Chocolate Ice Cream

I was doing so well.  Summer, in the UAE?  About a month ago, I thought "I got this".  It is middle of July already!....  Well now that it is August, I have had enough heat.  I have had enough being inside all the time.  Even with the curtains closed and the air conditioner going, with the apartment never seeing the light of day, it is hot.  I wanted to put on a pair of my jeans last week since I was optimistically looking forward to cooler weather.  But, trying on pants just sounded way too uncomfortable.  After wearing skirts and shorts for over six months straight, jeans feel too restricting and tight....hmm or maybe it is because of all of my ice cream "researching".

In trying to find ways to keep cool, I have turned off the hot water in the bathroom so that we are forced to take cold showers.  Sounds really crazy, huh? Every time I get in the shower, I think, "Ok!! This is ridiculous! I am turning the hot water back on when I get out!"  However, every time I get out, I feel so refreshed and cool.  The best part of the day.  So, needless to say, I don't turn the hot water back on...and the cycle continues.

In other more sane attempts, I made an incredible chocolate ice cream.  I mean incredible! I know that you are thinking, "ahhh I don't even like chocolate ice cream".  Neither do I!  I was surprised that it tasted so creamy and super cocoa-y.  It is simple to make, and now will save those of us here in AD from paying 37AED/$10 for a pint of Haagen Dazs.  And, I am going to be bold enough to say that this is better than good ol' HD.  Stock up on ingredients because once you make this, you will probably be making it all the time.  Sorry, I hope you are not trying to fit into your old jeans.

One tip for making it really great is to use really good ingredients. I know, I feel like a broken record but it is SO true.  With only a few ingredients, the taste of each one is critical.  They don't have to be super high-end, but they just need to be very good.  The recipe is below.  Let me know if you have any trouble with it.  It almost makes the hot weather tolerable. I said almost.

Chocolate Ice Cream (Adapted from David Lebovitz)

2 cups whole milk (can also use 1 cup (250ml) double cream mixed with 1 cup water )
1/4 cup (100g) sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder
4 ounces (115g) bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract or 1/4 of a vanilla bean
optional: 2 tablespoons coffee-flavored liqueur, such as Kahluà

1. In a medium-sized saucepan, warm half of the milk with the sugar, salt, and cocoa powder and vanilla bean (if using vanilla extract, we will add it later).  You can take the vanilla bean out during the freezing process.

2. Bring to a full boil while whisking, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 30 seconds.

3. Remove from heat and add the chocolate, the vanilla extract, if using, and the coffee-flavored liqueur, if using. Stir very well until smooth, then add in the other half of the milk.

4. Taste.  At this point it should taste like a very rich hot cocoa.

5. Chill thoroughly. Then freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.  If freezing by hand, set the ice cream in the freezer in a frozen metal bowl.  Remove it from the freezer every 30 minutes to stir, breaking up ice crystals and whipping in a bit of air until nice and thick. (It can take a few hours).


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