Forget regular chocolate ice cream. I've upped the ante with spicy cayenne pepper and zingy cinnamon, and I promise you'll never look back. Mexican hot chocolate is a comforting drink that is just as decadent and smooth in ice cream form. —Full-thyme Student
2 3/4 cups
half and half
1 cup cups
unsweetened cocoa powder
cayenne pepper (up to 1/4 teaspoon, if desired)
In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together half and half, heavy cream, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Continue whisking together until ingredients are evenly mixed. Heat mixture until milk is just barely foaming on surface. Whisk in chopped bittersweet chocolate until it is melted and mixed through. Remove cream mixture off heat and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, vigorously whisk together egg yolks, sugar, and salt until sugar is dissolved and the yolks take on a pale yellow color, about 3 minutes. Using a 1/2-cup measuring cup, measure 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture and pour into egg mixture. Whisk vigorously until combined. Continue to add 1/2 cup of hot cream one at a time, whisking after each add, so that the temperature of the eggs slowly increase without cooking the egg yolks.
Once cream and egg mixtures are completely combined, pour the entire custard mixture back into the saucepan over medium-high heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir mixture every 1 minute or so. After about 5 minutes, mixture will slowly thicken. Once the custard coats the back of the wooden spoon, use your finger to swipe the coated spoon, and the streak should stay set. Custard should reach about 170 to 175 degrees F. Pour the mix into a clean bowl or glass pitcher and allow to cool on countertop for about 30 to 45 minutes.
Once custard is cool, whisk in vanilla extract until combined, and chill custard overnight in the refrigerator.
Follow your ice cream machine's instructions, and pour the custard into a running machine with a chilled base. The ice cream will churn for about 25 minutes. Remove the ice cream and transfer to an air-tight container. Freeze for at least 2 hours before serving. Serve with whipped cream and/or a sprinkling of cayenne pepper and cinnamon.