Salutations my fellow ice cream lovers! I trust you all had a wonderful fourth and are just as mixed up as me, what day is it again? Today I am switching gears away from the pink ice creams and am going dark. Very dark. This flavor will send your taste buds down a black hole of chocolate-y heaven and then spit you back out for another bite. Without further ado, New Moon ice cream!
I sometimes find myself craving chocolate. Like a good sinful snack. More and more lately, I have been reaching for a darker chocolate than milk. As a child, only milk would do. Dark was way too bitter and white was just weird. Now though, there is something almost mystical about a square of good dark chocolate to settle those sweets monsters in my belly. This week’s flavor plans to do just that and more. New Moon is a dark chocolate ice cream swirled with dark chocolate “hot” fudge and salted dark chocolate bark. See what I mean when I say it’s pretty dark? Yeah it looks like darn midnight in a pint.
I have recently fallen back in love with Jeni’s ice cream and her method of making it. I love the science of it and the way it lets the true flavor shine through in a clean and crisp way, without eggs. This uses cream cheese as an emulsifier and adds body and richness. It uses corn syrup and dry sugar to extract the correct level of sweetness. The cornstarch slurry acts as a thickening agent, just as it does on Thanksgiving when making gravy.
A chocolate sauce mixed into the base will provide all the delicious dark chocolate-y richness that I am looking for. There is some coffee in it which will bring out the natural bitterness of the chocolate and enhance the flavor overall. A dual chocolate will also help; cocoa powder and a chocolate baking bar.
The rest would be relatively simple. A bark is just a melted chocolate sheet. I wouldn’t have to worry about it being sandy in the ice cream because I will heat it up and denature all of those gritty molecules.
As for the dark chocolate sauce, it is very similar to the chocolate sauce that goes into the mix. But it would be a little thicker and richer, so not as much would need to be added.
Experimental Apparatus and Procedure
I started with the bark to give it the most time to cool and set. This required a cat free environment, so I am sorry to say that Winston had to spend a little time in the bathroom while I made it. I melted down the chocolate, spread it as evenly as I could on a sheet pan, and sprinkled lots of sea salt on top. I am not the biggest fan of salted caramel, but I think that salted dark chocolate would provide a good variety to this flavor.
Next I worked on the sauce. Another simple combination of chocolate and such boiled for a while to cook down to a rich thick sauce. My scale has been coming in handy. I am in the slow process of converting my recipes to all volumetric. It takes a long time and requires tons of Googling things such as the milkfat of corn syrup (hint, its 0 but I had to be sure). That got jarred and cooled. By this time Winston was safely released from his timeout room and was back wandering and getting into trouble.
Finally it was time for the ice cream. I decided to fully commit to the Jeni process this time. Usually, as my family will often tell you, I would half follow a recipe and half make it up. Most frequently known as half-assing. I first made the milk and cornstarch slurry, then the chocolate sauce. Of course I didn’t read the recipe all the way and threw the chocolate bar chunks into the pan with the rest of the ingredients, including the coffee. I have seized enough chocolate in my day to be terrified that I had just ruined it. But somehow, by the grace of God, it melted beautifully. Much like the chocolate waterfall and river in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Next I scalded and boiled the milk and sugars, then added the cream cheese and chocolate. Everything combined smoothly, no worries of chocolate scrambled eggs here, and was put into a baggie. This makes sense for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it has a ton more surface area to cool it down faster. And secondly, I could just clip the corner and pour it into the machine without making a mess.
I did just that. The only downfall is that I couldn’t scrape the bag and it made me feel like I wasted some of the base. But it churned up and I finally measured the overrun! Overrun is the amount of air that gets incorporated into the ice cream during churning. Higher fat, premium ice creams usually have smaller amounts of air than value brand. My overrun was….98%! I’ll try to report this with each flavor now, for those of you who are curious.
I broke the bark into small chunks and let it refreeze so it wouldn’t go into the ice cream all melty. I layered the fudge sauce into the pint along with the ice cream, but it didn’t like to spread very much. It was a little hard and I ended up having to spread it out with my hands. Don’t worry, before it goes into my scoop shop I will make the recipe better so my hands won’t be involved. I must say it looked mighty delicious and smelled like a candy shop.
Wowee kazowee. This flavor rocked my socks and then blew them off. The main selling point is the texture of this ice cream. It tastes like a chocolate fudge brownie snuck into the pint and got blended up. It has so much body to it that eating a bowlful of this will most likely put you on the couch for a while with a tummy ache. This is a pintable flavor. Just a few spoonfuls will satisfy any type of critical chocolate craving at any time of day.
Now the flavor. It is rich, but still balanced somehow. The salt in the occasional bark piece will tone it down and neutralize the palate a bit. The ice cream flavor is out of the park too. There is the most subtle hint of coffee, which just blooms into a richer and deeper chocolate.
Downfall of this flavor is the sauce. The fudge sauce got too hard and is impossible to scoop out. It comes out as a whole clump, without any ice cream attached. If I was to repeat this flavor, I would consider maybe putting the sauce in a bag and gently swirling it in as the ice cream is being pinted. This would be especially amazing and cool when I make this on my big girl ice cream machine. Speaking of which, my little ice cream baby just got on the truck to make her long journey on home. My ice cream world is about to be rocked.
This holiday week has been a hectic one. It was one I will never be able to replicate. I saw two sets of incredible fireworks and realized my true inner nerd during that time. Who else watches fireworks and thinks to themselves “wow what kind of incredible chemistry and reagents that must require?” Yes, I am a nerd and I am proud.
My sister came in for the most whirlwind and great visit ever. We laughed the entire time and kept talking in stereo. We made our own little Independence Day picnic and ate it on my little terrace. She experienced some of the culture at the local carnival, and she will never forget it. I was able to take her on the most disorganized tour of my work, which wasn’t helped by the fact that I got lost about 10 times. It was a perfect time and it makes me realize just how special I am to have a sister who will wear denim on denim with me. There is no shame in twinning with your sissy, even at 21 and 27.
My fun fact this week is that me and Winston the cat have made some relationship breakthroughs. He lets me pick him up and carry him sometimes. And other times he lets me snuggle with him and sing to him. And now in the mornings, he likes to scratch at my door and fall sleep right outside. He still bites my toes and yells at me, but I am proud of our progress. Winston, if you are reading this, keep up the good work. Beaker, if you are reading this, I still love you and you are my real true love, don’t worry.
Well y’all I am just about out of news to share with you for this week. Make sure to stop back or subscribe to get next week’s flavor. Hint, it’s a wannabe Georgia girl’s ideal flavor.
Just a word about subscribing by email, it is just me who gets your name and email. No one else. And I hate having a cluttered inbox just as much as you, so I only send a single email a week. So if you trust me, little old Alanna, please sign up for email subscription. Peace and blessings. Scoop ya later!