Sunday, February 12, 2012

Week Six - Chocolate and Wine

Sorry, folks...I'm a day late! Yesterday saw me quite busy: lunch date with an old friend; dinner/movie date with my lovely husband; and the sad news about Queen of the Night, Whitney Houston. By the end of the night, I was too tired to form proper sentences so here we are today...with chocolate and wine.

Are there any two things in life that go together better than chocolate and wine? Chocolate and caramel, maybe. Wine and cheese. Cheese and crackers. Okay, so the answer is, probably, yes. But for my money, when I want to be spoiled, it's going to be a bottle of delicious red wine and some quality dark chocolate. Mmm...

As Valentine's Day approached, I thought this combination was perfectly appropriate. (And I already have a special flavor planned for the actual holiday.) Thinking back to Week Two's flavor, and how deliciously chocolate-y it was, I decided to go back to that recipe and tweek it a bit for this week's creation. I was also quite excited to showcase the box of wine we bought from Trader Joe's in this batch. You read it correctly, I used boxed wine this week! Don't fret, it's not Franzia. (I know my college friends were having ugly flashbacks...) My husband recently decided he wanted to buy a somewhat-classier (Classy boxed wine?) box of wine so that if he wanted to have a glass a few nights it week, it wouldn't oxidize and go bad after a few days if he didn't drink it all. (I feel like I need to point out that we are currently dieting so drinking more than a glass a night is temporarily forbidden. Under normal circumstances, that one bottle would be gone in one night. And it would probably have another empty bottle next to it to keep it company.) On a trip to Trader Joe's, we found a $10 box of Australian Shiraz and decided to take the plunge. While it's certainly not the best wine I've ever had, it is certainly drinkable. Score for us! Boxed wine on the kitchen counter...nice.

This ice cream turned out to be just as chocolate-y delicious as the Chocolate with Cinnamon and Cayenne, but the wine flavor is extremely faint. I think it is a combination of things: first, perhaps I should have used something more robust than a Shiraz; and second, next time I will add more than a half cup of wine to the recipe. That being said, we ate a great deal of this last night. I hope enough remains that I'm able to share it with others because it is pretty tasty, if I do say so myself. (And I do.) But for now, I shall present you with some photographs...

Chocolate and Wine Ice Cream


1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 ounce bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 ounce cream cheese, softened
1 tbs plus 1 tsp corn starch
2 cups whole milk
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 tbs light corn syrup
1/8 tsp sea salt

1. In a saucepan, combine the cocoa powder, 1/3 cup sugar and the wine. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, about three minutes.

2. Chop the chocolate and put in a heat-proof bowl. Pour the wine mixture over the chocolate and stir until smooth.

3. Add the cream cheese to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth.

4. In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch and a little milk. Set aside.

5. In a large saucepan, combine the remaining milk, the cream, and the corn syrup and cook over medium heat until mixture reaches a boil, allowing it to boil for a minute or so, stirring all the while. Remove from heat.

6. Add cornstarch mixture to the milk mixture, whisking constantly. Return to heat, stirring with a spoon or spatula, and cook until mixture thickens, about three or four minutes. Remove from heat.

7. Whisk the chocolate mixture into the milk mixture until completely smooth. Pour through a fine sieve into a clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it down directly on top of the mixture. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

8. Transfer cooled mixture into bowl of ice cream maker and churn. Upon completion, transfer to a freezer safe container and freeze.

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