I feel I should warn you: I have taken to putting beer into everything I cook. Maybe it is a touch of the holiday spirit, or the need for something a little extra comforting. Does one really need a reason?
Tonight, I begin my cooking beerfest on the stout-y side of things with the perennial favorite — Guinness. Guinness and I were slow to warm up to each other, but now that the formalities are out of the way the Irish stout and I have become the best of friends. Mixing it with chocolate seemed like an odd choice, but after the blissful discovery of bourbon ice cream last month and the always astute recipe writing of David Lebovitz, I knew my odds at success were high.
For the last 24 hours I have not been able to stop eating this ice cream, and unfortunately for me the recipe makes an entire quart. (That’s two Ben & Jerry’s sized pints, in case you were trying to create a mental picture.) Just like coffee can make chocolate taste more chocolaty, the Guinness brings out the very best milk chocolate has to offer, and visa versa. Egg yolks make the texture creamy (the milk and cream do their part to help the texture, too) and the alcohol in the beer prevents the ice cream from being too firm or icy. Making ice cream at home is easier than you think and need not be seen as intimidating nor overwhelming. An electric ice cream maker is required however, so you just may need to ask Santa to bring you one for Christmas this year. I am rarely an advocate for gratuitous kitchen gadgets and electrics, but for my money this one is a must.
guinness-milk chocolate ice cream
adapted from The Perfect Scoop
yields 1 quart
7oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
1c whole milk
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1c heavy cream
3/4c Guinness Stout
1t vanilla extract
Prepare the chocolate and put in a large bowl. Set a fine mesh strainer atop the bowl. In a medium bowl add the egg yolks and whisk together. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk, sugar and salt until the mixture is warm to the touch and the sugar is dissolved. Slowly add the warmed mixture into the bowl with the egg whites, whisking constantly. Once all of the mixture is combined with the egg yolks, return to the sauce pan. Heat over medium heat until the mixture thickens and coats the spoon.
Pour the mixture through the strainer and onto the chocolate. Discard any lumps left behind in the strainer. Stir the mixture together until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the heavy cream, Guinness and vanilla extract and stir to combine. Chill completely in the refrigerator then pour into the frozen core of an electric ice cream maker and prepare according to the manufacturer’s directions.