Who said vanilla has to be plain? Peanut brittle- and milk chocolate-flecked malted custard comes courtesy of Bi-Rite Creamery’s new Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones cookbook.
Malted Vanilla Ice Cream with Peanut Brittle and Milk Chocolate Pieces
Makes about one quart
5 lg. egg yolks
½ c. malted milk powder (such as Carnation)
1¾ c. heavy cream
¾ c. 1 or 2 percent milk
½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 oz. (1/3 c.) milk chocolate, finely chopped or grated
½ c. peanut brittle (see below), chopped in 1/8-inch pieces
Make the base
1. In a medium heatproof bowl, whisk yolks just to break them up, then whisk in malted milk powder. Set aside.
2. In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, stir together cream, milk, sugar, and salt and put the pan over medium-high heat. When mixture approaches a simmer, reduce heat to medium.
3. Carefully scoop out about ½ c. of the hot cream mixture and, whisking the eggs constantly, add the cream to the bowl with the egg yolks. Repeat, adding another ½ c. of the hot cream to the bowl with the yolks. Using a heatproof rubber spatula, stir cream in saucepan as you slowly pour the egg-and-cream mixture from the bowl into the pan.
4. Cook mixture carefully over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens, coats the back of a spatula, and holds a clear path when you run your finger across the spatula, 1-2 minutes longer.
5. Strain the base through a fine-mesh strainer into a clean container. Set the container into an ice-water bath, wash your spatula, and use it to stir the base occasionally until it is cool. Remove the container from the ice-water bath, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate the base for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Freeze the ice cream
1. Add the vanilla to the chilled base and stir until blended.
2. Freeze in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions; chill the container you’ll use to store the ice cream in the freezer. Add the milk chocolate and the peanut brittle in the last minute or so of churning, or fold them in by hand after the ice cream comes out of the machine. Enjoy right away or, for a firmer ice cream, transfer to a container and freeze for at least 4 hours.
For the peanut brittle
Makes about three cups of one-to-two-inch pieces
1 c. sugar
½ c. water
½ c. tapioca syrup or corn syrup
¼ tsp. kosher salt
1½ c. raw shelled peanuts, papery skins removed if necessary
1/8 tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. unsalted butter
1. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick mat, or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2. Combine the sugar, water, tapioca syrup, and salt in a small, heavy nonreactive saucepan and attach a candy thermometer. Put the pan over medium heat and cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 280°, also known as the “soft crack” stage, 20-25 minutes. Tip: Don’t walk away from the pan, especially once it reaches around 250°, when the mixture becomes more likely to burn.
3. Remove the thermometer. Stir in the peanuts and continue to stir frequently as the peanuts toast and the syrup browns. When the peanuts are toasted and a golden color and the syrup is a mahogany brown (about 5 minutes longer), remove from the heat. Carefully stir in the baking soda and, once the mixture is blended, stir in the butter.
4. Pour onto the prepared baking sheet and use a heatproof spatula to spread the peanuts in a single even layer about ¼-inch thick. (Work quickly before the brittle hardens, but be careful — it’s extremely hot.)
5. Let cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. If the top of the brittle looks or feels a little greasy, just blot it with a paper towel. Once cool, break into chunks or chop into 1/8-¼-inch pieces and store in an airtight container.
Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones is available online at amazon.com, $17. Get it in person at Bi-Rite Creamery, 3692 18th Street, between Dolores and Guerrero Streets (415-626-5600 or biritecreamery.com), $25.
Reprinted with permission from Sweet Cream and Sugar Cones, by Kris Hoogerhyde, Anne Walker, and Dabney Gough, copyright 2012. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House.
Photo: Paige Green / Courtesy of Chronicle Books