This is the closest thing I’ve had to a true calling.
Booze + ice cream. Join them in perfect harmony, then slip away quietly while they live together in forever-bliss and read the Sunday newspaper over coffee together. (Although, to be honest, I’m good at crosswords and they’ll probably call me about 16-down anyway.)
Campari, for the unfamiliar, is a bitter, citrusy Italian aperitif. If you’ve ever had a negroni, Campari made it gorgeously red, bitter, and fragrant. Here, it makes bittersweet chocolate taste like… Just sweet chocolate. Campari laughs at the “bitter” in “bittersweet” 60% cacao. What is that, baby food?
If you would like Campari chip ice cream, you probably already know that. If you’re not sure… I’m not going to tell you to go buy a bottle so you can try this. I’m sensible. That said, you could just skip the Campari part: add some vanilla, mint extract, or leave it plain–I won’t judge you for missing out on the “bitter” part of this bitter, sweet, creamy, cool dream.
Everything here is standard operating procedure a la Gospel of Jeni’s Splendid: milk, cream, sugar, salt, corn starch, corn syrup, cream cheese. And then everyone went to the bar and picked up Campari, because why wouldn’t they?
I first tried this with Campari’s gentle cousin, Aperol, but in the world of boozy ice cream, you need stuff that packs a punch. Creamy texture is a precious, delicate thing, and adding too much of anything not-creamy is a dangerous game. (Well, as dangerous as playing with pasteurized dairy can be.)
So, yes. Aperol just wasn’t bitter enough and probably needs to live a little harder, meet a con artist, and get its heart broken. Or something.
This custard situation looks like a cloud of soft, pillowy bubble gum, doesn’t it? Looks: often deceiving.
Nothing deceiving about a pile of chocolate, though–you know what’s up here. Chocolate chips would work too, but I love just chopping up a bar. Irregular chunks! Chocolate dust! It is kind of the best.
A little splash of Campari–if you really like this stuff–is a nice touch. Don’t do this, though:
…Because it is all for show. That’s flashy, flashy overkill. You’ll have to excuse me: I wear a lot of black and nothing with writing practically ever, so I overcompensate with gifs. #deepsecrets
I sure hope Campari and ice cream are happy together. Something tells me those kids are gonna be juuuust fine!
- 1/4 cup Campari
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
- 4 ounces bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
- Bring the Campari to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes or so, until reduced by about half (I know this is a "duh," but keep a close eye on it in case of flare-ups. Probably won't happen, but you never know).
- Combine 1/4 cup of the milk and the cornstarch until smooth and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, whisk together remaining milk and the cream along with the sugar, corn syrup, Campari reduction, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook for 4 minutes, then stir in cornstarch mixture.
- Return to a boil and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Pour 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture into a small bowl with the cream cheese and whisk until completely smooth, then whisk this into the rest of the milk mixture. Cover and chill thoroughly.
- When mixtures is completely chilled, churn ice cream according to manufacturer instructions, then fold in the chocolate chunks and transfer to a storage container before freezing. Makes a quart.