I originally submitted this to the "in the raw" contest and then decided to take the "in the raw" theme in a slightly different direction. This ice cream is naked chocolate-- for the chocoholic, for the person who dreams of chocolate, only orders chocolate desserts, celebrates every occasion with chocolate. It is decadent, rich, dark, thick and sexy. The technique of using cornstarch as a thickener is adapted from David Lebovitz, and results in an ice cream that is all about the ingredients. So it goes without saying that you need your best chocolate, cocoa, and vanilla. The base of this is a really delicious chocolate pudding. I bought an ice cream maker a couple of summers ago, and found David Lebovitz's recipe for Fleur de Lait ice cream in The Perfect Scoop. He used cornstarch, so I tried it with this chocolate ice cream and everyone loved it. You can really taste the chocolate, cocoa and even the vanilla as if there are exclamation points around them. I've also used this technique to make a salted caramel ice cream, and it's quite wonderful.
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Naked chocolate ice cream. Share it with someone you love. —drbabs
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: drbabs is a longtime Food52-er from Long Island.
WHAT: The silkiest, most luscious chocolate ice cream you'll ever make.
HOW: Make a custard base using cornstarch as a thickener, then freeze.
WHY WE LOVE IT: If you're a chocolate-lover, then you've found your soul mate. And we love the technique that comes along with the recipe -- using cornstarch as a thickener for an ice cream base yields a product, as drbabs says, that is all about the ingredients. —The Editors
2 chocolate loving lovers
Half and Half, divided (or you can use 1.5 cups of heavy cream and 1.5 cups of whole milk)
Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
bittersweet chocolate, chopped
creme de cacao or liqueur of your choice
In a large saucepan heat 2 cups of half and half, cocoa, sugar, salt, and espresso, stirring so that all ingredients are completely blended.
Whisk cornstarch into remaining half and half until smooth and thoroughly incorporated. Stir this into chocolate mixture. Cook on medium-medium high heat, stirring constantly until the base begins to boil and becomes noticeably thicker.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla extract, chopped chocolate and liqueur, stirring until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is very smooth. Cover with wax paper, pressing down so skin doesn't form, and chill till cold.
Pour (scoop out with small spatula--it's thick) custard into ice cream freezer and process according to manufacturer's directions. Store in freezer if not using right away.
Take the ice cream out of the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving if you can wait that long.