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Icy treat carries flavor of malt and a ripple of fudge

  • NEW YORK TIMES

    Just as in the soda fountain drink, the main source of malt flavor for the ice cream is malted milk powder, with barley malt syrup added to pump up the malt essence without adding too much more sugar.

The summer after I moved back to Brooklyn from Manhattan, I created a weekly ice cream ritual.

I’d run 2-1/2 miles to the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory, order a chocolate malted and devour it on the sweaty walk home. Surely the 5-mile round trip would mitigate some of the damage done, I’d tell myself.

I always asked for a double portion of malted milk powder blended into the drink. It made it sweeter and more intensely malty, and so thick I could barely suck it through the straw. Imagine chocolate soft serve, but frothier, with a more complex taste.

This recipe captures the essence of that treat. It’s got the same chocolaty, creamy and malty flavors, churned into a satiny ice cream that’s veined with fudge sauce to create gooey, bittersweet ripples.

Just as in the soda fountain drink, the main source of malt flavor for the ice cream is malted milk powder. But because malted milk powder is made with heaps of sugar, there’s only so much one can add before the mixture turns cloying.

So to increase the malt factor without ending up with something that hurts your teeth, I augmented the malt powder with barley malt syrup. A sticky, dark amber liquid that’s heady and thick but not too sweet, you can find it in health food stores and online. (If you can’t find it, you can just leave it out; the ice cream will still be malty, though not quite as deeply so.)

I also add the malt syrup to the fudge sauce, where it does double duty. The syrup adds great flavor, and its viscosity helps keep the fudge sauce supple in the ice cream, so you end up with soft ripples and not rock-solid seams.

Make sure to use a light touch when folding the fudge sauce into the just-churned ice cream. Go for distinct marbling, not a thorough mixing. Otherwise you’ll lose the pleasure of your spoon hitting those discrete, dark pockets of fudge. Or skip the ripple and serve the ice cream with the fudge sauce on top.

You can also use the ice cream as a base of a fantastic chocolate malted. Put it in the blender with a little milk and let it all whirl.

Secondary measurements are listed here in milliliters and weights, for those who aim for precision.

Malted Milk Fudge Ripple Ice Cream

  • 2-1/2 cups (590 milliliters) heavy cream, divided
  • 2/3 cup (90 grams) malted milk powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) barley malt syrup (optional)
  • Pinch salt
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • >> Fudge ripple:
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) barley malt syrup (or substitute light or dark corn syrup)
  • 6 tablespoons (50 grams) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • >> For serving:
  • Whipped cream
  • Crushed malted milk balls or more malted milk powder

In a large bowl, whisk together 2 cups (470 milliliters) heavy cream, malt powder and vanilla. Set a mesh strainer over bowl. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, heat remaining 1/2 cup (120 milliliters) heavy cream, milk, sugar, malt syrup (if using) and salt over medium heat.

In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks. Slowly pour warm milk mixture into yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape warmed mixture back into saucepan.

Stir mixture constantly over medium heat, scraping bottom as you stir, until mixture thickens and coats a spatula, about 5 minutes. Pour custard through strainer into malted milk-cream mixture; whisk well. Let mixture cool to room temperature, then chill mixture thoroughly in refrigerator, at least 4 hours.

Meanwhile, prepare fudge: Whisk together sugar, malt syrup, cocoa powder, salt and 1/2 cup (125 milliliters) water in a medium saucepan. Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture begins to bubble at edges.

Continue to whisk until it just comes to a low boil. Cook 1 minute, whisking frequently. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla; let cool. Chill at least 2 hours, covered. Can be made up to 1 week ahead and refrigerated.

Freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions.

To create a ripple effect, dollop large spoonfuls of fudge ripple into ice cream storage container. Top with a layer of freshly churned ice cream, then another layer of fudge. Repeat until all of the fudge and ice cream are layered. (Use any leftover fudge to serve on top of ice cream.) Give mixture a quick stir to swirl together fudge and ice cream, but don’t overdo it. You’re looking for marbling. Freeze at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve ice cream topped by dollops of whipped cream, crushed malted milk balls or malted milk powder, and leftover fudge. Makes 1-1/2 quarts.

Nutritional information unavailable.

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