Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Oh my goodness, Guinness!

It all started with my obsessing over the ice cream maker I stupidly left at my parents' apartment when I moved out last fall. Sure, it had been the end of ice cream season, but still, how could I have overlooked such a crucial culinary instrument? Thankfully, we were happily reunited this past weekend, and thus another cycle of frozen wondermaking began!
Part two of this creation myth: Ever since I sampled Mario Batali's overpriced, but inexorably delicious, Guinness ice cream ($8 for a cup?? Sheesh.) from Otto in Greenwich Village, I've been yammering about making my own variation. So finally, I did. And of course, it has dark chocolate. And it's frozen yogurt rather than gelato because Dan is lactose-intolerant and I'm something of a lactobacillus junkie.

But enough talk. Here's a taste:

Chocolate Stout Frozen Yogurt
(makes 5 cups)

1 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract1-1/2 cups half-and-half
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
4 egg yolks
12-oz. bottle Guinness Extra Stout
1 cinnamon stick (optional)
2 cups plain yogurt

1. If using the vanilla bean, split it in half and scrape out the seeds. Combine with the half-and-half, the chocolate, and half of the sugar in a saucepan, and heat while stirring until the chocolate is incorporated and steam rises (don't boil it). Remove from burner and set aside.

2. With a whisk or electric mixer, beat the rest of the sugar with the egg yolks until it thickens and becomes light yellow. Beat 1/2 cup of the half-and-half mixture into this, and then stir this back into the saucepan with the rest of the half-and-half mixture. Cook it over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thickened slightly. (It should thickly coat the back of a spoon.)

3. Meanwhile,
boil the Guinness down in another saucepan with the cinnamon stick (if using) until about 1/4 cup remains. Remove cinnamon stick, pour into a mug or small bowl, and cool completely.

4. Strain the custard (that's the tempered egg and half-and-half mixture) into a glass bowl and cool to room temp. Stir in the reduced Guinness, the yogurt, and the vanilla extract, if you're using it.

5. Chill to 40 degrees, or for about 2 hours in the fridge, then churn in an ice cream maker for 30 minutes, or until it's reached the desired thickness. Serve immediately or store in the freezer -- if you do this, you'll have to "thaw" it in the fridge for a half and hour before serving.

** If you don't yet have one of these awesome ice cream makers, I would recommend getting the Cuisinart 1-1/2 Quart model, found here on Amazon. You won't regret it! Ok, that concludes the sales pitch :)

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