Many Christmases ago, I got an ice cream maker. Since then, I’ve tried many varieties, such as mint, chocolate-cayenne, and caramel. I love experimenting. I really do. But this time, I was in the mood for a classic: vanilla.
I found this recipe a while ago, but this was the first time in months I made it again. I know it’s winter, but this ice cream is truly divine. It is by far the creamiest I’ve tasted and the chocolate streaks are the perfect addition.
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided use
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
Combine the milk, sugar, and 1 cup of the cream in a medium saucepan. With the tip of a knife, scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture, then add the pod. Bring the mixture just to a boil, whisking until the sugar has dissolved, then remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes.
Reheat the cream mixture over medium heat, stirring, until hot. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl, then add half of the hot cream mixture in a slow stream, whisking constantly, then pour the yolk mixture into the remaining cream mixture, whisking. Cook the custard over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon and registers 170 to 175°F on an instant-read thermometer (do not let boil).
Strain the custard through a fine-mesh sieve into a metal bowl. Stir in the vanilla and the remaining cup of cream, then return the vanilla pod to the mixture. Chill, uncovered, until cool then chill, covered for at least 6 hours.
Remove the vanilla pod and freeze the custard in an ice cream maker. While the ice cream is freezing, melt the chocolate in a clean metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring frequently, then transfer to a 1-cup glass measuring cup. When the ice cream has finished churning, carefully pour the chocolate in a slow stream directly onto the ice cream as it churns and continue to churn for 30 seconds (the chocolate will harden in streaks). Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and put in the freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.