Cappuccino-Chocolate Ice-Cream

The posting of this recipe marks the beginning of a series of ice-cream recipe postings - over the coming months. Back at home, I had my ice-cream maker running at least once a week, especially over the summer... Home-made ice-cream is so easily prepared and it's so delicious - all year round. Try it for yourself. his recipe will get you hooked!

Ingredients (to serve 4 to 6):

2 plus 1/4 cups half-and-half
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 tablespoons instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 oz. European bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons Kahlúa liqueur
1 tablespoon dark rum

Tip: If you do not own an ice-cream maker, that'll be not a problem at all. Just make sure that while the custard is sitting in the freezer, you're stirring it frequently until it's all frozen. That will prevent the custard from developing ice crystals that tend to give the ice-cream a coarse texture and hinder it from developing its full flavor while savoured.

Preparation (a little more than 1 hour, including cooling down time):

1. Pour 2 cups half-and-half into a medium-sized pot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat.

2. Add the cocoa, espresso powder, and cinnamon and whisk to blend. Remove from heat.

3. In a metal bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and all of the sugar until blended. Gradually pour the hot half-and-half mixture into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly.

4. Return the mixture to the pot and place over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring slowly and continuously with a wooden spatula, until the custard thickens, about 5 minutes; do not allow to boil.

5. Add the chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in the coffee liqueur, rum, and the remaining 1/4 cup half-and-half. Refrigerate the custard until cool.

6. Transfer the custard to an ice-cream maker and process. Freeze the ice-cream in your freezer until firm.

This Cappuccino-Chocolate Ice-Cream is especially great with some nut crunch sprinkled over it - but even without, it'll be gone by the next day (and by the way, it should; home-made ice-cream doesn't keep as well as industrially manufactured ones - so, don't keep it in your freezer all week) ... enjoy!