Tuesday, August 9, 2011


We made a complicated ice cream pie on the 4th of July. We made chocolate chip ice cream for that pie and it was good--but it wasn't amazing. It wasn't Fosselman's. So we set out to find out why. I started off by doing a little web research on the Fosselman's website and learned that they use Tahitian Vanilla to make that flavor. We couldn't imagine that that would make a difference but we wanted to try it anyway. After doing a few web searches and finding that Tahitian Vanilla is even more expensive than regular extract I put the project out of my mind.
Surprisingly, Joey did not. And on my birthday, I opened a damp amazon box with a few gifts soaked in Tahitian Vanilla. A little rough handling managed to shatter a bottle of the delectable ingredient soaking everything in its path. I smelled like vanilla for days.

Luckily the good people at Amazon understood their folly and sent us 3 new bottles of vanilla and we didn't even have to return the two that survived! Now just 5 jars of vanilla richer, we decided to set out on our quest and try to make the chocolate ice cream.

We followed the same directions as our first batch with the only difference being the Tahitian vanilla vs. Pure Vanilla Extract standard, usually Madagascar. Luckily, since ice cream lasts forever (unless you eat it all) we had some of the original batch left to compare.

The results floored us. The two ice creams taste completely different. The original chocolate chip ice cream tastes like your average one. The one with the Tahitian vanilla is almost a bit sweeter with a strong vanilla flavor but not the kind of vanilla you've been having all your life--a new kind of taste that's really hard to place. That Tahitian vanilla is definitely the Fosselman's missing flavor. We think that they use a tad more of the stuff though, and next time we'll add a bit more. We kind of want to make a bunch of plain vanillas now. We never want to make vanilla.

The Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
2 C half & half
1 C cream
4 egg yolks
1/2 C sugar
3 t Tahitian Vanilla (this makes the difference in it, but if you want plain jane vanilla then use it)
3 oz bittersweet or dark chocolate finely chopped
3 T vodka, optional (for softening)
Ice Bath

1. In the top of a double boiler heat half & half over simmering water until steaming.
2. Meanwhile, separate eggs and whisk the yolks. Whisk the sugar in with the eggs.
3. When the half & half begins to steam pour half of it into the egg mixture slowly and whisk vigorously so that the eggs don't cook.
4. Pour the egg mixture into the remaining half & half and cook stirring about 10 minutes or until custard coats the back of a silicone spatula and when you run a finger through the spatula the line stays.
5. When the custard is done place the pan in an ice bath and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
6. Pour the custard into a container and add vanilla and cream. Stir and refrigerate until cold, 6 hours or overnight.
7. When your custard is cool, add vodka if using and churn in an ice cream maker according to manufactures instructions, about 20 minutes. In the last minute of churning add the chocolate chips trying not to poor them directly on the dasher. Either eat as soft serve or store in a container in the freezer to harden.

Makes 1 quart

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