I had so many different ideas for my dessert this week. As it turned out, I was craving ice cream. Ice cream isn’t usually at the top of my dessert list. I like it, but I can do without it. However, some time ago, I got the incredibly awesome book, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home, and my view of ice cream changed dramatically; it is a fantastic book full of one mouthwatering recipe after another. I used the dark chocolate ice cream recipe from that book; the idea to put the brown sugar bacon with the chocolate ice cream was mine. The result was divine. Make it this weekend!
DARK CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM WITH BROWN SUGAR BACON CRUMBLES
4-5 slices bacon
For the chocolate syrup:
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ cup brewed coffee
½ cup sugar
1 ½ ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
For the ice cream base:
2 cups whole milk
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
Combine the cocoa powder, coffee, and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Boil for 30 seconds, remove from heat, add the chocolate, and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth and set aside.
Mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a slurry; set aside. Whisk the cream cheese, warm chocolate syrup, and salt in a medium bowl until smooth; set aside. Fill a large bowl with ice and water, and set aside.
Now, you’re ready to make the ice cream! Combine the rest of the milk, the cream, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry. Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese mixture until smooth. Pour it into a gallon Ziploc back and submerge the sealed bag in the ice water. Let it stand until cold, about 30 minutes. Pour the cold ice cream base into the canister of your ice cream maker and process until thick and creamy. Freeze for 4 hours before serving.
Make the bacon crumbles while the ice cream is freezing. Simply preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Put 4-5 slices of bacon on a cookie sheet and sprinkle evenly with brown sugar. Bake the bacon for 30-40 minutes. Be careful not to burn it! I almost burned mine; in fact it was a little dark, but I like things almost burnt, so I thought it was good. Just keep a good eye on it while baking it. Once the bacon is done, let it cool, then crumble it. Store in the refrigerator (if you don’t eat it all).
Once the ice cream is ready, serve it with the bacon crumbles on top. Enjoy!!
"Food is never just food. It's also a way of getting at something else: who we are, who we have been, & who we want to be." -- Molly Wizenberg