Makes 1 quart (1L) of ice cream, about 2 cups (500ml) hot fudge sauce

Adapted from Baked Occasions by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Let’s face it, if you’re making candy cane ice cream, it’s gotta be red or pink. That’s part of the fun. In case you’re concerned about using red food coloring, you can either leave it out (which would be a shame, as that’s part of its appeal), or try a natural one. But it’s only 8 drops in a full batch of ice cream, a lot less than an order of Tandoori chicken from your favorite Indian joint. You could try it with beet juice, or check out India Tree, which makes a natural red food coloring.

For the ice cream, Matt and Renato insist you use pure peppermint extract, not mint or spearmint extract. Extracts can vary in strength, so feel free to taste, and add more if desired.

The team at Baked uses unsweetened chocolate, also called bitter chocolate, as a base for their thick, sticky hot fudge sauce. Unsweetened chocolate contains no sugar. If unsure, check the list of ingredients.

I used crème fraîche in my hot fudge sauce, because I wanted a bit of tang in there. It’ll make a thicker sauce. Either way, the hot fudge may become rather thick if made in advance. Simply whisk in some water or milk while warming it up, to thin it out, until it’s the consistency that you like.

For the peppermint stick ice cream:

1 cup (250ml) whole milk
1 cup (200g) sugar
pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
2 1/4 cups (560ml) heavy cream
2 1/2 teaspoons (or more to taste) peppermint extract
Red food coloring
3/4 cups (115g) crushed candy canes

For the hot fudge sauce:

4 ounces (115g) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup (70g) powdered sugar
1/2 cup (120g) packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup (25g) unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons light corn syrup or golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
3/4 cup 180ml) heavy cream or crème fraîche
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. To make the peppermint stick ice cream, heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan.

2. Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the heavy cream into the bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

4. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the mint extract and taste, adding more if desired. Whisk in the red food coloring – since brands vary, you can add enough until it’s the color you want. (I used 8 drops of McCormick red food coloring.) Refrigerate the mixture thoroughly, preferably overnight.

5. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Add the crushed candy canes to the ice cream during the last two minutes of churning. Scrape the churned peppermint stick custard into a chilled container and freeze until ready to serve.

6. To make the hot fudge sauce, melt the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a pan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth.

7. While the chocolate is melting, in a medium saucepan, whisk together the powdered sugar, brown sugar, cocoa powder, corn syrup (or golden syrup), salt, and heavy cream or crème fraîche. Heat the mixture, stirring frequently, until it comes to a low boil. Continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce starts to thicken, about 45 seconds. Remove from heat and whisk in the melted chocolate.

Serving: Scoop ic cream into bowls and drizzle each with a generous helping of hot fudge sauce. You can garnish the ice cream with additional bits of crushed candy canes, if you wish.

Storage: The hot fudge can be made up to one week ahead, and stored in the refrigerator. It can be rewarmed in a saucepan over low heat, adding water or milk to thin it out, if it becomes too thick.

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March 16, 2017