So I like to offer treats in the house, and I don’t like to skimp on flavour, so I see healthy eating about making a few well-calculated and considered calculations. I used a combination of low sugar cocoa powder and the best 70% dark chocolate I could find. I also didn’t add too much sugar, and I opted for 1/2 and 1/2 cream (10-12%) rather than the full 30%. I also had some yummy Maltesers in the cupboard leftover from my trip to the movies, so I decided to throw them in the works for a nice textural contrast. So, how was it? Well, I’m not the best person to ask, but no matter what the chef’s preferences, they need to taste their food. So, I did (okay, maybe it was a bit more than a taste), and I liked it- a lot. It was not too sweet, was smooth as silk and had a rich deep chocolatey flavour. The maltesers were my favourite part, as they gave a nice crunchy contrast and an “escape” from the richness when needed.
This is what I did:
Chocolate Malt Ball Ice Cream
4 large egg yolks at room temperature
1/2 c white sugar
2 cups half and half cream
1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder (regular, but Dutch is fine too), sifted well
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (do not use imitation- ever)
A cup or so of malteser balls, or whatever you’ve got left from snacking
2. In a separate bowel, beat the egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy for about 1-2 minutes with a hand or stand-mixer (I used my arm so it took about 3 or 4 minutes of hell). Set that aside too.
3. Put your cocoa powder (make sure its been sifted) into a small saucepan and gradually whisk in the cream. Heat over medium-high and continue to whisk until its fully combined and brought up to it’s scalding point (the milk JUST begins to steam…. don’t let it bubble over though!)
4. Remove from the heat and pour a couple of tablespoons into the egg yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Add a few more, whisk whisk. More more more (whisk whisk whisk etc.) until it’s all combined (I like to be conservative about how quickly I go and how much I whisk just because I find otherwise, I will inevitably curdle my eggs.. and when I do, my custards are perfect).
5. When it’s all combined, strain the mixture back into the saucepan and stir in the melted chocolate. Put the saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon, scraping up the bottom until you reach a temperature of 170 F. Whenever possible, I like to use a thermometer for everything. So do yourself a huge favour and get one. Yes, you can use the “coat the back of a spoon” technique, and usually I do that too (I want both to be happening), but I find I am always more confident when I see the temperature is correct.
6. Immediately remove the custard from the heat and continue to stir it constantly to slow it down. You can also put it into a bowl filled with ice (sitting the pot in the ice, not the actually custard!). Then stir in the vanilla. Cover with plastic wrap right on top of the custard so as to prevent the dreaded pudding skin, then refrigerate until very cold (at least 4 hours- I know it’s hard to wait).
7. When it’s very cold, you can put it into your chilled ice cream maker and follow the directions from the ice cream maker. Mine take’s 20 minutes to churn, so in the last 2 minutes, I start to add in the maltesers. Don’t add in anything (whether its fruit or nuts or candy) at the beginning.. wait until its semi-solid or else they will all sink to the bottom. Been there, done that. If you like soft serve, then soft-serve it up. If you want a harder chocolate ice cream, then pop it into a container and put it in the freezer to firm up for a few more hours.
Abbey Sharp is a Registered Dietitian, an avid food writer and blogger, a cookbook author and the founder of Abbey’s Kitchen Inc.