Everywhere you go in Connecticut, there are mountains of the white stuff piled wherever it will fit. But the worst is the feeling you get when you walk outside. Like someone is punching you in the face with a big chunk of dry ice.
So you may be wondering why, in the dead of winter, I’m making ice cream.
I decided to pull a Jedi mind trick on this stupid winter.
Some real, ninja, voo-doo psychological warfare.
I’m tricking winter into going away.
Because you *think* this is just regular chocolate ice cream. Until you take that first bite and get the spicy kick of the cayenne and chile powder that immediately warms your belly.
Take that, winter.
This is basically my version of Mexican chocolate transformed into frozen form. Start with some cream. And some whole milk. (It’s ok, it’s winter… you don’t have to be in a bathing suit for a couple more months). Add in some sugar, some unsweetened cocoa powder (I went Ghiradelli), a split vanilla bean, a cinnamon stick, and a star anise pod.
Heat this mixture on the stove until hot, but not boiling, while whisking constantly. At this point, you can also, if you choose, add some chopped chocolate or chocolate chips to this mix if you want it extra super-duper chocolaty. I didn’t do this, but I will allow it if you have a big sweet tooth. Cover and remove from heat. Allow all of these flavors to steep for 30-60 minutes. (The longer it steeps, the more intense the flavors will become).
While that’s steeping, prep the other ingredients. Pour some more cream in a bowl that is sitting over an ice bath. (more cream…. Yay!)
Also, separate 5 yolks from the whites. You will only be using the yolks for this recipe. (you know what you’re having for breakfast tomorrow… egg white omelet. Put those babies in the fridge, don’t waste). Whisk yolks together.
When the chocolate mixture is done steeping, remove the cinnamon stick, the star anise pod, and the vanilla bean. Heat again on the stove and scoop out about a half cup. S l o w l y add it into the egg yolks, while whisking constantly. This will help temper the eggs so they don’t scramble in the hot liquid. Then whisk them into the chocolate mixture. Continue heading until it’s thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and you can drag your finger through it without the chocolate moving back into place. (Subtle selfie FTW)
Next, using a fine mesh strainer, pour the chocolate custard into the chilled bowl of cream. This will remove any lumps that may have formed (or any bits of vanilla bean that may have broken off). Stir to combine and add salt, cayenne and chili powder. (I used 1/8 teaspoon of each, but it was a little spicy, so I would recommend starting with just a pinch and then tasting to make sure it has just the perfect amount of kick). Continue stirring over the ice bath until mixture has cooled down significantly. Cover and place in the fridge overnight.
When you’re ready to churn, remove from fridge and add some booze. Don’t worry, it’s not enough to get you drunk (darn) but it is enough to keep the ice cream from freezing too hard. I did a tablespoon of Godiva chocolate liquor (Bailey’s would be good too) and a tablespoon of vodka.
Churn according to manufacturer’s directions on your ice cream maker and then scoop into a chilled pan or container. Freeze for another 2-3 hours before eating. (Unless you prefer a soft serve consistency… or unless you’re in a hurry to photograph the ice cream before you leave for a trip… at which point, it only needs an hour, haha).
If you want, sprinkle with a little more cinnamon or cayenne and feel the warmth… even on the coldest of days.
Mexican Hot Chocolate Ice Cream
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: dessert chocolate cinnamon cayenne ice cream ice-cream
Ingredients (1 quart)
- 2 cups heavy cream, divided
- 1 cup whole milk
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ cup granulated cane sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise pod
- 1 vanilla bean
- 5 egg yolks
- 2 pinches of salt
- 1-2 pinches cayenne pepper
- 1-2 pinches chile powder
- 1 tablespoon vodka
- 1 tablespoon chocolate liquor
- In a small to medium sauce pan, combine milk, 1 cup of the cream, cocoa powder, both sugars, cinnamon stick and star anise pod. Split the vanilla bean down the middle and scrape the inside of it into the pan. Add the pod once you are finished. Heat over medium, whisking constantly until hot but not boiling and sugars have dissolved. Cover and remove from heat. Allow to steep for 30-60 minutes. (Optional ingredient: you can add about a half cup of chopped chocolate or chocolate chips if you want it to be extra chocolaty).
- While mixture is steeping, prepare an ice bath by combining ice and water in a bowl or pan. Place a smaller bowl inside of it so that most of it is submerged in the bath. Add remaining cup of cream to the bowl.
- Whisk egg yolks together in a small bowl. Return the chocolate mixture to the heat and remove cinnamon stick, star anise pod and vanilla bean. Once it is hot again, scoop out a half cup of chocolate mixture and slowly stir into the egg yolks little by little until the eggs are tempered. Then pour into the chocolate mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, pour into the prepared bowl with the cream. Stir to combine, and add salt, cayenne and chili powder. Start with just one pinch of each and taste. Add more if you prefer a little more heat. Refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to make the ice cream, churn according to your ice cream maker’s manufacturer instructions. Scoop into a chilled pan or container and freeze for another 3-4 hours. Enjoy!
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