I have been trying to avoid custard-based ice creams because I don't like using only one part of an egg. I have way too many egg whites in the freezer already. However, I was really pining for a creamy ice cream and succumbed to the idea of making an ice cream with egg yolks. I knew I wanted chocolate, so I looked in my bookmarked recipes for chocolate ice cream recipes with the least amount of egg yolks.
Fortunately, I found one that required four instead of 5 to 8(!) egg yolks. In the future, I'm going to try to make the same ice cream with 2 egg yolks to see if they come out okay. Also, I want to try making a chocolate sorbet, which doesn't require any egg yolks at all. I hope the consistency of the ice cream will be more than satisfactory.
Back to the ice cream I made... I didn't have any blocks of chocolate, so I used a combination of Guittard's semi-sweet chocolate chips and Nestlé chocolate/peanut butter chips. I didn't taste any of the peanut butter, but the ice cream was FANTASTIC. I could barely sleep last night because I couldn't wait to have more the next day. With my ongoing insomnia, I had to force myself away from that freezer all night and early morning :). Make sure you have other people around when this ice cream is ready, or you'll be tempted to eat too much of it in one sitting!
I'm also submitting this ice cream recipe to What's Cooking Summer Recipe #4 - Ice Cream forum!
Double-Chocolate Ice Cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk (I didn't have whole milk, so I used a combo of skim and half-n-half)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey's)
pinch of salt
6 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used semi-sweet chocolate chips)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (I didn't add these since I had used them in the base)
1. In a heavy 2 quart saucepan, combine the milk and 1 cup of the cream. Cook over medium heat until bubbles form around the edges of the pan, about 5-7 minutes (I waited until there was a film on top of the milk).
2. Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, sugar, cocoa, salt and remaining 1/2 cup of cream in a bowl. Whisk until the mixture is smooth and the sugar begins to dissolve (It never reached the smooth stage for me. Just wait until it is well-mixed).
3. Remove the milk mixture from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1/2 cup of the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly, until smooth. Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon and keeping the custard at a low simmer, until it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon and leaves a clear trail when a finger is drawn through it, 4-6 minutes (My custard seemed to be the right consistency as soon as I put everything in the pot! I still continued to heat it for 4-5 minutes). Do not let the custard boil. Put the 6 ounces of chopped chocolate (or chocolate chips) in a heat proof bowl and pour the hot custard over it (I suggest putting only half of the mixture over the chips, wait a minute or two, then stir the chocolate. After the chocolate has melted, add the rest of the custard). Stir until the chocolate melts and the custard is smooth. Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl (if you like little chunks of chocolate in your ice cream, I would skip this step, unless you think there are a few curdled egg bits in your custard). Add vanilla and stir to combine.
4. Place the bowl into a larger bowl partially filled with ice cubes and water. Stir occasionally until cool. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly on the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
5. Pour the custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Stir in optional mini chocolate chips. Transfer the ice cream to freezer-safe container. Cover and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours or up to 3 days before serving.