Coconut-Rum Shake

Seven-Layer Icebox Cake

Chocolate-and-Peanut Butter Topping

Toasted Almond Chocolate Ice Cream

Bombe au Chocolat

Sweet Spot


Toasted Almond Chocolate Ice Cream

Tips: You'll need a candy thermometer and an ice cream maker of at least one-quart capacity for this luxurious ice cream, made with bittersweet chocolate. It doesn't freeze too hard, so you can scoop it directly from the freezer. Make sure to toast the almonds, as that will help bring out their fullest flavor and keep their crunch. Serve this in small portions; it's very rich. As with all homemade ice creams, this is best eaten within three days of churning, and the ice cream base must be well-chilled before it's churned. Note that this is less sweet than many other desserts, so it might be more appreciated by adults. I prefer to "ripen" the completed ice cream in the freezer for at least 6 hours before serving so the flavors blend and the texture hardens slightly.

  • 8 ozs. good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. sifted unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 2 egg yolks, from eggs graded "large"
  • 1-1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3/4 cup (about 3-3/4 ozs.) whole unblanched (skins on) almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. almond OR orange liqueur

In large heatproof bowl, place chopped chocolate. In small saucepan over low heat, heat cream until very hot, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; pour about half of hot cream over chocolate. Allow to stand for a minute or two, then whisk gently until smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining hot cream. Set aside near stovetop.

In one-quart, heavy bottomed, nonreactive saucepan, combine sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Whisk well until blended. In small bowl, with fork, beat egg yolks with several tablespoons of milk ( no need to measure; reserve remaining milk), until well-blended. Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients in saucepan; stir gently with whisk until well-combined.

In small saucepan over low heat, heat remaining milk until very hot, stirring occasionally. Gradually (very gradually, at first) add hot milk to sugar-cocoa-yolk mixture, stirring constantly. Scrape sides and bottom of saucepan with rubber spatula. Place saucepan over medium heat; stir constantly until this custard reaches a temperature of 174 to 175 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from heat.

A little at a time, strain the hot custard through a fine strainer into the melted chocolate mixture, whisking well after each addition. Scrape bottom and sides of chocolate bowl occasionally. When all custard has been added, whisk in vanilla. If desired, for easier handling, transfer to a pitcher of at least one-quart capacity. Cool briefly, then chill for at least 6 hours or overnight, covering tightly when cold.

At least 2 and up to 24 hours before churning ice cream, prepare almonds. Adjust oven rack to center position; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toast almonds in a shallow pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Stir occasionally and watch carefully; nuts can burn easily. Toast almonds until they are a light golden brown, about 10 to 13 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely, then chop medium-fine. Place chopped almonds into small cup; cover and freeze until needed.

Following manufacturer's directions, freeze ice cream in ice cream maker. When ice cream is about three-fourths frozen, add liqueur, one tablespoon at a time. When ice cream is frozen, gradually add frozen almonds, keeping machine on until they are evenly distributed. Pack ice cream into freezer container; freeze at least 6 hours to ripen before eating.

Generous one quart

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