It’s official, Fall is here. While most parts of the country have an enviable amount of this beautiful season, we unfortunates, have to take a two hour highway drive in order to crunch a leaf, much less break a twig. By most parts, I refer chiefly to the beauteous Midwest, my home not so long ago and for a substantial decade. There, leaves hit ground in pigmented procession of browns, yellows and rust. The autumn I knew was dotted with crop harvests, warmed mugs of mulled cider and fashionably chunky sweaters.
Now pushed to the other end of the country, Fall remains not much of a season, as it is a muggy window of passing to a painless, mild- mannered winter. With still- intrepid heat flying to a good three digit temp, the season in this part, is bedecked with swimwear, outdoor sports and gallons of Gatorade. Seriously, this first year, alone, of desert living has pushed me to the onset of Uncertain Season Disorder.
And while those friends, up there, are eating warmed fruit crumbles and sipping hot chocolate, visual retaliation comes to me in the form of cream, iced cream, that is. It most certainly is one of The Great Loves Of MY LIFE, second only to JZ (I think) and of course the kids (sometimes). Though, actual make from scratch and churn on my own, triggers serious deepset fears. You see, I am befuddled when it comes to the constructing of a good ice cream, something I'm anything but skilled at. Sans the presence of an ice cream maker in my kitchen, this fear escalates into extreme iced dessert- making- phobia.
A fierce yearning called out to me louder still. I needed to make it happen, to whip me the cold lusciousness.
So how did it all come about? That I chanced upon The Page, folded over and loosely taped to the spine of my torn recipe binder? That the Tattered One spoke, selling me the recipe printed on his sorry, crumbly-edged self? That when tucked away for years, it had the gall to straight up face me once opened? Providence, indeed, I owe it to. And the foreknowledge this easy chocolate ice cream would just be off the chart good.
All of 5 ingredients (not counting salt pinch and spoon of water) and without the aid of the ice cream maker, it asks for a few softhearted strokes of the hand, plus substantial whips from an electric mixer. No labor intensive custard preparation and characteristic manic stir at timed intervals, these ingredients work to make sing. An unbelievably good ice cream.
The recipe called for high quality bittersweet chocolate. Though, with my few scraggles of a 12 ounce bag, semisweet Ghirardelli chips, luxe chocolate flavor was achieved. After a boosting of coffee and a swirl of condensed milk, the ambrosial medley was ultimately hit with a fluffy cream foundation. Simple and swoon.
Shall I digress further? Easy peasy recipe can be limited to just the two bowls, one to whip up the cream and the other for your melting, combining and final freeze.
Another must mention; this one can be grouped into recipes of a highly versatile series, where making the one will verge you onto fanciful visions of owning your own multi- flavor creamery.
If you're anything like me, this will never make two steps out of the freezer, once you've cut your spoon to it. The recipe claims six servings. I say a safe four, knowing three of those headed straight into my mouth, once after the melty moment photo session, and second, the plating clean up. So to secure that fair share, mental math it and raise the ingredients to double or triple. The family will thank you.
(Recipe Adapted from Cooks Country magazine -2008 edition)
- In a medium- large sized microwave safe and freezer safe bowl, combine coffee powder and hot water. Let stand until coffee dissolves.
- Place chocolate and sweetened condensed milk into the coffee, microwave at 10 second intervals, taking out to stir. Do this until chocolate is melted, approximately 30-40 seconds, upto a minute.
- Add vanilla extract and salt and allow to cool.
- With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whip cream to soft peaks, about 2 minutes. Whisk ¼ of the whipped cream into the cooled chocolate mixture.
- Once incorporated, fold in the remaining cream into the chocolate mixture until it is fully blended.
- Freeze in the container, covered and airtight, until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 2 weeks.
Easy chocolate ice cream was by far the most difficult subject to shoot. Once plated and laid out, the ice cream would start melting when it was hit by the light streaming in from the window. So, with several freezer breaks in between, the shots had to be taken near lightning fast.
Jesus keeps us, directs our paths, will always be with us in this life and onto eternity. Yes, He's got your back~