Besides my all-time favorite flavor of ice cream, moose tracks, ginger ice cream is probably a close second. It can be a rare find though, so having ginger ice cream is a real treat. I decided it was time to make it even more of a treat by making it chocolatey. It was a good decision. I don't make ice cream very often but I thought this turned out really well and it was easy enough to make.
Step 1: What You Need
- 8 egg yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup fresh grated ginger root
- 4 tbsp water
- 4 cups half-and-half
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- 1 large saucepot
- 2 large bowls
- 1 ice cream maker and supplies
- A sieve or fine strainer of some kind
- A candy thermometer
Step 2: Time to Start
Start with the ginger; it may be easier if you break the root down into sections. Peel carefully, saving as much of the root as possible. Once it’s peeled, grate the root as finely as possible into a large saucepot.
Fresh ginger is a bit strong, so take care to wash your fingers and under your nails after handling it.
Add the sugar and water to the pot and whisk together. Let the sugar sit over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the sugar is well dissolved. Be sure to stir it occasionally.
While the sugar is on the stove, crack the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites. I had to do this by hand even though it's not the quickest way to get them apart (slowly pouring the yolk from one side of the cracked shell to the other gets rid of the whites and saves the yolks) it still did the job. Whisk the yolks together and then set them aside.
Step 3: Custard Time
Slowly add the half-and-half to the sugar syrup, taking care not to splash any because you don't want to burn yourself. Whisk the mixture together until well combined. While combining the sugar and half-and-half, add the cocoa powder. If you add it a bit at a time, it is easier to avoid clumps later on.
Using a spoon, add some of the mixture to the yolks while whisking. If done carefully, this will bring the temperature of the yolks up slowly without cooking them too quickly. Once the yolks are warmed through, add them into the half-and-half and sugar mixture while whisking constantly. (This was definitely my first successful tempering job.)
Using a thermometer, stir the custard over low heat until it reaches 170F. It should not reach a boil at any point. A candy thermometer with a clip works very well here (it's all we had). Once the mixture hits 170, remove it from the heat and prepare a large, clean bowl. Using some sort of sieve or a screen, pour the custard into the bowl so to get all the clumps and ginger hairs out of the mixture. A frying spoon, such as the one in the picture, actually works just fine. Depending on how much ginger flavor you want, feel free to keep some of it in the final custard.
Stir in the heavy whipping cream and the vanilla extract.
At this point, the custard needs to sit and chill for a few hours in the refrigerator. It can sit overnight just fine but be sure it is covered!
Step 4: Ice Cream Time!
Once the custard is chilled, get your ice cream maker ready. I used an old bucket ice cream maker, which takes ice and rock salt. Follow your ice cream maker’s instructions, making sure to get the mixture as cold as possible. Once the mixer has done its job, the ice cream is done!
If it is not solid enough, scrape it into a clean container and freeze.
This ice cream is chocolaty and delicious by itself with a hint of ginger, but pairs well with brownies or any other dessert. It isn't too sweet and it is pretty creamy so it's a perfect treat!