Heavenly Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

My husband and I have a farm share and heard share through a family owned farm about 45 minutes away from us ‘in the country’. It’s one of the best investments we’ve made in our health and nutrition, and we love knowing exactly where our food comes from every week. One of the coolest things about owning a bovine heard share is that we have access to tons of raw, non-homogonized grass-fed cow’s milk. Because we own part of the cow, we don’t have to follow the FDA’s silly little rules about raw dairy. Raw whole milk is the best tasting milk I’ve ever had. And trust me, that’s saying something (just ask my Mom, she used to force me to drink milk while holding my nose closed so I couldn’t taste it)!

While I still don’t drink much milk, I do enjoy several other dairy products regularly, so I use my yummy raw milk in fun ways. This year, I’ve spent countless hours working to make gourmet-quality ice cream at home. The best results so far were my Bourbon Butter Pecan and Mint Chocolate Chip – those are definitely going to be regulars in the rotation. Many of my recipes are custard based, so they took half a day to make, but I recently read of a different technique that is slightly less time consuming (though it does require using tapioca starch) so I gave it a go. IT IS DELICIOUS!

wpid-20130305_194250.jpgDark Chocolate Ice Cream
Yield: 1 Quart

Chocolate Base:
1/2 C brewed coffee
1/2 C unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 C grade B maple syrup
1 1/2 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped

Cream Base:
2 1/2 C whole milk
1/2 C cream
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp tapioca starch
3 Tbsp cream cheese, softened
1/8 tsp ground sea salt
1/4 C grade B maple syrup

1. For the chocolate base – In a small, heavy-bottomed sauce pan,combine the coffee, cocoa powder and maple syrup. Bring to a boil and let boil for 30 seconds before removing from heat and stirring in the chopped dark chocolate. Stir to combine and set aside
2. Using just 2 Tablespoons of the whole milk and all the tapioca starch in a small bowl, whisk to make a thick and creamy mixture.
3. In a medium glass or metal bowl, whisk the softened cream cheese, salt and warm chocolate base – this should be like liquid fudge.
4. Fill a larger bowl or sink with a few inches of ice water (will be used in step 8).
5. In a medium saucepan, combine the remaining whole milk, cream, and maple syrup. Bring to a low boil over medium-high heat and boil for 4 minutes, stirring regularly.
6. Remove pan from heat and gradually add the starchy mixture from step 2, whisking to combine. Return to medium-high heat and bring to a boil once more, while stirring, until slightly thickened (about 1 minute).
7. Slowly add the hot cream base to the chocolate base, whisking until thoroughly combined and smooth.
8. Place plastic wrap on the top of the ice cream bowl and set gently in the ice bath, adding more ice as necessary to effectively cool it. Let cool 30-40 minutes.
9. Pour ice cream into ice cream maker and spin until thick and creamy. Place frozen ice cream in airtight container with parchment paper or plastic wrap on the surface and seal with the lid. Freeze for 2-4 hours before serving.