Unlike some commercial ice cream, which is pumped full of air to make it softer and increase its volume, homemade ice cream is much denser and best when made super-rich. Keep the portions small.
If you don't have an ice cream machine, you can still make ice cream using a little muscle and a lot of time: The whole process takes about 5 hours and involves a great deal of stirring. See the VARIATION below.
Make Ahead: The ice cream mixture needs to chill for at least 4 and no more than 12 hours before being frozen. The finished, frozen ice cream begins to deteriorate in texture and quality after 1 week. The fudge sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week; warm it before serving.
Servings: 4 cups hot fudge sauce
- For the ice cream
- 10 large egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar, or more to taste
- 1 plump vanilla bean, preferably Bourbon, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped out, seeds and bean reserved
- 2 cups milk
- 2 cups heavy cream
- For the fudge sauce
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, preferably 70 percent cocoa, coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons salted butter
- 1/4 cup bourbon, or more to taste
For the ice cream: Prepare an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions.
Whisk the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla seeds in a large bowl for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is pale and speckled with small black spots. Add the milk, cream and vanilla bean; whisk to combine. Transfer to a medium pot and place over low heat. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of the spoon. Remove from the heat but continue stirring energetically for another 2 minutes so the egg yolks don't curdle. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, preferably stainless steel, and let cool to room temperature.
Cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator for 4 hours or until chilled through.
Remove the vanilla bean; rinse it, and reserve it to make vanilla sugar or to lightly flavor the fudge sauce. Process the ice cream according to the manufacturer's directions. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and freeze. (If you intend to serve the ice cream in several batches, transfer it to several smaller containers.)
For the fudge sauce: Combine the heavy cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, chocolate and butter in a medium nonstick saucepan. If you want a touch of vanilla, add the used vanilla bean.
Place the pot over low heat; cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often, to form a thick, smooth sauce. Remove from the heat and add the bourbon, stirring to combine. (If you are serving to children or do not want alcohol in your dessert, return the saucepan to medium heat and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the alcohol evaporates.) Remove from the heat and cool for 10 to 15 minutes; discard the vanilla bean, if using. Serve warm (130 degrees is ideal).
Before serving, you might want to transfer the ice cream to the refrigerator for 30 to 60 minutes to soften. Scoop the ice cream into small bowls; pour the warm fudge sauce over.
VARIATION: To make the ice cream without an ice cream machine, prepare the ice cream mix as above but do not remove the vanilla bean. Place the bowl with the ice cream mix in the freezer for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the bowl from the freezer; stir with a spatula, making sure to scrape well along the edges. Return to the freezer for 30 minutes; repeat until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove the vanilla bean and reduce the freezing time to 15-minute intervals, continuing until the ice cream becomes too hard to stir. Transfer to a covered container and freeze until ready to serve. The process will take about 5 hours.
From Gastronomer Andreas Viestad.
Tested by Amanda Erickson.
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