June 5, 2009

Almond Ice-Cream with Cherries & Chocolate Chunks {Powernap}

Welcome to the first flavor of “The Naptime Chef Great Ice-Cream Festival of 2009.” Nicole brilliantly wrote this recipe at the behest of a good friend. We loved the idea of almond flavored ice cream studded with sweet cherries and chocolate chunks. It sounded like an ideal trifecta of flavors with the perfect balance of creamy and crunch. We hope you enjoy this as much as Nicole’s dinner guest’s did last week! (Remember, this is the first of many ice-cream recipes to come this summer, we will posting them at least once a week. The next one will be up very shortly…) Enjoy!

Recipe

Nicole’s Almond Ice Cream with Cherries & Chocolate Chunks

Ingredients

cups whole milk
cup heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
T. of almond extract
½ cup of almond slivers, toasted and cooled
½ cup mixture of dried cherries and bittersweet chocolate

Instructions

1. Toast almond slivers, cool them, then place in the freezer.

2. Combine dried cherries and chocolate in a bowl, and freeze (freezing helps to keep your mixed ingredients from becoming “gummy” in the ice cream). For the cherries, Nicole did not need to reconstitute them, because they were quite moist, and the freezing helped to keep their texture.

3. Bring milk and heavy cream to a boil in a large saucepan. In a separate bowl, whisk the six egg yolks together with the sugar until thick and well mixed. Once the liquid has come to a boil, lower light, and add a scant half a cup of liquid into the egg mixture to temper the eggs. Gradually add the remaining hot liquid into the egg/sugar mixture, while continuing to stir. Once all liquid has been added, mix well. Pour the incorporated mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a medium low heat, stirring continuously. Do not let mixture come to a boil!

4. Once custard thickens (enough to coat the back of the spoon), remove pan from heat and strain into a heatproof bowl. Mix in almond extract. Refrigerate the custard for 4-6 hours, or overnight.

5. Scrape the chilled custard into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s instructions (Nicole always finds between 15-18 minutes is best). Mixture will resemble a coarse “slushy.” By hand, add in the almond slivers, cherries and chocolate pieces, and mix to incorporate throughout frozen custard. Pack ice cream into a container and freeze for a minimum of 2 hours. Note: if you freeze the ice cream for a night before use, ice cream will be very dense. Remove 10-15 minutes before you wish to serve.

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