Diary of a Foodie

Chocolate Chile Ice Cream

Diary of a Foodie: Season One: Just Desserts

Makesabout 5 cups
  • Active Time:35 min
  • Start to Finish:3 1/2 hr (includes freezing)
At the ever-popular Cafe Pasqual's in Santa Fe, chocolate and devilishly hot chile pequín flakes come together in an ice cream not soon forgotten. Our version is rich but almost austere compared to Chef Katharine Kagel's original, the recipe for which appears in Cafe Pasqual's Cookbook.
January 2007
  • 1/2 cups blanched whole almonds (2 1/2 ounces)
  • 9 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not more than 60% cocoa)
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons Kahlúa or other coffee flavored liqueur
  • 1/2 teaspoon pequín chiles (see Cooks' note, below), crushed
  • Special equipment:

    an instant-read thermometer, an ice cream maker
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Toast almonds until pale golden, about 10 minutes, then cool, chop, and reserve.
  • Melt unsweetened chocolate with 6 ounces of bittersweet chocolate, chopped, in a metal bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until mixture is smooth, then remove bowl from heat.
  • Combine cream and milk in a heavy saucepan and bring just to a boil. Whisk together egg yolks and brown sugar in a bowl, then add cream mixture in a steady stream, whisking, then pour mixture back into pan and cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until custard is slightly thickened and thermometer registers 170 to 175°F (do not let boil).
  • Remove from heat and immediately pour custard through fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl, then whisk in melted chocolates, cinnamon, and Kahlúa. Quick-chill custard by setting bowl into a larger bowl of ice and cold water and stirring occasionally until cold, about 15 minutes. Freeze custard in ice cream maker until almost firm. Mix in remaining 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped, crumbled chiles, and almonds, then transfer to an airtight container and put in freezer to harden, at least 2 hours. Soften slightly in refrigerator before serving, about 20 minutes.
Cooks' note: The chiles are available at kitchenmarket.com.
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