Okay, Time Warner, I forgive you a little bit, because my internet is working again, but only a little bit, because it started working on its own without your help. Ice cream for everyone except you.
David Lebovitz’s is one of my very favorite cooking blogs. He lives in Paris (swoon), he’s a majorly accomplished pastry chef, and he SERIOUSLY knows his stuff. He experiments with amazing flavors, adapts classic techniques, and the man knows his way around ice cream. I have yet to try a recipe of his I didn’t love. Each of the women in my family has one of the Cuisinart electric ice cream makers with the inner canister that you freeze overnight, and we have made some pretty great stuff between the three of us. They’re really good little machines for making outstanding ice cream at home (and my friend/neighbor makes frozen margaritas in hers, because she is a genius).
I moved to the city with a friend/one-time-apartment-mate from college, hereinafter known as Roommate, and we wound up living together for four years. She’s one of the coolest people I know (she’s the first person I ever said “um, I think you’re wearing the wrong size bra” to, and she took it with remarkable grace), and she was a DELIGHT to live with. Our first year out of college we lived in a teeny walk-up apartment on the sixth floor of an Upper East Side apartment building with a sink that looked like it was built for elves and fairies, and then we somehow stumbled into an ENORMOUS apartment in an elevator building in Washington Heights on the same block as the subway where we stayed for three years (and met the lovely Ezmeralda). The first few weeks we couldn’t believe our good fortune. We figured it was one of those Manhattan miracle apartments, like the ones people bought thirty years ago for $5,000 that are now worth $15,000,000.
Then one night after we’d been there a few months our doorbell rang. Roommate had school, I had work, and it was 1:30 in the morning, so we were both sound asleep. My room was the closest to the door, so I stumbled over and opened it to see our super, who told me my bathtub was overflowing. Fairly certain this was one of the more boring dreams I’d ever had, I said “No it’s not.” He said yes it was, so I led him through the living room toward the bathroom, turned on the light, and flung open the door, preparing to crow imperiously “oh REALLY?” Instead we both stared in awe/horror at the waterfall that was pouring into the bathroom THROUGH THE CEILING LIGHT FIXTURE. Yeah.
TURNS OUT, our upstairs neighbor liked to take baths when he smoked pot. I KNOW. Our super said this so matter-of-factly Roommate (who had come out of her room to join the party) and I both stared at each other in silence, trying to decide if he’d just said what we thought he’d said, as I stood in the bathroom in my nightgown with a mop, luxuriating under the gentle falls coursing through my light fixture. Yeah. This winner TOOK BATHS when he was high, because I guess that’s how he gets his jollies, and this time he’d forgotten about it (BECAUSE HE WAS HIGH) and the tub was overflowing into my bathroom, which was overflowing into my downstairs neighbor’s bathroom, and downstairs neighbor had woken up and called the super. Roommate wrote a hilariously angry post on her blog chastising this dumbass, and her kiss-off and parting shot to him was that if he didn’t stop flooding our bathroom (oh, yeah, it happened five more times before the problem was fixed), I would be mad at him forever and would never make him this ice cream.
HOW’S THAT FOR A SEGUE?!? I’m the best blogger who ever blogged. Roommate and I loooooved this ice cream. It’s super simple (you don’t even have to make a custard base, so it’s great when you’re feeling lazy), pretty quick for ice cream, and we usually had the ingredients on hand, since peanut butter was very important to us. We could put away a giant jar of JIF in a week. Add chocolate and you have bliss (as is often the case when you add chocolate).
Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream
Adapted, barely, from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
3 c. half-and-half
scant 1/2 c. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder (I can never remember what Dutch process means, so I always cross my fingers and hope whatever I have will work, and it generally does. I am the best baker who ever baked.)
3/4 c. sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 c. smooth peanut butter (Sweets and Roommate endorse JIF)
1 tbsp. Frangelico or liqueur of your choice (optional)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
In a large saucepan, whisk together the half-and-half, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Heat the mixture until it boils vigorously, whisking all the while to avoid lumps. Remove from heat and whisk in the peanut butter until smooth. Chill the mixture for several hours until very cold, OR you can use this neat trick I learned from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, a book which will probably make an appearance here soon:
Take a large, heavy-duty freezer ziplock bag, and pour the warm ice cream base in, carefully pressing out the air and sealing tightly. Place a whole bunch of ice in a large mixing bowl and fill with cold water. Place the ziplock bag in the ice-water bath and press it under the ice cubes so it’s completely submerged. You’ll be ready to go in 30-40 minutes, and you can just snip off a corner of the bag to pour the ice cream into your ice cream maker. No mess! So great.
Freeze the ice cream according your machine’s manufacturer instructions. I like to add the tablespoon or two of Frangelico, because alcohol doesn’t freeze and so your ice cream stays a bit softer, which makes it easier to sneak out of the freezer with a spoon, if you’re classy. It’s also clearly amazing with Deb’s hot fudge sauce, or served on a warm brownie, or scooped into a chocolate-cookie-crumb crust to make ice cream pie.