I've tried recipes from a variety of sources, and one source of inspiration and advice for me has been Wendy of the blog Pink Stripes. She always makes the most amazing ice creams, so when she mentioned that she was going to make the Cacao Nib Gelato from the September 2009 issue of Bon Appetit I was instantly interested. Even though we live 3000 miles apart, we made this ice cream together - virtually that is, each of us in our own kitchens, connected by our computers. (You can read about Wendy's ups and downs with this ice cream here.)
- You can find the recipe here.
- I was very intrigued by the method of this ice cream: heat the steep the cream with cacao nibs, let it steep, combine it with eggs and sugar to make the custard and chill overnight. The next day the nibs are strained out and discarded and the custard is churned.
- I made 1/2 recipe.
- Isn't it funny how scents can take you back? As the cacao nibs simmered with the milk and cream, the smell reminded me strongly of the hot chocolate that we made when I was growing up by heating milk on the stovetop. No session of playing out in the Western Massachusetts snow was complete until we'd made hot chocolate in a saucepan.
-It was hard to imagine how simple steeping was going to make this ice cream very chocolatey tasting; in fact it's closer to vanilla in color!
This ice cream is quite sly and deceptive. The color may be an innocuous creamy tan, but every spoonful packs an intense chocolate flavor. It's cocoa-ish but at the same time lush and dense and creamy. This would be perfect to serve for a dinner party - it's unusual and so delicious! In fact, of all the flavors that I've churned so far this ice cream is my favorite, hands down.