Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dark Chocolate Ritz Cracker Ice Cream

Apropos of nothing (ok, it wasn't nothing, it was this Buzzfeed article.  I just wanted the say "apropos of nothing" ok?), I started thinking (and I mean really thinking) about dinosaurs.  It's like, duh, I knew they existed and I knew it was long time ago but I never really thought about them.  If I had to estimate how long ago they lived, I would have said 65,000 years ago.  THIS IS VERY EMBARRASSING BECAUSE IT WAS 65 MILLION YEARS AGO.  Million.  

There's a threshold that my brain has when it comes to time comprehension.  100 years, sure I get that, duh.  1500 years, ok yeah.  5,000 years, we're stretching it but I'm still with you.  10,000 years, you're losing me.  65 million years, stop it right now.  I do not compute.  Zero comprehension of time.  The Earth was a thing then?!  And get this, that's  just how long ago they went extinct.  They were around 231 million years ago.  Were you aware of all this?  I mean, were you really aware of this?

I just think they shouldn't teach you about dinosaurs until, like, 8th grade when your brain can actually comprehend the numbers.  Or least when my brain can comprehend the numbers.  
You may be wondering what any of this has to do with Dark Chocolate Ritz Cracker Ice Cream.  Well allow me to explain.  Nothing.  It was nothing to do with it.  But I had you going there for a minute.  You thought maybe I could relate ice cream to dinosaurs.  I can't.  
Good news is, this ice cream needs little selling.  It's Jeni's dark chocolate recipe which is, hands down, the best chocolate ice cream I've eaten.  Ever.  And we're just gonna kick it up a bit with crispy and chewy and salty and buttery Ritz Cracker Candy.  It sells itself.  Apropos of dinosaurs.  (I realize that makes no sense, I just wanted to say it).  

Here's the recipe!

Dark Chocolate Ritz Cracker Ice Cream


Ice Cream Base
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon corn starch
  • 1 1/2 ounces cream cheese, softened (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Chocolate Sauce
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 cup brewed strong coffee
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate 
1. Fill large bowl with ice and cold water, set aside. In another large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until smooth, set aside. In a small bowl, combine corn starch and 2 tablespoons of the milk, whisking until smooth and well combined. Set aside.
2. In a medium saucepan, combine remaining milk, cream, sugar, and corn syrup. Heat over medium-high heat until sugar is fully dissolved, cooking about 4 minutes. Add in instant coffee and stir to dissolve. Off the heat, add the cornstarch mixture and stir to fully incorporate. Return to heat, add vanilla and cook for about one minute until mixture is thickened.
3. Gradually and carefully whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth and lumps are gone. Whisk in salt.
4. Make chocolate sauce: Bring cocoa, brewed coffee, and sugar to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Cook for 30 seconds, remove from the heat, and stir in chocolate. Whisk until melted.
5. Pour chocolate sauce into ice cream base mixture. Transfer mixture to large plastic freezer bag, seal, and immerse in ice bath. Allow to sit until completely cooled, about 20 mins.
6. Strain the ice cream base into the ice cream machine and freeze according to manufacturer's instructions. When complete, begin layering with crumbled Ritz Cracker Candy. I made 4 layers, beginning and ending with the ice cream (but you can adjust based on the dimensions of your container). You'll have plenty of leftover Ritz Cracker Candy for snacking. Allow to freeze until set, at least 4 hours.


Recipe adapted from Saveur.

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