Ginger ice cream is the most refreshing dessert.
On my deathbed, I believe that this thought might cross my mind “Gee, I wish I had made more ice cream.” Especially ginger ice cream with dark chocolate sauce. I first had this dessert at Barbara Tropp’s restaurant China Moon in San Francisco about 13 years ago. Eating alone at the bar, I watched dish after dish go by. Never before or since have I witnessed such dessert popularity. I almost always pass on dessert, but thankfully not that evening. And I was really full, too.
Ms. Tropp lost a battle with cancer some years ago, and this one dessert proves that she left the world a better place. Here’s why this works so beautifully and why it is so startling–the fresh ginger flavor encased in smooth creaminess is burning hot, the chocolate almost bitter. The dessert acts as a soothing palate cleanser and digestive, cleverly disguising its decadent richness. It’s unreal.
Here’s my version. I tend to use a lot of egg yolks in an ice cream custard for richness and creaminess. You can use fewer if you like. I also prefer to let the ice cream harden in a container in the freezer after I make it so that I can serve it as perfect little balls with the chocolate sauce.
- A heaping 1/4 cup chopped fresh ginger (I don't bother peeling it)
- 3/4 cup sugar, divided
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups half and half
- 5 egg yolks pinch of salt
- 1 cup heavy cream
Combine the water, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the ginger in a medium saucepan. Stir and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.
Remove from the heat. Let sit for an hour or two.
Combine the remaining sugar, half and half, egg yolks, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Whisk until smooth. Add to the ginger syrup.
Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until the custard is slightly thickened and creamy. You'll know it's ready when you begin to smell the sweet custard.
Stir in the heavy cream. Chill overnight. Strain through a sieve to remove the ginger.
Freeze according to your ice cream maker directions.
Makes about a quart or 8 to 10 small servings.
For the Dark Chocolate Sauce, 1 cup half and half 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped 2 tablespoons corn syrup (optional, it makes the sauce glossier) Bring the cream to a boil in a small sauce pan. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate. Keep stirring until smooth. Stir in the optional corn syrup. Serve warm over the ice cream. Store covered in the refrigerator. Microwave it for about 30 seconds, maybe a little longer, to soften it before serving. Makes about 2 cups.