Monday, September 03, 2007

Chocolate Ice Cream

I recently wrote about my suggestion jar and sometimes needing thick skin to process different people's tastes. Well, once in a while I get the suggestion 'your chocolate needs to be chocolatey-er'. I was taught by Dad to be a purest when it comes to making chocolate ice cream. This means no chocolate ice cream base. It means doing what few ice cream makers still do, cooking up chocolate base from scratch in a big caudron.
Dutch cocoa, sugar, salt, water, heat, and a big spatula.
It's a ton of extra work and mess (it does give the shop a nice chocolate aroma while it's cooking though), but what results is a smooth and complex chocolate flavor base for ice cream. It's not overly strong or sweet, so if you're used to just plain chocolate ice cream, perhaps you might not fully appreciate my version.
One of my local buddies/regulars is really into my chocolate ice cream. In fact, it's all he ever gets. I recently tried a different approach to making chocolate ice cream in hopes of getting a darker version. It did come out perhaps chocolatey-er, but I still needed some customer feedback before I even considered a switch. In the interest of science and the betterment of Mt. Tom's homemade, my buddy was willing to test drive the new chocolate. After a cone's worth of careful consideration, here's his review:
"Your new double chocolate is good. It's definitely the full-bodied, expected, creamy chocolate experience, and is arguably "more chocolatey" than your original "olde tyme" recipe. But honestly, I would miss your original version if you were to discontinue it (but I would understand if market pressures force your hand). When I first tasted your "classic" style chocolate ice cream I thought there was something wrong with it. There was something inscrutable and "wine-y" about it, like a complex Sumatran coffee versus an espresso roast. But that flavor has grown on me (obviously... how often do I order anything else?), and now I find myself thinking about it when I'm away from it, like a far-away love. It's bewitching. "

I've gotten some other opinions, and all have led me to not abandoning the 'purist approach', even though the thought of not having to setup, cook, reheat, clean out, burn myself on hot chocolate magma had started to get pretty tempting. I think I will make the chocolate fudge brownie with the new darker chocolate, so if you're curious, check that one out. And as always, do let me know what you think. Thanks a lot.

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