I love surprises, so Secret Santa exchanges are right up my alley. It used to be that you wrote your “wish list” on a piece of paper, or had no wish list at all and hoped your Santa knew you well enough, but now, thanks to technology and drawnames.com you can automate the whole process and create a wish list through the website. My wish lists (I was in 4 different exchanges this year!) obviously had a common thread throughout because I got two cookbooks, a bench scraper (I’m not sure how I’ve worked at The Chopping Block for 5+ years without ever buying one), and an ice cream maker. I can’t tell you how excited I was when an ice cream maker showed up at my door. I know it’s not the type of kitchen gadget that I’ll use daily, weekly, and likely not even monthly (especially if I want my wedding dress to fit), but I absolutely love that I can now make homemade ice cream whenever the mood moves me.
When I decided to try my hand at making ice cream, I wrongly assumed that I’d just need some cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and I’d be in business. Then I realized that I needed rock salt. I happened to be on the phone with my mom during this realization. She promptly suggested that I go to the local home improvement store – surely they had rock salt. Well, apparently in the 60s food safe salt wasn’t a big concern (ha!). I opted to hunt down some Morton’s Ice Cream Salt – not as easy to find as you’d think (Walmart was the only place in Chicago that I could find it).
In addition to loving ice cream, I love wine, and since Justin already experimented with red wine ice cream floats, I decided to up the ante and get the red wine IN the ice cream. And since chocolate (another love of mine) is a terrific pairing with red wine, I decided to fold in dark chocolate chips, and that’s how my Cabernet Chocolate Chip Ice Cream was born.
Cabernet Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
Inactive Time: 4 hours
Active Time: 80 minutes
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes
1 bottle red wine
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
2 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup whole milk
1 Tablespoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup dark chocolate chunks
1. Add 1 bottle of red wine (this was a good Bordeaux that was about to turn, but no need to use something expensive) to a medium saucepan with granulated sugar.
2. Bring red wine to a boil over medium high heat and let it reduce to a syrup (1 cup in volume), about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool.
3. Over medium heat, heat 2 cups of cream and vanilla bean paste, until steaming (do not boil).
4. In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks together.
5. Temper the egg yolks by adding 2 Tablespoons of the warm cream/vanilla mixture. Whisk vigorously.
6. Add 2 more Tablespoons of the warm cream/vanilla mixture and whisk vigorously.
7. Once half the cream has been added to the eggs, return the eggs to the cream mixture.
8. With the heat on low, whisk continuously until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon (you should be able to draw a line through it).
9. Stir in remaining ½ cup heavy cream, ½ cup milk, and 1 cup red wine syrup. (You can opt to strain this mixture through a fine sieve for an extra smooth texture – I did not.)
10. Chill mixture for 1-2 hours until cool.
11. Churn according to ice cream maker directions (mine took 40 minutes).
12. Freshly churned ice cream is relatively soft so you can easily fold in mix-ins like the chocolate chips, in this case.
13. Freeze ice cream in an airtight container for another 2 hours to firm up.
Aside from with a spoon, there are a number of delicious ways to enjoy this ice cream. My favorite twists include adding it to a glass of champagne for a festive New Year’s (or anytime quite frankly) dessert and sandwiching a scoop between 2 homemade chocolate cookies for the ultimate ice cream sandwich.
Whether you’ve got a palate for wine or sweets, we’ve got a number of virtual classes that’ll be a perfect fit for you! Speaking of wine, have you enrolled in our virtual Celebration of Champagne and Bubbles on New Year's Eve yet? We also are offering a virtual How to Bluff Your Way Through Wine on Friday, January 8 and Fortify Yourself (all about fortified wines) on Saturday, January 23.
Our retail store is open for private in-store shopping appointments, and we offer curbside pickup from Lincoln Square if you need to stock up on wine, baking supplies, or anything for your kitchen for that matter. Just go to the SHOP tab in the top navigation of our website to see our offerings. I hope that you’ll treat yourself to this delicious ice cream, and end 2020 on a sweet note.