I usually drink a beer while I am cleaning the house. This is usually not on a weekday morning, but since I hate cleaning so much, I feel I deserve a little treat when I finally break down and do it. I like to turn up the music and drink and clean. I have stopped short of buying one of those helmet/crazy straw straight to the mouth contraptions, but logistically it makes sense and I can’t promise it will never happen. Most often you will find a Mexican beer next to my dust cloth. My family traveled to a beach in Mexico every summer growing up and there is something about the beer (bottles, I guess, since I was not of drinking age on those trips) that transports me back there. Its really lovely to daydream of your sister and yourself running barefoot on the sand while scrubbing a toilet. Then one day, a very interesting idea turned up in my email inbox. Bohemia Beer sent a recipe for creating Chocolate Chile Bohemia Ice Cream. I had no hesitation about this. It goes without saying that pretty much anything covered in chocolate is welcomed with open arms by me. And I LOVE when there is a little spice mixed in. And now adding beer? Why the heck not. Bohemia sent me a sample of beer and I set about making the ice cream. Well, I intended to make it but as I read through the recipe I froze (pun intended). I’m a kitchen novice and talk of “custard” had me doubting my skills. Luckily my mother in law was home and I recruited her, although she was leery of the end result.
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 and add the half-and-half, Mexican chocolate and the semi-sweet chocolate; 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 Bohemia 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.
All photos by me. Beer bottle photo via Femsa.