It's not usual for me to want to eat my ice cream with herbs, but I was completely enthralled and inspired by a Chocolate Basil Sorbet I had the chance to enjoy at the end of an elegant dinner during the International Food Blog Conference in Portland. I immediately knew that I had to try a version of this at home, especially since my family and I are obsessed with basil. And we're starting to find out that it doesn't just taste good on pasta! In this particular recipe, the basil is a surprising afterthought. Because this dark chocolate ice cream is rich, the slight peppery aftertaste will make your guests go, "What is that...?". This Italian herb instantly turns a plain ole chocolate ice cream into something more exciting and intriguing! So, if you don't have an ice cream maker at home, it's not the end of the world (you can make it work). But, if it weren't for mine, this hot and humid summer would have seemed much longer!
What you'll need: makes 1 quart
2 cups water
2 cups half and half
3/4 cup packed basil leaves (bruised)
1 cup super fine sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
Pinch kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup Kahlua
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon zest
Fresh basil for garnish
In a medium saucepan over low medium heat, combine water, half and half and bruised basil leaves. Bruising the leaves help relieve it's peppery juices. Steep for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture just starts to bubble. Don't allow it to boil. Remove from heat, strain out the basil leaves and toss.
Return the saucepan to low heat and pour in the fine sugar (dissolves faster than regular granulated sugar), cocoa, and salt. Whisk until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, add in the vanilla extract, Kahlua and lemon zest, combine.
Chill the mixture until cold (freezer works - about 1 hour, just don't forget about it!). Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacture's instructions. The ice cream will be soft! Transfer into a freezer safe container and let harden for 4-6 hours. If you don't have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a freezer safe container and freeze until completely harden, 6 + hours. When frozen, scoop into a bowl and garnish with fresh basil.
Recipe Adapted from here.
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