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Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

August 8, 2012

When my husband and I visited my sister- and brother-in-law in Minnesota over Memorial Day weekend, we stayed over at their house for a couple of days.  During that time, I don’t remember how it came up, but the discovery was made that my sister- and brother-in-law had an ice cream maker and often times made their own ice cream.  I’ve been bugging my husband for over a year now for an ice cream maker.  I absolutely love ice cream and it’s one of the few items to which I can never say no.  I don’t care how hot or cold it is outside, I can always eat ice cream.  But my husband and I have had a running debate as to whether or not we would actually use the ice cream maker if we bought it, if we would make ice cream often, or if this was just a novelty of something I wanted.  But, when I saw that my sister- and brother-in-law had an ice cream maker, I think I practically begged to try making some ice cream.  My sister-in-law talked about how they had recently made dark chocolate peanut butter ice cream.  That sounded so rich, and decadent and luxurious.  We agreed that sometime during our weekend together, we’d give it a try again.  I couldn’t wait.

With an electric ice cream maker, the tub with which you will be churning your ice cream needs to be chilled overnight so that it’s ice cold.  You need to create the mixture that will eventually be churned into ice cream.  Depending on the type of ice cream you’re making and the ingredients in it, the mixture may need to be chilled in the refrigerator as well after you’ve made it.  This was the case for our dark chocolate peanut butter ice cream.  We would need to create the dark chocolate peanut butter mixture, let it chill in the refrigerator and then we could begin the process of churning it into ice cream.

The first step in the process was to melt 4 oz. of dark chocolate.  We used half a bar of a Ghiradelli premium dark chocolate bar.  My brother-in-law set up a double boiler system with the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pot of boiling water.  Just keep stirring the dark chocolate pieces until they start to melt and become smooth.  You really have to work the chocolate or else it starts to clump.

Meanwhile, start preparing the rest of the ingredients together.  In addition to melted dark chocolate, you’ll need some unsweetened cocoa powder.  Measure out the right amount and set it aside for now until the dark chocolate is melted.

You’ll also need some eggs which will be combined with other wet ingredients to help create the base of the ice cream mixture.

And finally both milk and heavy cream is needed for this recipe.  The milk must be whole milk.  Eventually, the milk will be added to the melted dark chocolate.  It has to be whole milk because 2%, 1% and skim has too much water content and melted chocolate can never come into contact with water or else the chocolate will immediately seize up and be ruined.  The heavy cream will be added with the milk to make the ice cream base.

While the dark chocolate is melting, start creating the ice cream base.  Combine eggs, heavy cream and granulated white sugar together in a mixing bowl.  Whisk together until smooth.  The sugar should dissolve completely and the color of the mixture should go from a bright yellow to a very mild light yellow/cream color.  The cream should cause the mixture to thicken.  Whisk until you start seeing ribbons form in the mixture.  Set the egg mixture aside until the dark chocolate mixture is done.

Meanwhile, measure out the milk you will need to eventually combine with the melted dark chocolate and cocoa powder.

When the dark chocolate has melted, remove the bowl with the melted chocolate from the double broiler, add the cocoa powder and the milk and start stirring vigorously to prevent the mixture from seizing up and clumping.  If the mixture has cooled too rapidly and the starts clumping, add the bowl back to the double broiler, but on lower heat, and start mixing again.  You want a thick, but completely liquid consistency to your dark chocolate mixture.

It’s time to combine the egg mixture and the dark chocolate mixture together.  As with any thing you do when you add hot liquid into a cold mixture that contains eggs, you need to temper it.  In this case, just slowly pour the dark chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, all the while whisking the egg mixture.  You need to make sure that the eggs in the mixture don’t start cooking due to the heat in the dark chocolate mixture; this is why it’s best to take the melted dark chocolate off the double broiler before you add the cocoa powder and milk.  Combine the entire dark chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and add vanilla for added sweetness and flavor to the ice cream.  Time now to add peanut butter into the ice cream base.  (sorry, I don’t have a picture of this!)  It’s preferrable to use creamy peanut butter and not chunky peanut butter.  As you add the peanut butter, continue whisking the ice cream base.  The base should still be fairly warm from the dark chocolate  mixture, and that warmth will help incorporate the peanut butter.  Whisk everything together until combined.  You should be able to smell the combination of dark chocolate and peanut butter.  That’s what really amazed me the most was that you could actually smell the perfect combination of chocolate and peanut butter, it smelled like a Reese’s peanut butter cup, but only better!

What you have now is your dark chocolate peanut butter ice cream base.  As it’s still warm, you’ll need to cover the bowl in aluminum foil and chill it in the refrigerator so that it can cool down before you churn it into ice cream.  The recommendation is to chill it for a minimum of a couple of hours, but overnight would probably be best so that the mixture is completely chilled.  But, of course, we couldn’t wait that long.

After just over 2 hours we were chomping at the bit for some ice cream, so we took the mixture out of the refrigerator, poured the liquid mixture into the frozen cylinder and started the ice cream machine to churn.  As it churned, after about 10 minutes you could see the mixture begin to thicken up.  The size of the mixture started growing and you could tell we were close to having ice cream!

Unfortunately, we may have been a little too eager to make ice cream and may not have chilled the mixture long enough, so our end product wasn’t really frozen ice cream, but more like a cold, chilled, thick custard/pudding mixture.  Actually, that’s not accurate, it really looked more like soft serve ice cream rather than scoopable ice cream.  But once we each had our own bowl of dark chocolate peanut butter ice cream, I don’t think anyone was complaining.  It was so darn good!  You could clearly taste both the dark chocolate and the peanut butter and they complimented each other so well.  It was so delicious and refreshing and really hit the spot!  Now, I want my own ice cream maker!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. August 9, 2012 12:25 pm

    That ice cream turned out so much prettier the first time we made it. Hmm, maybe we were a little bit impatient to eat it. It was still fun, though.

    • August 9, 2012 12:46 pm

      I still thought it was delicious! Besides, some of the most memorable things about making food, include the preparation behind it. It was fun to make something new (for me) with you gusy! The time we get to spend together is so minimal!

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