For someone who is as passionate about chocolate as I am, it’s a little strange that I actually prefer vanilla ice creams. Perhaps I’d rather enjoy my chocolate in more concentrated form, for I will invariably opt for a vanilla-based ice cream when given a choice. However, I just made a decadent Chocolate Malt Ice Cream this weekend that could make me a chocolate ice cream convert.
This malt ice cream has been in the works for a while, ever since Cenovia wanted me to make it for our Christmas dinner party. Unfortunately, my Christmas version was a little sub par as real malt powder is much harder to come by than I would have guessed, considering that it was once ubiquitous in every suburban grocery store ice cream section. After scouring grocery stores in both Manhattan and New Jersey with nary a jar of Carnation malted milk mix to be found, I resorted to using Ovaltine in that Christmas batch of ice cream. It was rather lackluster, missing the bold toasty malt flavor I was hoping for.
Oddly enough, I finally discovered that the Carnation malt powder of my childhood was readily available on Amazon.com where it comes three jars to an order. After all the trouble I had tracking it down, I had no problem with multiple jars of malt powder arriving on my doorstep at once. When Cenovia hosted a dinner on Monday while her parents were visiting, I was delighted for an excuse to make malted ice cream for everyone.
In researching chocolate malt ice cream ideas online, most recipes called for chocolate malt powder to be stirred into a vanilla custard base. However, I thought it might be a tad excessive to have SIX jars of malt in my cupboards at one time, so I had only ordered the vanilla powder. Trust me, I don’t need that kind of temptation. Instead, I decided to blend vanilla malt into a chocolate ice cream base, kind of a reverse Black&White. (A White&Black, perhaps?)
My trusty ice cream bible, The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, has a beautiful chocolate ice cream recipe that served as the springboard for this project. My complaint with most chocolate ice creams is that they are not chocolaty enough, that the richness of the cream dilutes the cocoa flavor. But that was in no way an issue with this version, in which the custard base was deepened with both velvety cocoa powder and melted bittersweet chocolate.
I think it’s fair to say that it was a hit. The ice cream’s texture was incredibly smooth and so ridiculously thick that you could stand a spoon up in it. I felt this version achieved just the right balance of rich chocolate notes and toasty malt flavor. My friends certainly thought so too for even though I had made a double batch of ice cream, by the end of the dinner party there was absolutely nothing left.
CHOCOLATE MALT ICE CREAM
An amalgamation of two recipes from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Use real malt powder for this, such as Carnation or Horlicks. A brand like Ovaltine has lots of added sugar and other fillers that dilute the malt flavor, and you really don’t want that.
2 cups heavy cream, divided
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup malted milk powder
Combine 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, and whisk together till there are no lumps. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 seconds while whisking constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Stir in the other 1 cup cream and pour the mixture into a large bowl, using a rubber spatula to thoroughly scrape out the saucepan.
Warm the milk, sugar and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Add a cup of the warm milk to the egg yolks, whisking constantly to temper the yolks, and scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.
Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula or wooden spoon, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the vanilla and malt powder, whisking till completely blended. Chill the custard over an ice bath, then refrigerate till thoroughly chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.
Pour the chocolate malt custard into an ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions. Transfer to a plastic container and place in the freezer to firm up. Makes 1 rich quart.