Author Notes: Homemade ice cream is so fabulous, and with a great foundation, the flavor possibilities are endless. My sons asked me recently what my favorite candy was, and I replied that the older I get, the less I actually enjoy candy. I'd much rather have chocolate or some sort of baked good, but when pressed to consider a candy bar I'd eat if I had to, I thought of the Almond Joy. Coconut, chocolate and almonds- what's not to love?!
Inspired by this conversation, I made this ice cream which is like a homemade, subtle Almond Joy with a twist: a dash of cardamom. Divine!
*Full disclosure, my husband isn't a cardamom fan so prefers this recipe without its inclusion, but I think cardamom all the way! You can consider that an "optional" ingredient, although I write that grudgingly.
**You’ll need an ice cream maker for the smoothest results.
**The egg-custard base needs to chill for at least 4 hours before going into the ice cream maker, so plan accordingly. And the ice cream is best AFTER 24 hours. —em-i-lis
Makes: about a quart
For the chocolate-cardamom egg-custard base
cup heavy cream
cup 2% milk
cup milk chocolate chips
teaspoon good quality cardamom (I like Guatemalan), optional (see note)
teaspoon vanilla extract
generous 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
large egg yolks
rounded 1/4 c granulated sugar
For the toasted coconut and toasted almonds, putting it all together
cup sweetened shredded coconut (I make my own from unsweetened)
cup slivered almonds
- Into a 2-quart saucepan, pour the cream and milk. Heat over medium-high heat until scalded (the milk starts to bubble up around the sides), temp ~170. Immediately remove from heat, and add the chocolate chips. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, put the egg yolks and rounded ¼ c of sugar. Using a hand mixer (or whisk if you’re feeling intrepid), beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy, a couple minutes. Whisk the extracts into the chocolate milk mixture, and then very slowly, pour a tablespoon or two of this scalded milk mixture into the egg-sugar mix, whisking earnestly the whole time. You need to temper the eggs so go slowly so they don’t scramble. Repeat a few more times, and then pour in the rest of the milk-cream. Cover with plastic wrap pressed to the surface, and let cool to room temp. Then put in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
- At any point while your ice cream base is chilling, you can toast the coconut and almonds. In a small skillet set over medium-high heat, toast the coconut until it is brown-golden; you want it fairly crisped but not burned. Pour into a bowl to cool. Wipe out your skillet, and set it back over medium-high. This time, toast the slivered almonds until golden brown and then pour them out in a separate bowl to cool. Once the coconut and almonds are cool, seal tightly with plastic wrap until you're ready to use them. Set aside.
- Set your ice cream maker up and pour in the custard mix. Churn for 20-22 minutes, and then pour in the toasted coconut and almonds. Churn another few minutes, transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze until ready to serve, preferably after at least 24 hours!