Irish Mist ice cream:
3 cups half-and-half
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons Irish Mist liqueur, divided
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
4 large egg yolks
1/8 teaspoon salt
Dark chocolate fondants:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2" cubes
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
7 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1. Make ice cream: Fill large bowl with ice water and set aside.
2. In small saucepan, combine half-and-half, 1/3 cup sugar, salt and 3 tablespoons liqueur. Using back of knife, scrape seeds from vanilla bean and add to pan. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Bring to boil, then remove from heat.
4. In medium bowl, whisk together yolks and remaining sugar until blended. Gradually pour half of hot cream mixture over egg mixture, whisking constantly. Pour mixture back into saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon until mixture thickens enough to coat back of spoon. It is done when you can run your finger down back of coated spoon and path remains in custard. Be careful not to boil custard or it will curdle.
5. Strain mixture into heatproof bowl and place bowl in ice bath; cool completely, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining liqueur. Press piece of plastic wrap onto surface of custard and refrigerate for several hours or overnight, until thickened and cold.
6. Process mixture in ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. Scrape ice cream into chilled freezer container. Cover and freeze until firm.
7. Make chocolate fondant: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Butter insides of eight 9-ounce straight-sided ramekins with butter. Dust each with flour, tapping out excess.
8. Put chocolate and butter in top of double boiler over hot, not simmering, water. Melt chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth and well-blended. Remove top part of double boiler from bottom and set aside to cool until tepid.
9. Put eggs, yolks and sugar in bowl of electric mixer fitted with wire whip attachment. Whip on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until thick and increased in volume. Add melted chocolate at low speed and mix until uniform in color. Remove bowl from mixer stand and fold in sifted flour.
10. Ladle batter into prepared ramekins and place on baking sheet. Bake for 12-16 minutes or until top is set, but center is still molten. Remove fondants from oven and unmold each onto dessert plate. Serve immediately accompanied by scoop of Irish Mist ice cream.
Marlfield House, Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland; phone (011) 353-55-21124, website www.marlfieldhouse.com.
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