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Vanilla Ice Cream with Bittersweet Cocoa Sauce

Updated February 23, 2016
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Nearly all recipes for vanilla ice cream call for either vanilla beans or vanilla extract. Vanilla extract is made by extracting the flavor from vanilla beans in an alcoholic solution and thus its flavor is more dilute than the delicate yet strong flavor that comes from the seeds inside vanilla pods. The finest vanilla ice cream utilizes both but since vanilla beans are fantastically expensive, they are rarely found in most commercial ice creams.

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursedessert

Dietary Considerationegg-free

Equipmentice cream maker

Mealdinner, lunch

Taste and Texturechocolatey, creamy, rich, sweet

Type of Dishice cream

Ingredients

  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • ½ cup white sugar or sugar syrup
  • One 4-inch vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons white sugar

Instructions

To make the ice cream: If using sugar:

Place ½ cup of the milk, the sugar and vanilla bean seeds and pod in a medium size pan and cook over low heat. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Add the remaining 1 cup milk, the cream, vanilla extract and salt and whisk to combine.

Cover and refrigerate until the mixture reaches 40°F, about 1 hour.

Remove the vanilla bean. Transfer to an ice cream maker and proceed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If using sugar syrup:

Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Cover and refrigerate until the mixture reaches 40°F, about 20 minutes. Remove the vanilla bean.

Transfer to an ice cream maker and proceed according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

To make the bittersweet cocoa sauce:

Place the cocoa, cream and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to low boil over medium heat. Cook, whisking constantly, until it just begins to thicken, about 10 minutes. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.

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