Chocolate Ice Cream – Sweet and Spicy

Cayenne Ice Cream

Summer’s coming to an end and I can’t believe how long it has taken me to bring out the ice cream maker! I’ve always had the intention of making some kind of chocolate ice cream this summer – and I’ve always wanted to make a spicy chocolate ice cream. My husband and I were watching Food Network and they featured an ice creamery that made a spicy cayenne chocolate ice cream.

That did it…I had to make it.

But of course, if the kids see me making a chocolate ice cream it would be cruel if I only made one batch which they couldn’t eat. So I compromised. Half of the ice cream base will be kid-friendly, the other half will be for the spicy food lovers. 🙂

I’ve made Rocky Road ice cream in the past, using condensed milk in the base. But I thought I’d try a different recipe and sought a recipe from the all-knowing food geek, Alton Brown. Mr. Brown, you never fail me. I’m sure it’s because he puts lots of research into a recipe before he presents it. Alton’s recipe requires egg yolks, which means you’d have to temper it to make a custard (slowly warming the egg yolks with a little hot cream so they don’t curdle). If you’re okay with that and/or you’re familiar with making custards, then I say you should give it a try. The recipe really produces great results. Here’s the recipe.

The recipe calls for cooling the ice cream base for 4-8 hours to get it to 40°F before adding it to the ice cream maker. Because I had an impatient kid helping me (okay, I admit, I was anxious to get some ice cream in my belly, too), I took a tip from a reviewer and made an ice bath for the bowl containing the base. I stirred the custard every 10-20 minutes to help cool it down. It took about an hour to get it to the right temp. I pulled out my Rival Ice Cream maker (a total steal at $7 in the sale aisle around Christmastime 3 years ago) and got to work. Half of the custard went in without spices – half went in with cayenne, chili and cinnamon. I also made a fudge syrup to swirl into the kid-friendly version.

The fudge swirl was an interesting process – if you add it to the ice cream while it’s mixing, it will blend in. So after the ice cream got to a soft-serve consistency, I placed a layer of ice cream in a container, added a layer of fudge syrup and gently topped it off with the rest of the ice cream. It went in the freezer for a few more hours to totally solidify. I had quite a bit of the fudge syrup left and I’ve been using it to make chocolate milk. It’s much better than the high-fructose corn syrup-laden chocolate milks out there. (I used Lyle’s Golden Syrup in my recipe, which is plain ol’ sugar that has been caramelized.)

So, how did the spicy ice cream taste?

YUM.

It’s cool and sweet at first bite, then the heat gets ya at the end. It screws with your mind – in a good way.