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Chill out: Celebrate the last blast of summer eating homemade ice cream

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on


Makes 2 quarts (2 L)

1 vanilla bean, carefully split lengthwise with a small, sharp knife

2 cups (500 mL) milk

2 cups (500 mL) heavy cream

8 large cage-free egg yolks

3/4 cup (185 mL) sugar

1 cup (250 mL) bittersweet chocolate, cut into small pieces

1/4 cup (60 mL) Jack Daniel's, or other Tennessee whiskey, or Kentucky bourbon, plus more as needed

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1/2 cup (125 mL) melted bittersweet chocolate

Put the vanilla bean in a large saucepan. Add the milk and cream. Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from the heat.

In a heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until foamy. While whisking constantly, pour half of the hot milk mixture into the sugar-yolk mixture. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon; take care not to let the mixture come to a boil, which will curdle this custard and make it unusable.

Pour the thickened custard through a fine-meshed strainer into a large cold bowl. Immediately add the 1 cup (250 mL) of chocolate pieces to the hot custard and stir until they melt and the mixture is smooth. Cover the bowl and refrigerate until the mixture is chilled.

Stir the Jack Daniel's into the chilled mixture, adding a little more to taste if you like. Transfer the mixture to an ice-cream freezer and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions.

While the ice cream is freezing, prepare the chocolate chips.

Preheat the oven to 350 F (175 C). Heat a heavy baking sheet in the preheated oven. Spread the melted chocolate over the bottom of the baking sheet in a thin, even layer. Let cool until the baking sheet is cool to the touch, then transfer to the refrigerator and chill until the chocolate is hard. With a sharp knife, score the chocolate into small 1/4-inch (6-mm) squares. Using a metal pastry scraper or a palette knife, scrape these chips from the baking sheet. Freeze until needed.

When the ice cream is ready, transfer it to a cold freezer-proof bowl. With a spatula or large, wide spoon, fold in the chocolate chips. Store in the freezer until ready to serve.



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