Thursday, January 14, 2010

cioccolato all'arancia gelato

Maybe most of you don't think of making ice cream in December, but in Arizona, there's really no reason to not think about ice cream, ever. We made more than one absolutely DIVINE batch of candy cane ice cream around Christmastime, but I failed to get any photographs, as it was devoured in its entirety practically as soon as it came out of the freezer.

This week, with memories of Gelateria Ponte alla Carraia (revived by a dark chocolate orange tucked into a stocking on Christmas morning) in my head, I decide to try my hand at cioccolato all'arancia (chocolate-orange).

I typically make Philadelphia-style ice cream (no egg, does not require cooking) but that's because I'm lazy. And while Philly style turns out fluffy and snowy and and delicate (and perfectly acceptable for peppermint and fruit flavours), I really prefer chocolate ice cream to be denser and richer and creamier, so I went the custard-style route. I must admit, I was not disappointed. And by "not disappointed," I mean "ecstatic."

(photo credit, Gherkin's Bucket)

2 C heavy cream
2 C whole milk
3/4 C sugar
2 egg yolks at room temperature, whisked slightly with a fork
3/4 C - 1 C shaved dark chocolate, at least 60%
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 T grand marnier or 1 1/2 t orange extract or 3-4 drops orange essential oil

In a large sauce pan over medium-low heat, mix milk, cream, and sugar. When tiny bubbles barely begin to form around the edges of the pan, back the heat down (you don't want it to boil), temper the egg, and add back to the pan. Incorporate the shaved chocolate into the warm milk mixture in batches, stirring until completely melted. Remove from heat, stir in extracts, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, or until completely cool. Then, freeze according to your ice cream maker's directions, and store in the freezer until it's at your desired serving consistency.

Note: I think this dessert would be very lovely if garnished with curls of orange zest, if one can be bothered to serve it in actual dishes rather than eating it out of a coffee mug like we do it at Chez Moi.