Thursday, July 22, 2010

Chocolate Chile Bohemia Ice Cream - yes, Bohemia as in beer

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I usually drink a beer while I am cleaning the house. This is usually not on a weekday morning, but since I hate cleaning so much, I feel I deserve a little treat when I finally break down and do it. I like to turn up the music and drink and clean. I have stopped short of buying one of those helmet/crazy straw straight to the mouth contraptions, but logistically it makes sense and I can't promise it will never happen. Most often you will find a Mexican beer next to my dust cloth. My family traveled to a beach in Mexico every summer growing up and there is something about the beer (bottles, I guess, since I was not of drinking age on those trips) that transports me back there. Its really lovely to daydream of your sister and yourself running barefoot on the sand while scrubbing a toilet. Then one day, a very interesting idea turned up in my email inbox. Bohemia Beer sent a recipe for creating Chocolate Chile Bohemia Ice Cream. I had no hesitation about this. It goes without saying that pretty much anything covered in chocolate is welcomed with open arms by me. And I LOVE when there is a little spice mixed in. And now adding beer? Why the heck not. Bohemia sent me a sample of beer and I set about making the ice cream. Well, I intended to make it but as I read through the recipe I froze (pun intended). I'm a kitchen novice and talk of "custard" had me doubting my skills. Luckily my mother in law was home and I recruited her, although she was leery of the end result.

First I toasted the chile and then steeped it in the chocolate as per the directions. Next, Marie (the mom-in-law of which I speak) worked out the custard part. In the end, the recipe wasn't really that hard, I was just intimidated by the directions. And it didn't take all that long to put together. I made sure to taste it along the way and the flavor was amazing. I put it in the freezer and then checked it once dinner that night was over. I guess I should have taken pictures all along the process but well, I didn't. When I shot the pictures above, the ice cream was still a bit soft. But since I am all for instant gratification, I shot it anyway. I made every single family member, minus the children, try the ice cream. Most were very impressed and marveled at the ingredients and how well they worked together. Here is my final opinion on the ice cream. This seriously could be one of the best chocolate ice creams I have ever eaten. No joke. The spice was subtle and added a little texture (I didn't use a sieve to get out the bits of chile skin - seriously that is adding a whole other step in and I am a lazy cook). The chocolate was rich and smooth and the perfect amount of sweetness. The beer, well, I couldn't pick out a strong beer flavor at all. In fact, when I make this again, I will be adding more beer. The whole batch was completely eaten, none of it has gone to waste. It was a very fun little project. I think this would be an amazing recipe to serve at any party where a fellow is the guest of honor. Aside from the ice-breaking talk that will arise about this recipe, who wouldn't want to try beer in their ice cream? My husband was happy with the process as he got to finish the beer once I was done with the recipe. Bohemia has allowed me to share the recipe which was created in collaboration with the amazing Chef Rick Bayless (on I side note, I feel a little more accomplished as a cook after having made one of his recipes. Ok, so maybe I didn't make the whole recipe by myself, but nonetheless I was in the kitchen while it was being made). I hope you guys try this and love it! Bohemia should be available at your local market or online here.

I'd like to also point out that all dishes in the photos were generously provided by Smarty Had a Party. I used the Reflections Spoon, 8" Square White Plate, 4 Ounce Cube.

Chocolate Chile Bohemia Ice Cream

-1 large pasilla negro chile, stemmed, seeded, deveined (I found this is the International Foods Aisle at my grocery store. It was not called exactly as it is written above, but look for key words...)
-1 1/3 cups half-and-half
-2 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped in to small pieces (I could not find Mexican chocolate so instead I used a bittersweet chocolate and added a touch of cinnamon to the recipe)
-3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4" pieces
-4 egg yolks
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
-1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla, preferably Mexican
-1/4 cup Bohemia beer

In a small skillet heated over medium, toast the chile, pressing it flat against the skillet with a metal spatula until it is very aromatic—about 10 seconds per side. Place in a small saucepan and add the half-and-half, Mexican chocolate and the semi-sweet chocolate; heat over medium until steaming (but not boiling). Remove from heat. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes, then pour into a blender jar and process until the chile is completely pureed.

Set up a 4-quart saucepan, filled halfway with water, into which you can nestle a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Bring the pot of water to a boil over high heat while you’re preparing the custard base. Reduce the temperature under the pot of boiling water to maintain a gentle simmer.

In the 3-quart stainless steel bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thoroughly combined, then whisk in the chile-infused chocolate mixture. Set the bowl of custard base over the simmering water and whisk frequently, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly with a rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens noticeably, about 5 minutes. The custard is sufficiently cooked when it reaches 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (You can also test it by dipping a wooden spoon into the custard, then running your finger through the custard: if the line holds clearly, the custard has thickened sufficiently.) For the finest texture, strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl.

Fill a large bowl halfway with ice. Nestle the bowl of strained custard in the ice bath. Whisk the mixture until it is completely cool. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Stir the heavy cream, vanilla and Bohemia into the base. Freeze in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. Scrape into a freezer container and freeze for several hours to firm.


All photos by me. Beer bottle photo via Femsa.

*I received samples from Bohemia and Smarty Had a Party to put this post together. Opinions are all mine.

1 comment:

Chris @ Celebrations At Home said...

Hmmmm, Beer and house cleaning...Sounds like a win/win to me!! :D


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