Summary: Homemade ice cream is so fabulous, and with a great foundation, the flavor possibilities are endless. My sons asked me recently what my favorite candy was, and I replied that the older I get, the less I actually enjoy candy. I'd much rather have chocolate or some sort of baked good, but when pressed to consider a candy bar I'd eat if I had to, I thought of the Almond Joy. Coconut, chocolate and almonds- what's not to love?! Inspired by this conversation, I made this ice cream which is like a homemade, subtle Almond Joy with a twist: a dash of cardamom. Divine!
*Full disclosure, Tom isn't a cardamom fan so prefers this recipe without its inclusion, but I think cardamom all the way! You can consider that an "optional" ingredient, although I write that grudgingly. **You’ll need an ice cream maker for the smoothest results. ***The egg-custard base needs to chill for at least 4 hours before going into the ice cream maker, so plan accordingly.
Yield: about 1 quart
- 3/4 cups heavy cream
- 3/4 cups 2% milk
- 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
- 1/16 teaspoon good quality cardamom (I like Guatemalan), optional (see note*)
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
- generous 1/8 teaspoon almond extract
- 3 large egg yolks
- rounded 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut (I make my own from unsweetened; see Coconut Cream Pie recipe for the how-to)
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
Into a 2-quart saucepan, pour the cream and milk. Heat over medium-high heat until scalded (the milk starts to bubble up around the sides), temp ~170. Immediately remove from heat, and add the chocolate chips. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, put the egg yolks and rounded ¼ c of sugar. Using a hand mixer (or whisk if you’re feeling intrepid), beat the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy, a couple minutes. Whisk the extracts into the chocolate milk mixture, and then very slowly, pour a tablespoon or two of this scalded milk mixture into the egg-sugar mix, whisking earnestly the whole time. You need to temper the eggs so go slowly so they don’t scramble. Repeat a few more times, and then pour in the rest of the milk-cream. Cover with plastic wrap pressed to the surface, and let cool to room temp. Then put in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
At any point while your ice cream base is chilling, you can toast the coconut and almonds. In a small skillet set over medium-high heat, toast the coconut until it is brown-golden; you want it fairly crisped but not burned. Pour into a bowl to cool. Wipe out your skillet, and set it back over medium-high. This time, toast the slivered almonds until golden brown and then pour them out in a separate bowl to cool. Once the coconut and almonds are cool, seal tightly with plastic wrap until you're ready to use them. Set aside.
Set your ice cream maker up and pour in the custard mix. Churn for 20-22 minutes, and then pour in the toasted coconut and almonds. Churn another few minutes, transfer ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze until ready to serve.