notes from the mexican kitchen
Mexican Weekend/

Cool Off with Chocolate Chile Ice Cream

POST_170x177Wherever you may be on Independence Day in America, chances are it will be warm outside.

So let’s cool things down with chocolate ice cream, radiant pasilla negro chile and cold beer mixed together in a tempting blend of sweet and savory.

If you’re concerned about the heat of the chile, rest easy: the ice cream won’t really be spicy. Think of it as simply infused with pasilla negro’s gentle glow. (And if you’d like, you can use ancho chile here — it’s even less spicy.)

The base can be made several days in advance and refrigerated, covered. The finished ice cream is best served within a day or two of being frozen.

Servings: 6


  • 1large dried pasilla negro chile, stemmed, seeded and, if you wish, deveined
  • 1 1/3cups half-and-half
  • 2 ounces Mexican chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 3ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2cup sugar
  • 1 1/3cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla, preferably Mexican
  • 1/2cup Negra Modelo beer


In a small skillet heated over medium, toast the chile, pressing it flat against the skillet with a metal spatula until it is very aromatic—about 10 seconds per side. Place in a small saucepan, add the half-and-half, Mexican chocolate and the semi-sweet chocolate, and heat over medium until steaming (but not boiling). Remove from heat. Cover and let steep for 10 minutes, then pour into a blender jar and process until the chile is completely pureed.

Set up a 4-quart saucepan, filled halfway with water, into which you can nestle a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Bring the pot of water to a boil over high heat while you’re preparing the custard base. Reduce the temperature under the pot of boiling water to maintain a gentle simmer.

In the 3-quart stainless steel bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar until thoroughly combined, then whisk in the chile-infused chocolate mixture. Set the bowl of custard base over the simmering water and whisk frequently, scraping down the sides of the bowl regularly with a rubber spatula, until the mixture thickens noticeably, about 5 minutes. The custard is sufficiently cooked when it reaches 180 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. (You can also test it by dipping a wooden spoon into the custard, then running your finger through the custard: if the line holds clearly, the custard has thickened sufficiently.) For the finest texture, strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean bowl.

Fill a large bowl halfway with ice. Nestle the bowl of strained custard in the ice bath. Whisk the mixture until it is completely cool. Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Stir the heavy cream, vanilla and Negra Modelo into the base. Freeze in an ice cream freezer according to the manufacturer’s directions. Scrape into a freezer container and freeze for several hours to firm.


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