One problem with fall in Maine is not that it gets colder, leaves fall off trees and flowers die. It’s that ice cream stands close up. I understand why no one wants to stand in line in, say, 20 degrees above zero with the wind howling, but ice cream tastes good in winter, too. And when you have a hankering for an ice cream sundae from the little place down the road, you are out of luck. This puts us in the do-it-yourself department.
My favorite sundae is hot fudge with chocolate ice cream and maybe one scoop of coffee, or sometimes a scoop of orange sherbet. To my mind, chocolate and orange is a great combo.
You can certainly buy your favorite ice creams and even buy ready-made hot fudge sauce. The better ones can be a little pricey and the cheaper ones are mostly corn syrup and light on chocolate flavor — I know, I am being picky. Making ice cream and fudge sauce can be fun and if you have a modern ice cream maker with the insert you put in the freezer then plug in to churn, the whole process can be fairly easy to do and clean up after.
The very rich chocolate ice cream recipe that follows is a favorite, made from scratch and it dates, believe it or not, to 1882. I found it in a cookbook called “Practical Cooking and Dinner Giving” by Mary F. Henderson. Because it uses lots of yolks, I always made it along with a coconut cake that needed four egg whites plus two more for the icing. I eat less cake these days and so now I close my eyes and ditch the whites. After all, I don’t make this ice cream often.
The hot fudge sauce came from my summer island neighbor Peggy Tirschwell who dribbled it over an ice cream dessert I had at her house this summer. It is absolutely brainlessly easy to make.
Chocolate Ice Cream
Makes a generous quart of ice cream
2 cups milk
1 cup sugar
4 ounces (squares) unsweetened chocolate
6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon gelatin
2 tablespoons hot water
2 cups whipping cream
Scald the milk in the top of a double boiler. Add the sugar and the chocolate, and keep hot, stirring until the chocolate melts. Remove about a cup of the hot milk and sugar mixture and stir the yolks into it, then add that mixture back into the rest of the milk and sugar. Cook over hot water in the double boiler until the custard will coat the back of a spoon. Add the gelatin dissolved in the hot water and the vanilla. Chill the mixture in the refrigerator until it is cold. When you are ready to freeze the ice cream, whip the two cups of cream until you have fairly firm peaks, then fold it into the custard and churn it in the ice cream maker until it is firm. Scoop it out into a container to freeze firmly and lick the beater from the churn.
Hot Fudge Sauce
Makes about three-quarters of a cup of sauce
2 ounces (squares) unsweetened chocolate
6 tablespoons of water
½ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 “inch” of a stick (one and a half tablespoons) of butter
Melt chocolate in the water, stirring until it is all dissolved. Add the sugar and the salt and cook until it thickens a bit. Stir in the butter and vanilla.
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