Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream
2 cups whole milk
1½ cups heavy cream
1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 to 2 pinches cayenne
²¨M³ cup granulated sugar, divided
5 large egg yolks
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, whisk together the milk, cream, vanilla, spices, salt and half of the sugar. Bring the mixture just to a boil. While the milk/cream mixture is heating, combine the yolks and remaining sugar in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer on low speed or a whisk, beat until mixture is pale and thick. Place the chopped chocolate in a separate mixing bowl; reserve. Once the milk/cream mixture has come to a slight boil, whisk about ¹¨M³ of the hot mixture into the yolk/sugar mixture. Add another ¹¨M³ of the mixture, then return the combined mixture to the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture constantly over the low heat until it thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon. This mixture must NOT boil or the yolks will overcook – the process should only take a few minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl of the reserved chocolate; whisk to combine and then bring to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours, or overnight. Turn on the Cuisinart® ice cream maker; pour the mixture into the frozen freezer bowl and let mix until thickened, about 20 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
Sea Salt and Caramel Ice Cream
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Ice Cream Base (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon pure Tahitian vanilla extract
Heat the sugar in a dry heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat, stirring with a fork to heat the sugar evenly, until it starts to melt, then stop stirring and swirl the pan so the sugar melts evenly, and continue cooking until it is a dark amber color.
Carefully add the heavy cream (the mixture will splatter) and cook, stirring until all the caramel has dissolved. Transfer to a heat-proof bowl and stir in the sea salt. Set the caramel mixture over a bowl filled with ice water and stir until chilled to room temperature. Combine the caramel mixture with the Ice Cream Base and add the vanilla.
Freeze in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer's directions.