They say it’s your birthday.

Birthdays in our family are divided into two groups- the spring birthdays and the September ones. Today is my hubby’s birthday- next week is my third boy’s. The rest of us celebrate in the April/May/June sector. I love my hubby’s birthday because it always seems to fall just when summer is turning down the heat and autumn is peeping her head around the corner. It’s still warm, but not too warm, and there is just enough summer left to have an excuse to make ice cream.
I want to share our favorite ice cream recipe with you all today. I have written about it before, on my first blog, but I thought I would post it with pictures this time, since it can be a little tricky.

It’s a recipe my dad taught me to make many years ago, out of a fancy dessert book he had. He always called it “chocolate, chocolate malt with Bailey’s.” I’m not sure why he called it “chocolate, chocolate” since there is only one kind of chocolate in it. He was always one for hyping things up. But there is malt in it, and Bailey’s Irish Cream liqueur. (We use a knock off brand)

This is a rich ice cream, in more ways then one. It calls for a lot of eggs, a lot of chocolate and a lot of cream. (And Bailey’s. Did I mention the Bailey’s?).
So it’s a once a year kind of ice cream- a birthday treat kind of ice cream. But if you want to try the smoothest, silkiest dessert you’ve ever had, this is it.

Here is what you need.

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Get your supplies lined up first, so things will go smoothly. You will need two medium size bowls, two saucepans and a fine mesh strainer. If you don’t have a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth will work. Straining it is important to get that silky smooth texture.

In one of the saucepans, get about an inch of water simmering.

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In the other saucepan, on medium heat, put

2 cups of heavy cream
2 cups of milk
1/4 cup malt powder (found next to the hot chocolate in most grocery stores)

Over the pan of simmering water, place one of the bowls filled with

-10 ounces of good quality chocolate- milk or dark, chopped.

We like dark around here.

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Stir both pans occasionally. You want the chocolate melted and the malt dissolved.

While that is going on, separate your eggs. You need eight egg yolks here.

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Put the yolks in your second bowl, and save the whites for omelets or something.

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Now beat the eggs yolks until they are light and frothy.

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Set them aside and return to the stove. Your chocolate should be melted by now and your malted milk steaming.

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Remove the chocolate from the heat. It’s time to make the custard.

Start by slowly whisking about a cup of the hot milk into the egg yolks. This is called tempering and will help avoid scrambled eggs. Or if you can’t pour, whisk and take a picture at the same time, get your son to help you.

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Once the egg yolks are warmed up, you can slowly add the mixture back to the hot milk, which should be turned to medium low.

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Place your fine mesh strainer over the bowl your yolks were in, so it will be ready.

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Now stir the custard until it thickens. With that many yolks, it shouldn’t take long- just a few minutes, so watch it carefully. You can tell when it is thick enough if you can run your finger through it on the back of a spoon and it stays put- like so.

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As soon as it thickens, pour it immediately through the strainer into the bowl. It can scramble very quickly at this point.

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But don’t worry. Even if it scrambles a bit, the strainer will catch it.

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And that’s your custard! Now grab your melted chocolate.

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And you guessed it- stir them together.

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While you’re doing that, call the birthday boy in to add the final ingredient.

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How much Bailey’s Irish cream you add is entirely up to you. I’m pretty sure the original recipe called for 2-3 Tablespoons, but I am also pretty sure we have never stopped at that amount. Just keep pouring until it tastes good to you.

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And now it’s ready for your ice cream maker.

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I had every intention of taking pictures of the rest of the process, including the eating of it. It was the grand finale to the picnic we had yesterday afternoon at one of our favorite spots. I got plenty of pictures when we were at the pool-

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And of course lots of the birthday boy with my girl-baby in her first swimsuit-

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But I totally forgot to take pictures of the food, and the only evidence I have that the ice cream was a success is the bowl I found on the table this morning. The hubby must have finished the picnic leftovers off after I went to bed.

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Oh well.
Happy Birthday Dear!

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