Saturday, July 30, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream

It’s Saturday afternoon. I woke up at 7am this morning for a 7:45am plyometrics class. I stayed for the 9am yoga class. Then I went to brunch at Plate in Malibu where, ironically enough, I proceeded to eat everything on the plate, and almost the plate itself.

Apparently today, I am a bottomless pit. I say that not only because of brunch, but also because I’m sitting on the couch, Staten Island Cakes on in the background, checking e-mails and trying to tame my new mild obsession with Twitter (words I never thought I’d say), all the while armed with a butter knife, a dark chocolate bar, and a tub of peanut butter.

Chocolate bar?


Peanut butter?


Chocolate bar dipped in peanut butter?

Heaven. On. Earth. Period.

This is the perfect time to tell you about what I did in the kitchen 2 days ago. Yes - it involves peanut butter and chocolate :)

It all started 2 weeks ago. My beautiful sister and I drove from L.A. to Vegas. Naturally, we stopped at the Williams-Sonoma outlet. I’ve been there many times before. Every time I went, I would stare longingly at the Cuisinart ice cream maker, so pretty and elegant in its perfect little box. I would never buy it, though, because I didn’t really know how to make ice cream, nor did I have the confidence to figure it out.

But 2 weeks ago, I was a different Lauren. I was the Lauren who had gone to pastry school. I was the Lauren who was armed with her Laduree cookbook direct from Paris, and filled with ice cream recipes. I was the Lauren who made her first batch of ice cream one magical night at Nu Restaurant in Vancouver last March. So, this Lauren picked up the ice cream maker, and hulled it up to the cash register. $39 and change, and my life was forever changed.

It took me a few weeks to take it out of the box (it’s like a new pair of shoes: you buy them, wear them around the house, pick out a spot for them in your closet, and then say good morning, good night, and every salutation in between to them until the perfect occasion presents itself - the occasion that is worthy of your new shoes to be taken out on the town in all their glory.....), but then it happened. Armed with my fresh ingredients (not cooking with dairy or wheat these days meant I had no eggs or cream on hand, so I had to make a special trip to the store) and my cookbook, I was ready and oh so excited!!

I couldn’t find a recipe for chocolate peanut butter ice cream, so I took the dark chocolate ice cream recipe from my Laduree cookbook and improvised.

Milk almost to a boil, sugar dissolved, chocolate chopped, yolks whisked, peanut butter waiting patiently, mixed together, chilled overnight, into the ice cream machine yesterday morning - abra kadabra, alamazoo - chocolate peanut butter ice cream for you!

Now, please excuse me. I need to get the peanut butter off my computer. Oops.


Lauren's Peanut Butter Chocolate Ice Cream

200g dark chocolate, rougly chopped
600ml half and half
3 egg yolks
120g granulated sugar (1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons)
1/4 - 1/2 cup peanut butter, depending on how strong you want the PB flavor to be

First, read your ice cream maker instructions. I had to place my bowl in the freezer until completely frozen before I could use it. I did it overnight, but if you're doing this same day, think that 4-5 hours is enough time to give yourself.

Roughly chop your chocolate. Have you PB ready.

Place the half and half and the sugar in a pot on high heat. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a bowl until pale yellow.

Once the cream and sugar start coming to a boil (be careful not to let it boil over!!) remove it from the heat. **Temper the cream mixture into the eggs, and then pour the egg mixture back into the pot with the cream and sugar. Place the pot back on low to medium heat, and stir gently and constantly until the mixture is thick enough so that it coats the back of a spoon, and when you run your finger down the back, the mixture doesn't run back into place (like a custard).

** To temper, add 1/4 cup of the hot cream mixture into the egg yolks as you whisk constantly so that you don't cook the yolks. Once incorporated, add another 1/4 cup while whisking vigorously. Quick tip: place the bowl with the egg yolks on a wet towel on the counter so that it doesn't slide around while you whisk with one hand and pour the milk mixture with the other.

Once off the heat, stir in the chopped chocolate and peanut butter to stop the cooking process. Stir for about 5 minutes until smooth. Transfer to another bowl or dish, cover, and place in the refrigerator until completely chilled.

Once chilled, pour into your ice cream maker for about 10-20 minutes, depending on the consistency you want. Transfer to a freezer safe container with a lid. Place in the freezer for about 2-3 hours before serving.

Makes 4-6 servings (1 litre).

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