I've had licorice ice cream on my to-do list all summer long but kept putting it off because it just doesn't strike me as a very summery flavor. However, now its fall but even though the leaves have turned bright yellow its still hot and summery outside. The perfect time to test out some fall ice cream flavors.
This ice cream has a smooth creamy licorice flavor with no hint of bitterness that can sometimes come with licorice flavored stuff.
We buy licorice ice cream whenever we see it at ice places but I had never tried making it myself. It's my boyfriend's favorite ice cream flavor (hence the spoon) and I've always loved the dapper grey colour of it.
I decided that the best place to start was with this licorice (liquorice?) toffee that we found at a candy shop near our house. It has no artificial flavors or colours and toffee melts better than those chewy licorice candies that are a bit easier to find.
For the ice cream base I went with the same recipe that I used for the buttered popcorn ice cream but reduced the sugar to just two tsp because the toffees are already loaded with sugar. Instead of using just the yolks of the eggs in the custard both of the entire eggs are beaten with the sugar until they reach the ribbon stage and then incorporated that way.
Once everything has melted it gets taken off the heat while the eggs get beaten with the sugar. When the eggs reach the ribbon stage the hot licorice and milk mixture is slowly beaten or whisked into the eggs. Then poured back into the pot and whisked over medium high heat until it thickens. I have to say that hot, grey custard isn't something that I'd normally find appealing but it was quite tasty. Much better frozen though.
Licorice Ice Cream
3 packages of Black Licorice Toffee (about 13 oz)
2.5 cups whole milk
1.5 cups heavy cream (aka whipping cream)
2 tsp sugar
1. Combine milk, cream, and chopped up licorice toffee. Stir over medium heat until toffee has melted completely. Once completely melted bring to a gentle simmer then remove from heat
2. In a separate bowl whisk or use a mixer to beat the eggs 2 tsp sugar until it reaches the ribbon stage
3. While still whisking/beating pour the warm milk into the eggs and beat until combine. Pour the egg milk mixture back into the clean pot and heat over medium until the mixture thickens while stirring constantly. The eggs will make a foam on top while you are heating it but once the mixture thickens they will start to incorporate.
4. Chill custard in fridge with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. I like to chill mine over night. Then churn in an ice cream maker and either enjoy it as a soft serve ice cream right away or put it in your freezer to firm up and enjoy as scoops of ice cream.