Thursday, April 8, 2010

Coconut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

I volunteered to make Easter dessert. I hemmed and hawed over it. We were having a casual Easter so I didn't want to fancy it up with something like lamb cake. I was set on making something lemony but then I had a change of heart because chocolate is oh-so-good. Then I recalled that coconut is a popular springtime flavor. I decided to make my mom's favorite ice cream flavor--coconut chocolate chip. Then I decided to top it all off with Grandma's Lakeside Sandwich Cookies. Dessert turned out to be a grand success--and the ice cream didn't even melt on the 1 1/2 drive to Ojai*!

I used the Williams-Sonoma coconut ice cream recipe and then added chocolate chips at the end. It looked at first like it was a lot of steps but it was well worth it. This is probably the creamiest ice cream I have ever eaten, ever.

Coconut Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
  • 1 1/4 cups packed sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 3/4 cup canned sweetened cream of coconut (this turned out to be the whole can for me)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 3.5 oz of your favorite dark or bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped into small pieces
1. Toast coconut in a medium heavy saucepan for 7 minutes until it begins to brown. Add half & half. Bring to a simmer then remove from heat, cover and let steep 30 minutes.
2. Strain the coconut/half&half mixture and return half & half to same saucepan, discard flakes. Congratulations, you have just made coconut milk!
3. Place coconut milk over medium-high heat. Add the cream of coconut and bring to a simmer, remove from heat.
4. In a heatproof bowl whisk eggs and sugar until well blended. Add the coconut milk mixture slowly while whisking so as not to cook the eggs until well blended. Pour mixture into the same saucepan.
5. Return pan to medium-low and cook stirring slowly and continuously about 5 minutes or until custard leaves a path on the back of a spoon when scraped by a finger.
6. Pour the custard through a sieve into a bowl. Add the cream and stir well. Nestle the bowl into another bowl half-filled with ice water to cool to room temperature.
7. Cover the mixture and refrigerate until completely cold, probably a few hours
8. Freeze in an ice cream maker 20 minutes, add chocolate to the mixture in the final minute of churning. Place in freezer in a covered container.

*To make a long trip with ice cream in the car, fill gallon sized ziplocs with ice. Place ice cream container in a bonified cooler and surround with ice cube bags. Be sure all sides are padded with ice. Place the cooler in the trunk away from sunlight and internal cabin temperature shifts. Place in the freezer immediately upon arrival at destination.

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