Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

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Are you looking for an ice cream with a little twist for summer? Try this grown-up version of the traditional chocolate ice cream, with a fire-ry heat from Cayenne pepper! It uses 2% fat milk and no cream, so it’s a slight healthier version of the popular treat. And you don’t need an ice cream maker to make it.

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream
(Makes 1 quart)

3 cups milk (I used 2% and it still came out creamy)
3 egg yolks
140 g (5 oz) dark chocolate (I used 70% cacao)
½ cup granulated sugar
4 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt

① Heat milk in a saucepan, over low heat. Mix in cocoa powder, chocolate and sugar and stir with a whisk until they dissolve completely. Be careful not to boil the milk.

② In a small bowl (I used a measuring cup), separate the eggs. You’ll only use yolks here. Mix the yolks. Temper by pouring a ladle-full of hot milk into the egg yolks. Once mixed, pour the eggs and milk mixture slowly back into the saucepan and stir. Add vanilla extract and salt. Stir until the mixture thickens (you know you have the right consistency when the mixture thinly coats the spatula).

➂ Remove the saucepan from the heat and transfer the mixture into a separate bowl. Set aside for about an hour, covered with plastic wrap, until the mixture cools to room temperature.

④ Once the mixture has cooled, pour it into a one-quart container and put it in a freezer. Take the container out of the freezer every hour, three times, and stir the ice cream. Enjoy!

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I think the bitter chocolates work best for this ice cream. The not-so-sweet lusciousness can stand up to the powerful heat of cayenne pepper. I used the Trader Joe’s chocolates bars that I received as a gift from my friend Mary Lee.

Just to note — because no heavy cream was used, this version doesn’t have the creaminess that you might be accustomed too in ice cream. But it has a really refreshing icy texture that’s simply wonderful. I love cayenne pepper but definitely reduce the amount if you’re not a huge fan of the tingling heat.

Happy June, everyone!

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