Is there a support group for chocolate/peanut butter junkies? If there is, I’m pretty sure that I would qualify for an in-house rehab program. This, of course, is not any type of breaking news, but there does seem to be some sort of spiraling effect taking place. I try to keep the freezer stocked with ice cream during the summer, so as soon as one container nears the bottom, I start working on a new flavor. Typically a quart or so lasts two weeks, but my last batch of vanilla bean suffered quite an early demise thanks to the ice cream cookie sandwiches, and what was left I unabashedly polished off through a series of sugar cones. I may or may not have eaten two in one day last weekend. Shhh… So, the search was on for the next ice cream recipe I would be making when it hit me – holy crap, how is it that I have yet to make a peanut butter ice cream? So I went looking and found this uber-fabulous chocolate-peanut butter ice cream with options for a fudge ripple and chunks of peanut butter mixed in. Um, yes and yes please. Done!
This is actually the first ice cream recipe that I have made in a loooong time without using egg yolks in the custard. I was just a bit wary since I love how thick and creamy homemade ice cream is, but I had faith in the ice cream genius, David Lebovitz. And of course this was every bit as fabulous as every one of his other recipes has been. And a bonus for those of you that shy away from homemade ice cream due to the amount of fat in the whole milk, cream and egg yolks – this one uses half-and-half, and I think you can actually buy fat-free half-and-half (not that I did, of course).
The fudge ripple and the peanut butter patties should not be left out of this recipe, under any circumstances. The fudge ripple pumps more of that soda shop flavor into the bowl of ice cream, and in my opinion, the peanut butter patties make this recipe. The chocolate and peanut butter flavors are both pronounced and well-balanced in the ice cream itself, but something about those chunks of peanut butter sitting amongst chocolate are so reminiscent of peanut butter cups, that if you are even the slightest fan of chocolate and peanut butter together, you will absolutely adore this.
1. To make the Fudge Ripple: Whisk together the sugar, corn syrup, water, and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture begins to bubble at the edges. Continue to whisk until it just comes to a low boil. Cook for 1 minute, whisking frequently. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla, and let cool. Chill in the refrigerator before using. (Fudge Ripple can be stored for up to 2 weeks, covered, in the refrigerator.)
2. To make the Peanut Butter Patties: Mix together the peanut butter and confectioners' sugar in a small bowl. Line a dinner plate with plastic wrap. Pinch off small pieces of the peanut butter mixture, about ½ teaspoon each, and drop them onto the dinner plate. Once you've used all of the mixture, freeze the patties. (The patties can be stored in the freezer, well wrapped, for up to 1 month.)
3. To make the Ice Cream: Whisk together the half-and-half, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, and salt in a large saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it comes to a full, rolling boil (it will start to foam up). Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter, stirring until thoroughly blended.
4. Chill mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Fold in the Peanut Butter Patties when it has finished churning. Just before you remove the ice cream from the machine, spoon some of the Fudge Ripple onto the bottom of the storage container. As you remove the ice cream from the machine, layer generous spoonfuls of the sauce between layers of ice cream. Avoid stirring the Fudge Ripple, as it will make the ice cream muddy.