Recipe from Season 6, Mexico—One Plate at a Time
- Make the chile infusion. 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). Cover and let steep for 10 minutes, then pour into a blender jar and process until the chile is pureed.
- Set up a double boiler. 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.
- Cook the base. 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. Reduce the temperature under the pot of boiling water to maintain a gentle simmer. 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,pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into a similar-size stainless steel bowl.
- Cool the base. Fill a large bowl halfway with ice. Nestle a smaller bowl into the ice and pour the custard through a fine-mesh strainer into the bowl in the ice bath. Whisk the mixture until it is completely cool. Refrigerate if not using immediately.
- Finishing the base, freeze the ice cream. Stir the heavy cream, vanilla and Kahlua 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.