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Mexican Chocolate and Almond Ice Cream

Mexican Chocolate and Almond Ice Cream

I have a thing for Mexican chocolate. That gritty textured chocolate with a hint of almond and a punch of cinnamon and spice, how can you not? I’ve done cupcakes (which, after all these years are still one of my favorites), and a rich ganache tart… it’s about time it made its way into ice cream.

I finally found actual Mexican chocolate at an international market (or, actually made the effort to look for it). What makes this chocolate different from your typical baking chocolate is the texture. It’s rough. Gritty. You can feel the grains of sugar in your mouth. It has a hint of cinnamon and almond, and sometimes even a bit of spice. It’s these extra flavors and the raw texture that make it so unique.

Yes, you can always “fake it” by using regular chocolate and adding spices, but if you have an international market, or even a regular market with a robust international aisle, definitely make the extra effort to find the real stuff. It’s meant to be melted down into a hot chocolate-like drink (must try this once things cool down a bit more), but I can imagine there are a myriad of other ways to use it.

Mexican Chocolate and Almond Ice Cream

Makes 1 quart. Recipe from The Kitchn.

Ingredients:

3 cups half and half, divided
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
5 ounces Mexican chocolate such as Ibarra or Abuelita, or good-quality semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into small pieces (about 1 heaping cup)
1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/3 cup sugar
5 large egg yolks
pinch salt
1 cup sliced almonds

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, combine half of the half and half with the cocoa powder and simmer over medium-low heat for about a minute, stirring with a whisk until all the cocoa lumps are broken up. Remove from heat and add chopped chocolate, stirring until pieces are melted. Stir in vanilla or almond extract, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Set aside.

Whisk together the sugar, egg yolks and salt until pale yellow.

In another medium saucepan, bring the remaining half and half to a simmer over medium-low heat.

Once milk mixture is hot, remove from heat and slowly pour into egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour milk and egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until it registers 170°F on thermometer and a finger drawn across the back of the custard-covered wooden spoon leaves a mark.

Remove from heat and pour through a fine-meshed sieve into a large heat-proof bowl. Pour in chocolate mixture, scraping with a spatula to get ever last bit. Whisk until custard is smooth. Stir in sliced almonds. Set bowl over ice water bath to chill for 15 minutes.

Once ice cream base is cold, cover and place in the refrigerator to chill completely, at least 3 hours or overnight. Once chilled, freeze in an ice-cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

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18 CommentsLeave a Comment →

  1. 1
    Posted On September 25, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I LOVE Mexican chocolate and have an ice cream maker on my immediate “to buy” list. I think this might be the inaugural ice cream! Any recs on a good ice cream maker?

    Reply

  2. 2
    Posted On September 25, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Hey, what ice cream maker do you have? Do you like it? How easy is it? I only have a 10 oz ice cream maker, and that is not enough. I was thinking of asking Roderick from Silly Goose what he has, and get that ice cream maker. He just uses a small capacity home ice cream maker.

    Reply

    • Posted On September 25, 2010 at 2:17 pm

      We have the ice cream attachment for the Kitchen Aid. I think it has a 1quart capacity, which is just about perfect for 2 people. I’ve made quite a bit of ice cream with it, it does better with the frozen custard type ice creams than milk-based or sorbet, but overall pretty decent. :)

  3. 3
    Posted On September 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    You’ve been on an ice cream kick lately! But really, when is it a bad day for ice cream? I’m thinking this would be a good ice cream to make next! (Personally I have the cuisinart 1.5 qt ice cream maker and love it.)

    Reply

  4. 4
    Posted On September 26, 2010 at 3:13 am

    i’ve never had mexican chocolate but would love to try it some time soon! this ice cream looks like the perfect venture for me (:

    Reply

  5. 5
    Posted On September 26, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Nice post. It’s still hot enough for ice cream, that’s for sure. I’ll have to keep an eye out for Mexican chocolate. I love all the spices!

    Reply

  6. 6
    Posted On September 26, 2010 at 11:45 am

    This ice cream looks fantastic!! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  7. 7
    Posted On September 26, 2010 at 11:49 am

    I have the kitchen Aid ice cream maker attachment and works perfectly!!!!

    Reply

  8. 8
    Posted On September 26, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    oh YUMMMM. i looove mexican chocolate….wonderful idea making it into ice cream!

    Reply

  9. 9
    Posted On September 27, 2010 at 11:04 am

    Mexican HOT chocolate is one of my very favorite things… So I have a feeling I’d love Mexican COLD chocolate, too. This looks awesome! :)

    Reply

  10. 10
    Posted On September 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    by chance I discovered this blog! Beautiful! I hope you will follow me onhttp://whitedarkmilkchocolate.blogspot.com/

    Reply

  11. 11
    Posted On September 27, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Mexican chocolate is so great! I love the gritty spice it has, that you mentioned. I bet this was a fabulous ice cream!

    Reply

  12. 12
    Posted On September 28, 2010 at 6:49 am

    i’ve never tried mexican chocolate. don’t see it around much in Australia. this looks delicious!

    Reply

  13. 13
    Posted On September 28, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Try adding different types of chili and use flakey sea salt to serve. mmmm

    Reply

  14. 14
    Posted On September 28, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    yum!!

    I’ve had the chocolate drink while I was in california, plus we had it cold a bunch oo. delish!

    I bet this icecream is awesome

    Reply

  15. 15
    Sara Horsman
    Posted On September 29, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Four syllables. De-Ca-Den-T. Firming up in the freezer right now. I may just have to skip dinner and go straight for dessert!

    Reply

  16. 16
    Chantel@foodnerdciao
    Posted On September 29, 2010 at 8:20 pm

    Mmmm this is lookin’ good! I think I might give this one a try! Beautiful pictures!

    Reply

  17. 17
    Posted On September 30, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Lannae…I also have the cuisinart maker and it is pretty good…and I love to make mexican chocolate ice cream. I can get mexican chocolate at the brentwood publix believe it or not, but I usually get it at K & S on Nolensville.

    Reply

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