Ice Cream Sundays

When I was growing up in India, all through high school, we used to have something called the dreaded “Monday Test”. As the name suggests, we had a test every Monday… an intentional weekend spoiler, a conspiracy hatched by our school to trouble us kids. On Sunday evenings, just as it would start to get dark, I would have this queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach…early onset of Monday morning blues.

Time has flown and now I have school going kids, with the older one in middle school. While they love going to school and are not jaded by tests, they still, occasionally have that bluey feeling on Sunday evenings; the weekend has flown by too fast. So, a few years ago, we came up with the “Ice Cream Sunday” tradition. Since all of us immensely love ice cream, we decided that we would end our weekend on a sweet note with a serious ice cream indulgence. Though this tradition started out as visits to Amy’s Ice Cream on Sunday evenings, it slowly morphed into this major affair of homemade ice cream, with homemade hot fudge and homemade waffle bowls. To add to the experience, I made special ice cream bowls and spoons that only come out on Sunday evenings. Now, an eager anticipation builds up in our home as the sun goes down on Sundays. We sit with our bowls of homemade ice cream and enjoy a relaxing time together. Even on cold days, we stick to our tradition, huddled around the fire. I told you, we take our ice cream seriously!

A Visual Journey:

Sunday evenings begin with the preparation of waffle bowls/cone.

I mix the batter in my Michael Connelly bowl..http://www.connellypottery.com/
I pour a tablespoon of batter into the waffle cone maker …
I am ready to close the lid…
In a couple of minutes the waffle is cooked to perfection!

 

I set it into our special bowl…
This is how it looks…
My son prefers a cone…
I need to work quickly as the waffle starts hardening pretty fast.

 

The cone is ready!

 

Waiting for the ice cream to thaw…

Chocolate ice cream is safely in the bowl…now for the hot fudge…
There is no greater joy, than to watch delicious hot fudge flow out of a handmade fudge boat (expressly made for this purpose) into a welcoming bowl of ice cream.
A sprinkle of dark chocolate almonds and salted macadamia nuts on top signals that it’s time to attack!
Oh what joy…Worth the effort!!!
The picture says it all…until next Sunday…

Some minor details for those interested…

The recipes:

Our favorite flavor: Deep Dark Chocolate Ice cream.

Over the past few years I have tried a bunch of dark chocolate ice cream recipes. Though some of them were quite good, my taste buds were still seeking something more. After much experimentation I came down to two recipes that I liked for two different reasons. The first one had that deep dark flavor and velvety smoothness I wanted but was too dense and lacked the airiness of ice cream and the second one had the texture but was wanting in depth. So I decided to make a batch of each and mix the two. That did the trick!!! I had found it …the chocolate recipe!!!

So here are my recipes:

Deep Dark Chocolate Ice cream ( I don’t remember the source of this recipe)

Ingredients:
2 cups half and half
1 cup granulated sugar
4 oz dark chocolate chopped (not higher than 62%)
1 tbsp Instant coffee
½ cup unsweetened cocoa (sieved)
2 tbsp Dutch process cocoa (sieved)
2 tbsp water
5 large egg yolks at room temp.

In a double boiler combine 1 ½ cups of half and half, coffee, ¾ cup sugar, chocolate and both cocoas. Place over simmering water and cook stirring until chocolate melts and the mixture is hot and blended. Keep warm over low heat.
Meanwhile in a saucepan combine ¼ cup sugar and 2 tsb water over medium heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Then let it cook until the mixture turns amber. Remove from heat and slowly add ½ cup half and half. The mixture will foam. Return to heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Stir it into the chocolate mixture.
In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks briefly. Gradually whisk ½ cup of the hot chocolate mixture into the yolk then whisk the yolk mixture back into the chocolate mixture. Cook over simmering water until the custard thickens 5 to 7 min. Check for doneness, draw a finger through the custard on the back of the wooden spoon, it should leave a trail. Remove from heat, continue to stir the custard for a few minutes so it does not overcook. Strain the custard and pour into a bowl.

Then make the second ice cream :

JENI’S DARK CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE ICE CREAM BASE:
2 cups milk
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp. light corn syrup
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 tbsp. cream cheese, softened

FOR THE CHOCOLATE SAUCE:
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Make the ice cream: In a bowl, stir together 1/4 cup milk and the cornstarch; set slurry aside. In a 4-qt. saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream, sugar, syrup, and salt; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes; stir in slurry. Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Place cream cheese in a bowl and pour in 1/4 cup hot milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Then whisk in remaining milk mixture.

2. Make the chocolate sauce: Bring cocoa, brewed coffee, and sugar to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan over high heat; cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate.

3. Stir sauce into ice cream base.

After the two ice creams are ready, mix them together. Take another big bowl and fill it with ice and a bit of water and set the ice cream filled bowl in the ice bowl and mix occasionally with a whisk till it cools completely. Refrigerate for at least four hours and then run it through the ice cream maker. I do it in two batches. Once ready just put in air tight container and freeze. Thaw for about 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Waffle Bowl /Cone Recipe
(makes 4 bowls or cones)

Ingredients:
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 T heavy cream
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp butter (melted and cooled)

Method:

In a mixing bowl whisk together the egg, sugar, salt and heavy cream. Add the flour and mix until the flour is incorporated into the batter. Then whisk in the butter.

Preheat the Waffle Cone Maker and drop a tablespoon of batter. Cook for a couple of minutes until the waffle is golden brown.
Remove immediately and shape it into a bowl or roll it into a cone.

Hot Fudge recipe

Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
1 tbsp instant coffee
2/3 cup light corn syrup
8 oz bittersweet chocolate
1.5 tbsp butter
¾ tsp vanilla

Mix the cream, brown sugar, cocoa powder, coffee and corn syrup in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring frequently for 30 seconds.
Remove from heat and add chocolate and butter, stirring until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Serve warm.

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