My first job in High School was at Cold Stone Creamery. I would come home from work covered in sweet cream and smelling of waffle cones with free ice cream in hand. My parent’s freezer was always filled with “love it” sized portions of new flavor combinations. Even with five people, we couldn’t eat ice cream fast enough. The household favorite was a dark chocolate concoction: rich chocolate ice cream with brownie batter swirls and chocolate chips. To call it chocolate overload would be an understatement, but it would disappear the fastest, and for good reason. It was indulgent to the point of feeling shamelessly sinful.
Back then, ice cream was an everyday staple. Today, it remains my guilty pleasure. It’s my afternoon pick me up every once in awhile or the occasional night in with Netflix treat. At least, that was the case until I picked up the book Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home while at the Food Book Fair in April. I read it cover to cover last month and have since made no fewer than 6 different types ice cream. It’s possible that my relationship with ice cream may now be borderline obsessive.
The recipe that follows was ice cream variety number five of six. And it was easily the most decadent.
The bitterness and roasted malt flavors found in dark beers compliment the nuances of the dark chocolate. High quality ingredients are key here as there aren’t a lot of components and each one will play off the other. Choose a higher gravity beer with a round palate and rich flavors such as a breakfast or bourbon aged stout. I had a bit of Green Flash Ristretto Cosmic Black Lager left over from a growler, which was perfect as it contains cold brew, lactose, candy sugar, and lots of dark malt. Likewise, an artisan chocolate that’s 60 to 70% cacao with lots of complexity will enhance the final product.
Expect a dramatic ice cream that’s almost fudge like in texture with just enough bitterness to cut through the full-bodied creaminess and decadence.
Recipe based on The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream at Home with only slight modifications.
Ice Cream Base
Tags: breakfast stout • cacao nibs • chocolate ice cream • cooking with beer • craft beer • dark chocolate • ice cream • recipe • stout