice Cream

Chocolate is one of the few things in the world that seems to go well with everything.  Coffee, Mint, Raspberries, Strawberries, Apples, Popcorn, Pretzels, Peanut Butter.  The list is endless. One of my favorite cookies growing up was chocolate peanut butter chip.  I decided to turn that concept into an ice cream flavor.  I used good quality chocolate couverture from Williams-Sonoma, which is already shaped into perfect little coins for easy melting, but you can buy good quality chocolate bars and chop them up and get the same desired effect.  Don't fret if you have a few specks of chocolate that don't melt into your custard.  The whole thing will be strained and result in a decadent and creamy base for your ice cream.  Since I knew the chocolate ice cream would be great quality, I didn't want to completely overwhelm it with too many peanut butter chips.  I think this is a good balance of creamy, rich ice cream, with an occasional peanut buttery crunch, but feel free to add more chips if you'd like!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Ice Cream 
Makes 1 generous quart

4 cups half and half
3/4 cup sugar, separated
6 oz dark chocolate, chopped (72%)
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup peanut butter chips

Heat the half and half, 1/4 cup sugar and dark chocolate in a saucepan over high heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to bubble and the chocolate is melted, about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. Carefully ladle some of the hot half and half mixture into the egg yolks and whisk. Tempering the yolks will help prevent them from curdling when you add them back into the hot half and half. Now, add the yolk mixture into the saucepan and whisk. Turn the heat up to medium. Switch to a wooden spoon and stir constantly until thickened, but do not let it boil. Strain the custard into a bowl over an ice-water bath. Stir the custard in the bowl constantly until it is cool. Then refrigerate the custard for several hours or overnight until well chilled. Transfer the custard into a container with a spout (for easy pouring into the ice cream maker). Freeze ice cream according to your ice cream maker's manufacturer directions, adding the peanut butter chips during the last few minutes of freezing. Transfer ice cream to 1 or 2 plastic quart-sized containers and freeze until firm. If it gets too hard, you may need to leave it out for a few minutes before scooping (this is common with homemade ice creams).


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