Decadent and Wildly Expensive Chocolate Ice Cream

The checkout woman at Whole Foods is psychic.

Last time I was there she said: “Are you a lawyer?”

And I said: “Well I’m a law student.”

And she said: “Ya, I can tell.”

I found this very insulting and I smacked her across the face.

“I knew you were going to do that,” she said.

The checkout woman at Whole Foods is psychic.

Tonight, while checking out, the same woman noticed a pattern in my purchases: cocoa powder, bittersweet chocolate, vanilla bean…

“Are you making ice cream?” she asked.

“Krikey!” I yelled. “You’ve done it again!”

She stared back at me, silently.

“Why don’t you just buy some ice cream,” she said cooly, “this stuff’s expensive.”

She was right. (Have I mentioned that she’s psychic?) The vanilla bean cost $6; the Shaffren Bargen(sp?) cocoa powder cost $7 (<--a big waste...I thought it would be noticably different, but it wasn't), and the cream and the milk and the Giradelli chocolate bars (which, actually, are relatively cheap) all added up. Plus there was the Bon Apetit and Saveur I picked up too. In any case, I responded: "Because there is glory in decadent homemade chocolate ice cream, woman!" And I smacked her again, just for good measure. When I got home, Lauren's eyes lit up with the news: "I'm making decadent chocolate ice cream." Lauren is a chocolate nut. This was right up her alley. "Mmmm," she said. "But it probably won't be ready til after midnight." "Ohhhh," she sighed. She'd be sleeping by then. I got started with the vanilla bean, the milk, and the cream. IMG_2.JPG

This simmers for thirty minutes and can I tell you that there is no smell greater than the smell of milk, cream and a vanilla bean simmering.

“What IS that?” asked Lauren’s friend Hillary.

“Milk, cream and a vanilla bean simmering,” I responded snippily.

“It smells wonderful!” She leaned over the pot and wafted the steam towards her face.

“Hey!” I cried out. “No wafting!” I smacked her to punctuate my point.

After that I beat together the cocoa, sugar, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla extract…

BEFORE JENNY CRAIG:

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AFTER:

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Then I poured out a cup of the hot creamy vanilla bean mixture and poured it into the chocolate mixture:

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Meanwhile, I chopped and added 8 oz of the Giardelli bittersweet chocolate to the remaining cream/milk/vanilla bean mixture:

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Here’s the chocolate-egg mixture after mixing:

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And here’s the Giardelli-cream-milk-vanilla-bean mixture after melting:

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Now the egg mixture goes into the cream mixture:

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And you cook it down until it resembles pudding:

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Pour into a bowl:

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Refrigerate for two hours while Lauren goes to sleep.

While waiting, I watched episode 7 of “Freaks and Geeks.” This is the best DVD set I have ever purchased. First of all, the show itself is brilliant. It walks the balance between incredibly funny and incredibly poignant so well. Each episode is so well crafted, it’s like a mini-play. And then the features on the DVD are phenmonal: loads of commentary tracks, deleted scenes, behind the scenes footage, audition tapes. You could spend an entire lifetime going through all the material. But fortunately, two hours gives you enough time to let your ice cream batter refrigerate.

When ready, pour the cool mixture into the ice cream maker:

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Let it rip!

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I actually found this process disconcerting because the ice cream was so thick to begin with it was hard to tell when it went from pudding to ice cream. So I let it go for the requisite 30 minutes until it produced this:

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To call the finished product decadent is a profound understatement. This ice cream is so rich, you could use it to tar your roof. And so chocolatey! I couldn’t imagine an ice cream infused with more chocolate flavor. Which is not to say that I loved it: I’m not a chocolate fanatic, so it’s decadence is lost on me. When Lauren wakes up tomorrow, and a few hours after her breakfast, she’ll be the one to savor it’s splendor. I, instead, savored a few spoonfuls and returned here to write about it. My major gripe is the waste of the vanilla bean: you hardly taste it. Was it that important? The chocolate so dominates that it seems that it could have done without it. And saved me six bucks!

“I could have told you that,” says the Whole Foods checkout woman.

“What are you doing here?”

She smacks me across the face and leaves.

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5 comments

  1. The icecream was so good. I do have to admit that I was so overwhelmed with the richness of the chocolate that I so craved a glass of milk to go with it. My brother would be so jealous. He so loves super-rich-chocolate icecream. So, have you noticed that Adam repeats one particular word throughout this piece? I so did.

  2. The ice cream looks yummy! And I’ve always thought there wasn’t enough smacking people across the face to make a point. Just like there isn’t enough blowing cigarette smoke into someone’s face to show disdain.