Hot Chocolate Ice Cream

Hot Chocolate Ice Cream
There’s probably a rule somewhere that you’re not allowed to eat ice cream in January. It makes sense, right? This is supposed to be a month of better eating and healthy living. Plus, it’s winter. Why would you want to eat a frozen dessert when you are bundled up in a sleeping bag-like puffy coat and there might be snow on the ground?

I decided to break that rule and make hot chocolate ice cream. Each bite was cold, creamy and rich. The addition of ancho chili powder and cinnamon gave it pleasantly tingly, spicy warmth, and I loved the contrast of hot and cold. To give the ice cream a little something extra, I stirred in spiced mixed nuts just before I put the container in the freezer to chill.
Hot Chocolate Ice Cream
Hot Chocolate Ice Cream
Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

For ice cream
2-1/4 cups heavy cream
6 tablespoons Dutch-processed cocoa powder
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1-1/4 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons ancho chili powder

For spiced nuts
2 tablespoons egg whites
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups mixed nuts

Combine the heavy cream, cocoa powder and sugar in a large saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, whisking frequently. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring until melted. Add the milk, vanilla extract, salt, cinnamon, and chili powder. Transfer to a blender and blend for 30 seconds. Chill the mixture completely in the refrigerator.

For the spiced nuts, preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Whisk the egg whites until light and foamy. Add the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, pepper, chili powder and vanilla extract. Toss the nuts in the mixture and spread in a single layer on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Bake for 30 minutes until the coating is crisp and dry. Let the nuts cool before roughly chopping them.

Churn in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir in the spiced nuts and transfer to a storage container. Freeze until firm before serving.