Cocoa Nib Ice Cream with Chocolate-Caramel Sauce


Chocolate, Desserts, Ice Cream / Friday, February 20th, 2009

nibby-ice-cream

I always avoided making ice cream, because I didn’t have a machine. Then I read David Lebovitz’s post on how to do it on your own, and I tried it. And lo, the scales fell from my eyes, and I was totally converted. Just prep your ice cream mixture, chill it over an ice bath, pour it into a baking dish or bowl, and pop it into the freezer. Then stir the mixture every 30 to 45 minutes until it looks suspiciously like ice cream.

For this Cocoa Nib Ice Cream, I followed the recipe from Bon Appétit up to the point where the ice cream maker comes in, and then I switched to the Lebovitz method. It worked! And it was delicious. Half the recipe’s cocoa nibs are steeped in the milk mixture and discarded. The other half are stirred in between the chilling and freezing steps. So, the ice cream has plenty of cocoa nib flavor and crunch.

But the Chocolate-Caramel Sauce is the real star of the show. First, you make a quick caramel, add cream and butter, and then stir in the chocolate. It’s the perfect chocolate-caramel blend, with neither flavor getting lost. You know how hot fudge sauce tends to sink to the bottom of a sundae? The caramel in this sauce makes it much more stubborn. It holds the sauce in place. It sits where you pour it. So, if you pour a little in your dish, add a scoop of ice cream, and pour a little more sauce on top, you’ll have the perfect sauce-to-scoop ratio. In these trying times, that’s so important.

Cocoa Nib Ice Cream with Chocolate-Caramel Sauce

From Elizabeth Falkner (Bon Appétit, February 2009)

Serves 6 to 8

    Chocolate-Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate (preferably 60% cocoa), chopped
    Cocoa Nib Ice Cream:

  • 3 cups reduced-fat (2%) milk
  • 12 tablespoons cocoa nibs, divided
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 6 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
  1. For the Chocolate Caramel Sauce: Stir first 4 ingredients in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves, occasionally brushing down pan sides with wet pastry brush. Increase heat and boil until syrup is deep amber, swirling pan occasionally, about 10 minutes. Turn off heat.
  2. Add cream and butter (mixture will bubble up). Stir until any caramel bits dissolve.
  3. Stir in salt and vanilla.
  4. Add chocolate; stir until melted and smooth. Transfer sauce to medium bowl; cover and chill. Rewarm before using. Can be stored up to 1 week.
  5. For the Cocoa Nib Ice Cream: Bring milk and 6 tablespoons cocoa nibs, sugar, and corn syrup just to a boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cover. Steep 20 minutes.
  6. Whisk egg yolks and cornstarch in medium bowl until blended; gradually whisk in warm milk mixture. Return custard to same saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until custard thickens and just begins to boil, 2 to 3 minutes. Strain custard into large bowl; discard nibs. Whisk in cream and coarse salt. Chill custard until cold.
  7. Process custard in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer to container; mix in remaining 6 tablespoons cocoa nibs. Cover and freeze at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.

15 thoughts on “Cocoa Nib Ice Cream with Chocolate-Caramel Sauce

  1. I’m so excited to see this post! I recently bought a huge ba of cocoa nibs and have been looking for a recipe to showcase them in–didn’t want to just sub for nuts, you know? Well, I’m so glad you showed me this recipe (and that I can make ice cream without an ice cream maker). My only fear? Well, that I will eat all of the chocolate caramel sauce before the ice cream is ready! YUM.

  2. I’m so bummed I didn’t happen upon this earlier – I would have loved to make it for a girl’s Oscar dinner I am hosting. I just don’t have enough time but will bookmark it for the future!

  3. Btw,I loved your cupcake pic yesterday!! Also, I agree that more attention to should be paid to bloggers who aren’t on “those” lists. I like some who are well known but have found that some of the unknown ones are just as good.

  4. Okay, I need to make both the ice cream and the sauce. Now. =) I’ve made whipped cream by steeping cacao nibs in the cream, but I never made it as far as using them in ice cream. And the chocolate and caramel combo sounds fabulous.

  5. That looks awesome! I’m making some sort of ice cream tonight but haven’t decided what flavour yet… possibly banana, but after seeing this I definitely think I should add cocoa nibs.

  6. What did we all do before Lebovitz? Seriously. This looks wonderful…my guys would appreciate this, so next time I want some special favor or a vacation off on my own to look at art in NYC, this is on the menu…surely this will do the trick! Beautiful job.

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