Do you ever get the feeling you’ve missed out on a major trend everyone else picked up on? That’s how I feel about malt. All of a sudden, everywhere I looked people were raving about malt and malted milk powder. In the Red Cat Cookbook there’s malted chocolate ice cream, pastry chef Claudia Fleming is going on about black and white malteds and Kate Zuckerman has banana malts. David Lebovitz claimed his malted milk ice cream was the only one of all those in his book he coveted for himself. Dorie has whopper drops, there are malt cookies and malt cheesecake! And to think, a few months ago I’d never even thought about malt!
Of course, I knew I had to try a malted ice cream, but which recipe to choose? Taking a scientific approach, I drew up a chart, listing all the malted chocolate ice cream recipes I had, and I threw in a couple malt ice cream recipes and plain chocolate recipes for good measure. In total, there were 13 recipes, and a trend quickly emerged. I put together a base recipe, then made one little variation: I reduced the ratio of milk and cream. Because of the thickening abilities of cocoa powder and the richness of chocolate, I knew this ice cream could be smooth, rich and creamy with less cream. You could even use all whole milk for a lower-fat version. And the result?
Perhaps I should just let the pictures speak for themselves. I am admittedly not much of a chocolate fiend, but this is an ice cream anyone can love. Smooth and luscious but with a hint of that malted tang, this is ice cream you won’t get in any store-bought container. It's finding and creating great recipes like these that I've undertaken this challenge. Oh, and this ice cream is even better if you add big toothsome chunks of malt balls. Definitely a reason to whip out the ice cream maker and be part of the trend.
P.S. If you're not a trendsetter, or just not into the malt thing, check out the variations below, where you'll also find the best chocolate ice cream I can think of.
Malted Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
I shouldn't admit this, but I recently made a half-batch of this and ended up consuming most of it in one day. It's that good. Though I like milk chocolate in compliment to the tang of malt, if you prefer dark chocolate you can use it. Malt powder is available in the grocery store next to the powdered and canned milk, do not confuse it with Ovaltine.
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sugar
3 oz milk chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup cocoa powder, sifted
1/2 cup malt powder
4 egg yolks
optional mix-in: malted milk balls (such as Whoppers or Maltesers), roughly chopped
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the one cup heavy cream with the malted milk powder. Place a mesh strainer on top of the bowl and set aside.
2. In a sauce pan, whisk together the 2 cups milk with the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until smooth. Whisk together the egg yolks in a small bowl. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Drizzle a little bit of the milk mixture into the egg yolks, stirring to combine, then add the egg yolks in a slow stream back into the milk in the saucepan. Return the pan to the heat and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Do not let boil or it will curdle. Remove the mixture from the heat and immediately stir in the chopped chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is melted and combined.
3. Pour the chocolate mixture through the strainer into the malted milk mixture and stir to combine. Place the mixture in the refrigerator to chill thoroughly, at least 4 hours. Process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's directions. Add the malted milk balls (if using), at the end of churning.
- Best-Ever Chocolate Ice Cream: for a plain chocolate ice cream, omit the malt powder and increase the cocoa powder to 3/4 cup. Even better if you make it with 2 cups cream and 1 cup milk.
- Malted White Chocolate Gelato: substitute white chocolate for the milk chocolate, omit the cocoa powder and increase the malt powder to 2/3 cup.
- Malted Chocolate Chip: add a handful of chocolate chips at the end of churning.
- It should go without saying that this makes great milkshakes.