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Chocolate Ice Cream

2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt the unsweetened chocolate on top of a double boiler over hot,
not boiling, water. Gradually whisk in the cocoa and heat, stirring
constantly, until smooth. (The chocolate may "seize" or clump
together. Don't worry, the milk will dissolve it.) Whisk in the
milk, a little at a time, and heat until completely blended. Remove
from the heat and let cool.

Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1 to 2
minutes. Whisk in the sugar, a little at a time, then continue
whisking until completely blended, about 1 minute more. Pour in
the cream and vanilla and whisk to blend.

Pour the chocolate mixture into the cream mixture and blend. Cover
and refrigerate until cold, about 1 to 2 hours, depending on your
refrigerator.

Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following
the manufacturer's instructions.

Makes 1 quart.


VARIATIONS:

CHOCOLATE CHOCOLATE CHIP: Add 3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips
after the ice cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is done),
then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

CHOCOLATE MINT: Whisk 1 teaspoon peppermint extract into the
mixture just before transferring it to the ice cream maker.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER: Just before transferring the mixture to
the ice cream maker, pour about 1 cup of it into a separate bowl.
Add 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter and whisk until completely blended.
Return to the remaining mixture and blend.

CHOCOLATE BANANA: Mash 2 overripe bananas and the juice of one
lemon together in a bowl, then whisk until smooth. After the ice
cream stiffens (about 2 minutes before it is done), add the banana
mixture, then continue freezing until the ice cream is ready.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE PECAN: After the ice cream stiffens (about 2
minutes before it is done), add 3/4 cup pecan halves, then continue
freezing until the ice cream is ready. After it is ready, remove
the dasher and fold in 1 cup fudge sauce (cold) into the ice cream
with a spatula.

CHOCOLATE REESE'S CUP: Chop 1 cup Reese's Peanut Butter cups,
place into bowl and refrigerate. After ice cream stiffens, add
the candy, then continue freezing until the ice cream is done.

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