This ice cream is a new entry for Food Nirvana. Think of it as a special frozen dessert that captures the taste of coconut and toasted almonds with a chocolate chip background in a very nice vanilla ice cream base. Of late I've been experimenting with variations of chocolate chip ice cream and this was an obvious one to try. So I did and I'm very pleased with the results. You will be too. I suggested to Peggy that we are making an ice cream version of the Peter Paul's Almond Joy® candy bar.
There is a new procedure listed, along with some new ingredients, for making the chocolate chips. I found that I needed to make a "freezer" type of chocolate to have it yield the best flavor and texture when used in ice cream. I intend to include the ingredients and procedure in all the Food Nirvana ice cream recipes that use chocolate chips. Note that I list a Ghirardelli® 100% cacao bar as the source of the chocolate. I did that because most home chefs will easily find that ingredient at the supermarket. What I use is my 11 pound block of Callebaut® dark block chocolate for baking, which is 70.4% cacao.
Note also that I list food grade liquid soy lecithin as an ingredient for making the chocolate chips. Soy lecithin is an emulsifying agent that will cause the other ingredients to combine well. It is typically used at the rate of one half of one percent of the total weight of the chocolate chips. This means you need to use a precision kitchen scale that can measure accurately to the tenth of a gram. My scale is a reloader scale from Cabela's®. It cost $70 and I use it often for measuring a variety of chemical additives for food, especially preservatives like sodium benzoate. Buy one. You need it.
My source for food grade liquid soy lecithin is www.modernistpantry.com and a 175ml bottle, with shipping, costs under $20. That amount of product will last for a very long time for the home chef.
I decided to try making this ice cream because I find I am experimenting a lot like Ben and Jerry did in the early days of developing their ice cream business. Certain flavors and textures complement each other and this ice cream is a perfect example of the marriage of flavors and textures that go very well together. It is all good. I hope you make this great ice cream.
Ingredients: (Makes 1½ quarts of ice cream)
2 cups of heavy cream
1 cup of milk
2 extra large or jumbo eggs
3/4 cup of sugar plus 1 tbsp. of sugar for the chocolate chip mixture
1/2 cup of chopped sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup of chopped blanched toasted almonds
1 tsp. of natural vanilla extract
2 tsp. of coconut extract
3/4 tsp. of almond extract
2 oz. of chopped/cut pieces of a 100% cacao chocolate bar (I suggest using a 4 oz. Ghirardelli® bar)
1.6 oz. of coconut oil
1 oz. of light corn syrup
1 tsp. of water
0.4 grams of food grade liquid soy lecithin
Chop the shredded sweetened coconut on a wooden cutting board to lengths roughly 1/4" long.
Blanch the almonds as described in the Food Nirvana recipe for making almond paste. Then chop them and roast them on a cookie sheet in a 350 degrees F oven for five minutes. Turn the cookie sheet around, stir the almond pieces, and roast for five more minutes. Dump the roasted almond pieces onto a plate to cool. Then put the plate into the freezer.
Weighing out and using the tiny amount of thick, sticky soy lecithin is a challenge. Use the precision kitchen scale. Put the one tsp. of water into the weighing pan and put the weighing pan on the scale. Now turn on the power to the scale. It will read zero as the weight. Add the soy lecithin by dipping a paring knife about one inch into the jar of soy lecithin vertically and then lifting the knife out and letting most of the soy lecithin drip/run off the tip of the knife back into the jar. Then hold the knife vertically over the weighing pan and let just enough soy lecithin drip from the knife into the water, until you have a weight of 0.4 grams showing on the scale display. Remove the weighing pan and gently mix the soy lecithin with the water. You are now ready for the next step.
Put the corn syrup, one tbsp. of sugar, and the water and soy lecithin mixture into a small bowl. Heat the mixture briefly in the microwave oven for 5 to 10 seconds and mix/stir until the sugar has dissolved and the water and lecithin mixture has mixed completely with the other ingredients. If necessary repeat the heating and stirring until the sugar has dissolved.
Use a wooden cutting board to cut half of the 4 oz. 100% cacao chocolate bar into pieces roughly 1/2" square. Save the other half for a later batch of ice cream. Barely melt the chocolate pieces in a small bowl with the coconut oil in the microwave oven with a 20 second heating cycle on high heat. Stir the mixture to help melt the chocolate, then, if necessary, repeat the heating cycle but only for 10 seconds. Stir until the mixture is well combined, then mix/stir/whisk it together with the corn syrup mixture until well combined. If necessary heat the mixture briefly in the microwave oven and stir until well combined. Pour the mixture onto a dinner plate and put the plate into the freezer. After the mixture is frozen cut it into irregularly shaped pieces roughly 3/8" square with a large sharp knife and return those pieces to the freezer.
Break the eggs into a five or six quart electric mixer bowl and mix them on medium speed for one minute. Add the 3/4 cup of sugar and mix until well blended, around three minutes. Add the vanilla, the coconut extract, the almond extract and the chopped shredded coconut and continue to mix for one minute.
Add the cream and the milk and mix for two to three minutes on medium speed.
Transfer the mixture to a gelato maker and proceed to make the ice cream. When it is fairly stiff (about twenty-five minutes), add the chopped toasted chilled almond pieces and the chopped/cut frozen chocolate pieces and run the gelato maker for an additional three minutes. Transfer the completed ice cream to a two quart storage container. Put the container into the deep freeze for four hours or more to finish hardening the ice cream.
Serve the ice cream and be delighted.