Ok, so you’re at a restaurant eating a fantastic dessert when that thought hits you like it has so many times before… “I wonder if I could make this into an ice cream?”
My wife and I had the most incredible dessert at a Cajun restaurant once. Half of a peach, grilled with butter, and served flat side up with a piece of half-melted dark chocolate in the middle, and just a little bit of cayenne pepper sprinkled over the whole thing. The sweet peach, the slightly bitter dark chocolate, and the kick of the cayenne pepper. WOW! I’m telling you, you haven’t lived until you’ve tried it.
So of course, I made it into an ice cream. :-)
Spicy Peach Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup peaches
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
(makes about one quart)
The first four ingredients are the Sweet Cream Base I’ve mentioned before. After following the directions in that post to get the base mixed together, follow the directions below for the peach mixture that you’ll add to the base.
You can use fresh peaches if you have them, or a 16 oz bag of frozen peaches works well also. Peaches are one of those “problematic” ingredients, because they contain so much water. Peach chunks are great if you eat the ice cream right out of the machine, but they turn into frozen, teeth-cracking, ice chunks after sitting in the freezer for a while. The easy solution is to just blend the heck out of them in a blender — in this case, with the lemon juice and cayenne pepper, and to make the blending easier, about a cup of the cream/milk mixture.
I used 3/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, and it’s enough to give a nice kick without being too overpowering. If you’re worried about it, try adding a quarter teaspoon at a time, blending each one well before tasting it. But be aware that spices like pepper and even cinnamon tend to be masked slightly by the cream until they have a chance to really meld in with everything, and pepper in particular tends to build up as you eat more of it — so don’t go crazy. :-)
Add the peach mixture to the base mixture and then add the extra 1/2 cup of sugar, a bit at a time, until the mix tastes sweet enough. Ripe fresh peaches might be a bit sweeter than frozen, but just keep tasting it until it tastes like a melted version of an ice cream you’d want to eat. :-)
Chill the whole mix to 40 degrees F (5 C) or below before churning. Then add the chocolate pieces at the end, right before stopping the machine.
The look on people’s faces as they swallow the first bite and it hits them in the back of the throat is priceless. But they always want more. :-)