One of the time-honored traditions of parenthood is feeling like an idiot when you finally figure out what's going on with one of your kids that you think you should have realized much sooner. Case in point, Gillian being "not that hungry" all the time lately. It seemed really odd, since she wasn't even eating some things that she really likes. One of the things was this ice cream. Last weekend, I asked the girls for suggestions on what kind of ice cream to make next. Gillian--"Chocolate!" Brianna--"Can you make cookie dough ice cream?" We decided to have the best of both worlds and combine the two. But once it was made, Gillian didn't want to eat it. That's when I finally realized that she wasn't eating much because she couldn't, sort of. Poor kid has two loose teeth in front and has molars coming in in the back. No wonder she didn't want to eat big pieces of cookie dough that had really firmed up in the freezer! Not to mention bagels, croutons, sandwiches with chewy bread... It all makes sense now. I made sure to stock up on lots of her favorite yogurt flavors, and she's been eating the raspberry sorbet since I made that.
Now back to the cookie dough ice cream. I was inspired by this recent post from Michelle of Brown Eyed Baker. I like cookie dough ice cream, but sometimes it's just too sweet for my taste. For the strongest contrast, I decided to go with the Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World from Jeni's. The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate in the 62%-70% range, so I went with 70% El Rey chocolate. I've made the recipe before and was turned off by the strong underlying coffee taste (probably because I used Starbucks VIA). This time I simply subbed water and a teaspoon of instant espresso powder for the half cup of coffee in the chocolate syrup part of the recipe.
For the cookie dough, I used the recipe that Michelle posted, with a small variation. I didn't use the mini chocolate chips that she suggests. I don't like regular chocolate chips in ice cream--they're way too hard when frozen. I borrowed a trick from Alice Medrich and made my own chocolate bits. I melted 85 grams (3 oz) of 60% chocolate and spread it in a thin layer on a small metal pan lined with non-stick foil. I put the pan in the freezer for about 15 minutes, and once the chocolate had hardened, I chopped it into small pieces. Because the chocolate is no longer in temper, it melts more readily (so work fast with the chopping), especially in your mouth. I used a small scoop to make balls of the cookie dough and stuck them in the freezer while I churned the chocolate ice cream. Once the ice cream was done, I layered it in the container with the chunks of cookie dough so that there would be lots of cookie dough in every scoop.
The verdict? We're all sad that we finished this one off this evening (well, except for G). I can't believe I didn't think to add cookie dough to chocolate ice cream before this. I'll definitely make this one again, and am already thinking of other combinations to try. Like maybe peanut butter cookie dough in chocolate ice cream. =)
As I mentioned before, Michelle has this great post where you can find the recipe for the cookie dough (as well as her version of the chocolate ice cream). You can find the Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream recipe in Jeni's book or here at Saveur. This is my final recipe for my friend Phyl's Ice Cream Week. Be sure to check out his post for some links to other yummy flavors.