Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the famous gastronome from the 1700s, said: “Those who have been to long … at their labor, who have drunk too long at the cup of voluptuousness, who feel they have become temporarily inhumane, who are tormented by their families, who find life sad and love ephemeral; they should all eat chocolate and they will be comforted.” I think he was referring to this black, deep dark chocolate ice cream. The list of ingredients to add in the beginning (gingerroot, malt, mint, coconut, pepper, cayenne, chipotle, cinnamon, Earl Grey tea and ground coffee) is rivaled in length only by the list you can add during the last five minutes: toasted almonds, pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans, bananas, dried or fresh cherries and on and on …
Yield: MAKES 1½ TO 2 PINTS
1½ cups whole milk
1½ cups heavy cream
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch kosher salt
¼ cup Cointreau or Grand Marnier (optional)
Place the milk, cream and chocolate in a small pan and cook over low heat, whisking from time to time, until it is warm, about 175°F.
Place the egg yolks, sugar, vanilla extract and salt in a small metal bowl and whisk until completely mixed. Add ¼ cup of the warm milk mixture to the eggs, whisking all the while.
Continue adding milk to the eggs, ¼ cup at a time, until you have added about 1½ cups. Slowly, whisking all the while, return the now milk and egg mixture to the remaining milk mixture in the pan and continue cooking until it just begins to thicken or reaches about 185°F. Do not allow the mixture to boil.
Pour through a medium fine strainer into a metal bowl, discard the solids and set aside until it reaches room temperature.
Cover and refrigerate until it reaches 40°F, about 3 hours.
Add the Cointreau, if desired.
Transfer to an ice cream maker and proceed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.