Ultimate Chocolate Ice Cream

DSC02471I really don’t like flying. The loss of control (you’re hurtling through the air at 34,000 feet at unimaginable speeds!), the long periods of sitting down, the dry air and pressure differential (hello explosive sinus headache!), the forced proximity to other people (does your elbow have to rest on my ribs? is that Chanel No. “stale smoke and onions” you’re wearing? what part of I-am-wearing-headphones-so-that-I-don’t-have-to-talk–to-you do you not understand?), are only some of the pleasures of flying that I wouldn’t mind never having to experience again.

We flew back yesterday from Hilton Head Island where we visited Steve’s dad, brother, and sister-in-law. Since Hilton Head Island airport is smaller than a Walmart, the only planes that land there are tiny propeller ones. We got into one that supposedly would fly all the way to Washington D.C. It did, but only after it shook and tumbled as it landed enough to make me think about reaching for the barf bag twice. And then, when safely on the ground, I turned airport mode off on my phone to find a voicemail that – surprise! – our flight to New York was cancelled – thank you for flying US Airways – you are now scheduled to fly tomorrow at 9am – good luck.


Fortunately, a helpful agent booked us on a Delta flight which would arrive in New York at the same time as our cancelled flight. Then as soon as we sat down in that plane, two college girls sat behind us. And then one of them – tan, dirty blond hair, short shorts – took a really deep breath and started talking without.a.break for the entire flight. Have you read Kerouac’s “On the Road”? The stream of thought chain of words that never lets up? Like that, except less interesting and delivered in the sentence-as-a-question cadence of valley girl speak that continued on through the flight, through the deplaning, all the way into the terminal until the other girl (who barely managed a few “uh-huh”s and “yeah”s the entire time) ducked into a bathroom, presumably to escape.

Hopefully, your Memorial Day travels are a little less eventful. So, as we begin the summer season, I offer you this recipe for the ultimate chocolate ice cream. It’s got a couple of ingredients that are tougher to find and which you can replace. But if you find them, the result will be worthwhile. Almost worth flying for.

DSC02743Ultimate Chocolate Ice Cream

Note: Gianduja is an Italian chocolate spread that contains about 30% hazelnut paste. It comes in blocks and it’s solid, not liquid. If you can’t find it, use good quality milk chocolate instead. I like Sharfgen Berger Extra Rich Milk Chocolate. Also, if you can’t find malted milk powder you can omit it from the recipe, but try to find it. It makes a big difference.


2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons black cocoa
3 tablespoons Dutch process cocoa
125 gr sugar
Pinch of salt
2/3 cup malted milk powder
170g gianduja, chopped (or use good quality milk chocolate)
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Place the chopped gianduja (or milk chocolate) in a medium bowl and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, add the cream, cocoa, sugar, salt and malted milk powder. Whisk gently while heating over medium heat until combined. When the mixture comes to a boil, pour over chopped gianduja in bowl. Whisk until gianduja is completely melted and incorporated. Add milk and vanilla and whisk to combine.

Let it cool and chill, covered, in the refrigerator. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Banana Peanut Butter Malt Shake


Ok, so my last post was a bit of a downer. Which wasn’t really my intention but I guess that’s just how it ended up coming out as I wrote it down. In any case, I didn’t want to leave y’all with such a sad taste for the week. So, consider this mid-week post an emotional palate cleanser. Sort of like a trou normande, the traditional french palate cleanser of a shot of calvados between courses (sometimes with a ball of apple sorbet in the shot glass).


Except that in this case, instead of apple brandy and apple sorbet, you have bananas, peanut butter, and malted milk powder (a more than fair exchange, if you ask me). I don’t remember exactly when, but a couple of months ago I woke up one morning feeling an intense craving for a shake that combined these three flavors. I had never had anything like that before, but as I got out of bed, I could just taste the sweet and creamy shake with the unmistakable burn of the malted milk.

So, I made it that morning. And then again a few mornings later. And then again. And again. “Should we feel guilty for having dessert for breakfast?” Steve asked me. “Absolutely not!” I replied.


Banana Peanut Butter Malt Shake

Makes 2 8oz servings

1 ripe banana
1/3 cup malted milk powder
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (a brand that has sugar in it, like Jif or Skippy)
1 cup of milk
2 ice cubes

Add all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Serve and try not to drink it all at once.