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Ice Cream: Dark Chocolate Peppermint

Adam loves peppermint bark. I’ve made it a few times and it’s always a big hit. I used Susan’s recipe this past Christmas and it’s pretty darn good. But I was inspired to riff on this idea by a memory of a ice-cream my mother-in-law had at Coldstone a couple of years ago.

I was trying to come up some great ideas for ice-cream for her birthday dinner and while proudly sharing with Adam my brilliance at coming up with the licorice ice-cream I remembered her eating a dark chocolate peppermint ice-cream that was damn good. So now, I had a challenge before me: Recreate an ice-cream I hadn’t eaten that I was last exposed to 4 years ago. I can do it!

I know this seems like a Christmas-y flavor, but let’s think outside the box for a second. It’s really a great idea for Valentine’s Day. Dark, not too sweet, crunchy, rich, decadent, and did you know dark chocolate is an aphrodisiac? I think it would make the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert after a dinner of marinated steaks, roasted parsley potatoes, and roasted asparagus.

Give it a try, you’ll like it. 😉

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Ice-cream

2 cups 1% milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup Hershey’s dark chocolate cocoa
3/4 cup sugar (I use sucanat)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
6 egg yolks
2 tsp peppermint extract
1/4 cup peppermint schnapps
3.5 oz dark chocolate, chopped (I use Green & Black’s Organic Chocolate)
6 candy canes, smashed into bite sized pieces

Put the milk and cream into a saucepan and add the dark cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Slowly bring the mixture up to a simmer over medium heat while whisking to incorporate the cocoa powder. Once the milk mixture reaches a simmer turn the heat to the lowest possible setting to keep it steaming but not simmering or boiling.

Separate 6 eggs and put the egg yolks in a medium sized mixing bowl.

Slowly, and one at a time, pour 2-3 ladle fulls of steaming milk into the egg yolks while whisking continuously. (You are trying to bring the temperature of the eggs up slowly and gently so when they are added to the saucepan they don’t scramble.) Then add the egg and milk mixture back into the saucepan and continue to heat while stirring continuously.

When the mixture has thickened so that it coats the back of a spoon and when you run your finger across the spoon the milk doesn’t run (see the picture above) turn off the heat. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a mixing bowl. Add the peppermint extract and the peppermint schnapps, stirring well.

Cover the bowl, or pour the mixture into a plastic refrigerator dish, and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day churn the mixture in an ice-cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. When the ice-cream is churned and ready to be transferred to a freezer container add in the chopped dark chocolate and chopped candy canes. Stir to thoroughly integrate and then freeze.

Store the ice-cream in the freezer but before serving allow it approximately 10 minutes sitting on the kitchen counter.