My sister Susie (the pastry chef) gave me some of her ice-cream recipes (including brown butter ice cream, butterscotch ice cream, and Bangkok peanut ice cream [which has cream cheese, peanut butter, coconut milk, honey, fresh ginger, and cayenne pepper in it, holy egads, that's next]). I took her chocolate recipe and added it to my custard recipe and oh, my, cocoastars it was crazy good. Try this, try this:
Brown Sugar–Chocolate Frozen Custard
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 vanilla bean
4 oz. milk chocolate chips (I used Guittard, because that's what they had at my store)
1/4 cup cocoa powder (I use Cocoa Barry, which my sister insisted I must buy)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
7 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
With a sharp paring knife, slit the vanilla bean lengthwise down the center and scrape the seeds into a medium saucepan. Add the bean pod itself and the half-and-half to the pan and warm over low-medium heat until it just barely simmers.
Place the chocolate chips in a medium mixing bowl. Whisk the cocoa powder into the hot half-and-half until it is dissolved. Pour the half-and-half over the chocolate chips and let it sit for a bit until the chips are melted. Stir the now-chocolatey half-and-half until smooth and thoroughly combined.
Whisk egg yolks, sugar, and salt by hand or using a stand mixer (I used the mixer). Slowly pour a very thin stream of the chocolatey half-and-half into the eggs while continuing to whisk; this will temper the eggs and keep them from scrambling. Continue to pour the half-and-half in a thin stream until half of it has been incorporated. Transfer the mixture back into the pot with the rest of the chocolatey half-and-half. Heat on low-medium (do not overheat here, or you will still scramble the eggs) while whisking continuously until the custard is thick and smooth, like pudding. Remove the vanilla bean.
Prepare an ice bath: Fill a 9"x13" baking pan halfway with ice cubes. Find a smaller pan or a bowl that will fit inside of the 9"x13" baking pan. Place the smaller pan or bowl in the larger baking pan and nestle it into the ice so it doesn't fall over. Gradually add the heavy cream to the custard in the saucepan and whisk the mixture until it is smooth. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the smaller pan or bowl that is in the ice pan. Let it sit there (you can stir it occasionally) until it is cold. (I do it this way because I don't have that much room in my fridge and I don't want to heat up my refrigerator trying to cool this stuff off.) It will take a couple of hours for it to get cold (and this is about how long it takes us to walk around the block these days, stopping to sit down frequently). Following the instructions for your ice cream maker, spin this into delicious frozen custard. Give a little bit to your baby and discover that she suddenly is a pro with a spoon.
Amelia's birthfamily are serious chocolate and coffee connoisseurs! She has definitely inherited the chocolate-love gene. I've never seen her eat anything with such focus, and so fast, ever. I gave her about a tablespoon of this (and seriously, it is so rich adults hardly need much more) and the girl about lost her bananas when her little dish was empty.
I got some cute little paper cups and lids at the Cash & Carry. Now to find some cute labels so I can give ice cream to my friends so I don't get any fatter.
***Mimi's dress (it's a one-piece, with the knitted vest sewn in) is from JujuBunnyshop, but I don't see it listed anymore. Cutest clothes there, though.