It has now been just over two years since I have visited and fallen in love with Ireland. To this day whenever I get too frazzled or stressed out, I close my eyes and remember the sense of peace I felt sitting on the beach listening to the waves and the occasional distant braying of sheep, surrounded by miles and miles of green and not a single person in sight. Aaahhhhh.
Incidentally, Ireland was the place where I had my first Guinness. I've never been a huge fan of beer, preferring a nice glass of red wine to any of the brews people around me guzzled, but you can't help but get caught up by all the propaganda. So one day while having a quick dinner at a pub, I ordered a pint. Not bad. I'm not saying that right then and there the sky opened up, sunshine streamed down bathing the glass in a golden glow and I became a beer devotee. No, nothing like that, but I have been giving beer a chance more often and I even have a few favorites.
But now it's a season for ice cream, and while I've already had a few ice cream posts, I'm nowhere near done. Last weekend I finally broke down my rule of not buying any more cookbooks (they're taking over my house) and bought The Perfect Scoop: Ice Creams, Sorbets, Granitas, and Sweet Accompaniments by David Lebovitz. Basically all my ice cream recipes were coming from him anyways, so why not just cut out the middleman? Plus, I had a coupon.
Armed with my new book, I added Chocolate Guinness ice cream to my repertoire, and believe me, you'll want it in yours too. It's smooth and creamy with just a slight hint of the beer bitterness. The perfect thing to create your own little moment of peace.
Chocolate Guinness Ice Cream
Adapted slightly from David Lebovitz's The Perfect Scoop
The original recipe calls for milk chocolate, but I never ever have any in my house since I prefer dark and bittersweet, so I used that. I'm sure that using milk would give you a stronger beer flavor, but I liked it just the way it came out. Just be sure to use good quality chocolate since you will definitely be able to taste the difference.
7 oz chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup Guinness Stout
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Put the chocolate pieces in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.
- Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
- Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer over the milk chocolate, then stir until the chocolate is melted.
- Once the mixture is smooth, whisk in the cream, then the Guinness and vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.
- Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.
If you put a few scoops into a tall glass, you can pour a bit of the leftover Guinness over it and make it into a float. Believe me, it's delicious.