My 5-year boy old loves chocolate. When he is offered ice cream, anywhere, he simply asks, “What flavor?” And if the answer is anything but the single word “chocolate,” he passes. Flavors that include chocolate do not make the cut — he’ll just skip the ice cream altogether.
We don’t always have ice cream in our house, but my thrift-store tabletop Cuisinart makes regular appearances throughout the summer. The ice-cream-making scenario goes something like this:
Hey, guess what I’m making today? (as I’m pulling the appliance out from the cabinet — we love the Answered Rhetorical Question game in our house.)
ICE CREAM!!! (three small voices exclaim in semi-unison; the 2-year old is still a bit slow on the visual cues, and so exclaims it only after she’s heard the other two, but the look on her face says she thinks she’s figured the whole thing out by her lonesome, which is somehow insanely adorable.)
Mom, what flavor? (says my son.)
(insert any flavor here that is not chocolate. which is what I end up saying about 80% of the time, because there are so many flavors to make, and who wants chocolate all the time?)
Mom!!! You NEVER make chocolate! (said in the most annoying, Chinese-water-torture-like whiny voice imaginable.)
That is NOT true. I make chocolate roughly 20% of the time, and that will have to do for you, my freak-of-nature middle child.
But this week, my sweet little freak-of-nature started kindergarten. The weight of this change on my day-to-day life is the subject of another blog, one about motherhood and how it is simultaneously exquisitely beautiful and life-draining; but I can summarize and say that it’s a big change. He has done marvelously so far, eager each day to go to school, happy when I pick him up. He seems older, more mature, already (though not too old yet to forgo crawling into our bed at 6:30 in the morning for a good pre-breakfast snuggle — and I’m holding on to that for as long as I can).
To celebrate this milestone, I pulled out the ice-cream maker and gave him the answer he so desires.
This is my go-to recipe for the all-time classic. While I love a good custard-based ice cream, they do require a little extra time and money — five farm-fresh egg yolks do not come cheaply. With some flavors, the Philly-style (i.e., egg-less) version is just as good if not better (I much prefer Philadelphia-style vanilla to French). With chocolate, this is also the case — while not as quick to whip up as mango sorbet, it’s low on the scale of frozen-treat difficulty.
I adapted this recipe from one in The Perfect Scoop — primarily, I reduced the amount of chocolate. The original recipe ends up a bit hard and chalky once frozen — and requires a bar and a half of baking chocolate and an odd amount of heavy cream. I reduced the amount so that one bar of chocolate and a pint of cream will do you — as a bonus, the texture is a little softer and the flavor still packs a chocolate punch.
Approved by the connoisseur — who is, as you might have noticed, not pictured above. His little sister, herself a lover of chocolate, stood in his stead for today’s shoot, as her brother was at school. So selfless of her.
Recipe: Classic Chocolate Ice Cream (Philadelphia-style)
: makes about 1 quart
adapted from a recipe in The Perfect Scoop, by David Lebovitz
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 4 Tbsp unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 1/4 cups whole milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- In a large saucepan, whisk together the cream, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Bring to a full, rolling boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly.
- Remove from heat, and whisk in the chocolate. Stir until completely melted, then whisk in the milk and vanilla until very smooth.
- Chill over an ice bath, then transfer to the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the instructions.