Milk Chocolate and Brownie Ice Cream

We pretty much always have chocolate on hand at our house in case a craving hits.  Whether it’s a bag of M&M’s or a batch of freshly baked cookies or brownies, there’s always at least one option available.  Dessert is rarely optional here :)  I crave salty and sweet snacks equally, so I tend to mix things up, but for Shane it’s all about the chocolate.  When I saw this milk chocolate ice cream with brownie bits over on Annie’s site, I knew it had his name written all over it.  Plus, although I’ve made plenty of homemade ice cream this summer, not a single one has been a flavor Shane enjoys.  He would get his hopes up every time he saw me pull the ice cream maker out, only to have them dashed when he heard what I was up to.  I figured it was high time to make a batch for him.

If you’re a chocolate lover, you can’t do much better than this ice cream.  You start by baking a batch of super fudgy, dense brownies.  Luckily, only half of them are folded into the ice cream, so you don’t have to exercise too much restraint as you cut them into pieces!  The brownie pieces are the perfect mix-in for the smooth, creamy milk chocolate ice cream.  Even better – the brownie bits stay chewy in the freezer so no worries their texture will become too rock hard to enjoy.  For some reason, however, my ice cream didn’t freeze as solidly as I would have liked.  I’m sure there was some baker error involved, but regardless of the soft serve texture, Shane still loved the ice cream.  It was the perfect dessert, especially when served over one of the leftover brownies!

Milk Chocolate and Brownie Ice Cream
from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz (also seen on Annie’s Eats)

Brownies
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Ice Cream
8 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 cups whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks

To make the brownies: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line an 8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on opposite sides so you can lift the brownies out afterward. Spray the foil with nonstick cooking spray.

Add the butter to a medium saucepan and melt over medium-low heat. Reduce the heat to low and add the chopped chocolate. Whisk until melted and smooth. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar, the eggs (one at a time) and the vanilla. Mix in the flour and salt until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the center is just barely set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool in the pan. Use the foil to lift the brownies out and cut half of them into small pieces for the ice cream. (You only need half of the brownies for the recipe.)

To make the ice cream: Set a large heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Add the milk chocolate and cream and stir occasionally until melted. Remove the bowl from the pan and set a mesh strainer over the top.

Combine the milk, sugar and salt in a medium saucepan and heat just until warm. Meanwhile, whisk the egg yolks in a heatproof bowl. Slowly add the warm milk mixture to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Pour back into the saucepan and set over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon (about 170-175 F on an instant read thermometer). Pour through the strainer into the chocolate mixture and stir to combine.

Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (overnight is good). Freeze in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir the brownie pieces into the ice cream, transfer to an airtight container and store in your freezer.