Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

St. Patrick’s Day Checklist:

  • wear green
  • watch the parade
  • catch a leprechaun
  • eat corned beef and cabbage
  • drink beer, preferably Guinness, at an Irish pub
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To be honest, the only one I’ll be doing is wearing green. And that’s only if my green shirt happens to be clean or at least clean enough so as to avoid all the pinching. Hmmm, 1 out of 5. (Does showering with Irish Spring get me any credit?)

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20%. Meh. Kinda reminds me of playing the addictive “Cracker Barrel” peg game of my youth in which one jumps pegs around a triangular board trying to remove as many pegs as possible. Most of the time, my ego took a beating trying to master this game; I was often labeled “plain dumb” for leaving 3 pegs or sadly, an “eg-no-ra-moose” for leaving 4 or more pegs. With luck, on occasion, I could leave only a pair of pegs and claim to be “purty smart”. The ultimate goal? To leave only one and become “genius”.

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While I may be an “eg-no-ra-moose” at times, pairing Guinness with chocolate is “purty smart” all the time, as in a chocolate stout cake. However, combining this duo in an ice cream is the culinary equivalent of leaving a lone peg. It’s pure genius, as in Genius, er, I mean, Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream.

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And all this praise comes from someone who doesn’t love beer or chocolate, proving that sometimes two wrongs do make a right. They make an ice cream that’s smooth and creamy but not overly rich… An ice cream that benefits from the added complexity of the yeast… An ice cream in which the sweetness of the milk chocolate perfectly complements the bitterness of the beer.

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So, wear your green smarty-pants on St. Patrick’s Day and make this as your pot o’ gold. Eat it straight off the ice cream paddle, in a bowl, or in a Guinness milkshake or float – served in a pint glass, of course. Please remember to eat responsibly. Sláinte!

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Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

from David Lebovitz in The Perfect Scoop

makes about one quart

  • 7 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup sugar
  • pinch of coarse salt
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup Guinness (I used Guinness Draught)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the chocolate pieces in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

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Heat the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan until hot and steamy. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Temper the yolks by slowly and gradually pouring in the warm milk mixture. Whisk constantly so that you don’t scramble the eggs. Then scrape the warmed egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan.

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Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (which will be at about 170-175°F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard through the strainer over the milk chocolate, then stir until the chocolate is melted. Once the mixture is smooth, whisk in the cream, then the Guinness and vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

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Chill the mixture in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight – until the mixture is 40°F. Then freeze it in your ice cream maker. This ice cream is very soft coming out of the ice cream maker. It hardens somewhat in the freezer but maintains an almost soft-serve consistency due to the alcohol content. It melts quickly, so eat fast!

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