This past weekend, when faced with the choice of making yeasted bread or some other edible of choice, I had to shy away from the long and hot process of a crusty, slightly labor intensive loaf of fresh bread. Yes, I had to make a choice. Something had to come out of the kitchen, but at 85 degrees and sunny in California, there was no way it would something nice that required a long span of attention like bread.
I’m sorry but often times, the weather dictates a lot here.
The logical move of course, was to make something cool, something delicious, and something that takes less than thirty minutes of prep time…. ice cream! of course. It’s no secret that I have a certain unhealthy infatuation with the cold stuff, so really in any choice I make cooking-wise, ice cream is in the mix somewhere.
And let me tell you, ice cream never let’s me down.
And now for another apology—the second today, a lot considering—this ice cream is another vanilla custard base but it’s more ice cream than gelato and shhh, it is lower-fat. Don’t tell, but I like it just as much. It’s got that nice ice granulation to it the separates true ice cream from simply frozen custard. And my ice cream maker seems to like it better….
Toasted Chocolate Almond Ice Cream
1 ¾ cup low-fat milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs
¾ cup white sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 ½ cup slivered almonds, toasted at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes
1 cup semisweet chocolate, melted
1. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the almonds and harden in freezer. When hardened, chopped the chocolate-almond bark into small quarter to half-inch pieces. Reserve for later.
2. Bring the milk and vanilla to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, making sure the milk doesn’t burn. While the milk is heating, beat together the eggs, sugar, and salt until pale and about doubled in volume. When milk reaches a boil, remove from heat and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
3. While constantly whipping the eggs, slowly pour in the milk a little bit at a time, making sure not to scramble the eggs. (Sweet scrambled eggs? No thank you.) When milk is fully incorporated, return to a clean saucepan over medium heat and cook, stir constantly and scraping the bottom of the pan with a spoon, until mixture has thickened substantially, about 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and add the heavy cream.
4. Cool mixture in refrigerator until cold and a little stiff. Freeze using ice cream maker’s directions. During the last 5 minutes of mixing, add in the chocolate-almond chunks.