chocolate ice cream with pumpkin seed brittle (and olive oil and sea salt)

I thought you all might want something sweet for Valentine’s Day. Oh, Valentine’s Day. I like Valentine’s Day because it’s a free pass to eat chocolate. I used to make truffles for Valentine’s Day. But I got a little lazy this year and thought ice cream would be better. Because you can make it in advance. And who doesn’t love ice cream?

I’ll let you in on a little secret – I very rarely crave ice cream. If ice cream is nearby, like if I happen to be in a certain neighborhood and I pass a certain ice creamery, I wont say no. But I typically don’t buy it at the market or keep it stocked in my freezer. Of course, now that I’m the proud owner of an ice cream maker, I don’t really have to. In case you were wondering, an ice cream maker is a sure way to get yourself into some dietary trouble.

So, back to chocolate ice cream. This one is great. It’s custard based so it’s rich but somehow sort of light at the same time.  And perfectly chocolatey (use the best chocolate and cocoa you can get your hands on). It’s really nice on its own. But it’s even more fantastic topped with a few hunks of pumpkin seed brittle. And a drizzle of olive oil. And a sprinkle of coarse sea salt. Get ready to fall in love. xo.

chocolate ice cream with pumpkin seed brittle (and olive oil and sea salt)

from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

makes 1 about quart

2 cups heavy cream

3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup sugar

pinch of salt

5 large egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

pumpkin seed brittle (see recipe below)

extra virgin olive oil, for garnish (I like Stonehouse Olive Oil)

coarse sea salt, for garnish  (I like Maldon or fleur de sel is nice, too)

In a medium saucepan, whisk the cocoa powder into 1 cup of cream. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Stir in the remaining 1 cup cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible. Set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.

Prepare an ice bath in a bowl/basin large enough to hold your mixing bowl.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour the warmed egg yolks into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Place in the ice bath and stir until cool.

Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

pumpkin seed brittle

adapted from MarthaStewart.com

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

1/2 cup pepitas

Line an 11×17-inch rimmed baking pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in sugar and honey. Bring to a boil. Cook, without stirring, until mixture is medium amber and a candy thermometer registers 280°F, about 6 minutes. Stir in pumpkin seeds. Cook until mixture reaches 300°F, about 2 minutes. Pour onto prepared baking sheet. Let cool completely. Break into pieces.


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