One of the joys of my local library system is their good collection of cookbooks. Given the large number of cookbooks I own and don't cook from, I'm now making it a habit to check the library before I place that impulse order after reading someone's blog write-up of a new or a classic title. Right now I've got David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop checked out, and the Fourth of July weekend seemed the 'perfect' time for trying some new ice cream recipes.
I didn't feel like making a custard and I had some whole milk to use up, so I went looking for recipes with those criteria. I decided on two recipes involving chocolate (must be on a chocolate kick right now, with this and the Marble Velvet Cake). The first decision was Mocha Sherbet (someone's put the recipe up here), a 5-ingredient combination: coffee or espresso (I used a highly rated instant espresso), sugar, cocoa powder (Green & Black's for me), a pinch of salt, and whole milk. My other choice was the Aztec "Hot" Chocolate Ice Cream (recipe), which has a slighly longer ingredient list with both cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate, sugar, heavy cream and whole milk, then a suite of flavorings: vanilla, salt, cinnamon, chipotle chile powder, and brandy. I did half recipes of each.
The recipes used a similar technique. The sugar and cocoa powder are whisked with a liquid (coffee or heavy cream), then brought to a boil and taken off the heat. The rest of the ingredients go in, then the mixture is chilled before it goes in an ice cream freezer. The Aztec mix gets a quick zap in a blender to get completely smooth, probably because of the melted chocolate.
Everyone tried a small scoop of each. The star is the Aztec Hot Chocolate Ice Cream--a lovely bite from the chipotle chile powder, great texture, wonderful chocolate and cinnamon taste. The Mocha Sherbet got overwhelmed by the complexity of its competitor, but I think it will be really nice when served on its own do its character can be appreciated, not to mention its lighter profile, without the heavy cream that's in the Aztec ice cream. Both recipes are keepers--thumbs up from everyone for both, with added thanks from nephew who heads off to a month of summer camp tomorrow, and who appreciated the surprise treat.
One additional thought is that the Aztec ice cream would be wonderful in the Chocolate Ice Cream Cake from Rose's Heavenly Cakes. Next special occasion, I'll have to try that combination.