Two people in search of dessert. Two ice cream add-ins. Two tries to get the custard right. Two spoons for digging in.
Ian and I were in the mood for ice cream this weekend, and as we walked through my neighborhood supermarket, we tried to think of what kind of ice cream we’d like to make. We were in the cookie aisle when he suggested cinnamon graham crackers. Of course, only the regular kind was in stock, so I suggested we make a quick batch of our own cinnamon grahams.
I’ve been eager to try this particular recipe for a while, especially since it’s been years since I last made graham crackers at home. I just needed a reason, and I think we can all agree that ice cream is one of the best reasons to do anything. The homemade graham crackers are really the star of the show, at least in my opinion, but it’s thanks to the supporting actors, spiced chocolate and turbinado custard, that they work so well. Graham crackers fresh from the oven and dusted with cinnamon sugar are so sensual a pleasure that it’s hard to believe they were invented to staunch unhealty carnal urges. But then, the Victorians were occasionally mistaken on other topics as well.
When we were planning the ice cream, we’d talked about chocolate and cookies, but I got so swept away by the idea of making those graham crackers that I forgot about the chocolate part of the plan until after we made the custard. Luckily, I have a stash of mysterious Valhrona cinnamon-chili chocolate balls, and they turned out to be the perfect match for this recipe. Any cinnamon spiced chocolate would be great here, though, or you could just use your favorite non-spiced chocolate and increase the cinnamon in the custard to 1/2 tsp and add a pinch of cayenne.
Spiced Chocolate Graham Cracker Crunch Ice Cream
- 2 1/2 c milk
- 4 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 c turbinado sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 c chopped chocolate bits (I used cinnamon-chili dark chocolate balls from Valrhona)
- 1c broken graham cracker bits (I made the Nancy Silverton recipe listed on 101 Cookbooks)
In a small sturdy pot, whisk the cornstarch and sugar together. Stir in 2c milk. Turn the heat to medium high until the mixture boils and foams, whisking all the while. Turn the heat to low and cook 1 minute to thicken and get rid of the raw cornstarch taste. Remove from heat and whisk in the cinnamon, vanilla, and remaining 1/2 c milk. Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate at least 4 hours or until the custard is thoroughly chilled.
Pour the chilled custard into your ice cream maker. When it’s pretty much done churning, stir in the chocolate and graham cracker bits by hand. Plop into storage containers and freeze at least 2 hours to firm up before scooping.