Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Chai

Pumpkin Latte Granita
So I’ve reached the end of my “Pumpkin Week”, and I’m ending it the only way I know how…with Ice Cream! I wanted to make a fall frozen yogurt, since it seems to be the big craze with everyone right now {Even though the amount of toppings people put on their frozen yogurt concoctions still amazes me} But my challenge was to use ingredients I already had in my kitchen before leaving for Portugal.

For ice cream inspiration I rely on Sweet Dream and Sugar Cones and decided I’d make my version of their Milk Chocolate Chai Spice. I’m a dark chocolate lover, and always have some organic chocolate bark lying around the house whenever I need a nibble to satisfy my cravings. The original recipe calls for whole spices that remind you of grandma spending hours mulling cider waiting for flavors to burst through their shells. Well, I didn’t have the time nor the whole version of those spices on hand, but I did have Pumpkin Chai Tea.Pumpkin Latte Granita

I added a few extra spices of my own to boost the flavor of the tea. This is a great tip for when you don’t have/feel like spending your money on spices you’ll only use a few times. {Using the aromatic blends in teas is also a great way to season poultry and fish with lemon}

This ice cream is a rich, smooth, chocolatey indulgence that almost resembles the consistency of frozen custard. The spices quietly kick in with their comforting flavors, once your taste buds pass the sweetness of the chocolate. Cloves, allspice, star anise, and peppercorns can easily make a dessert overpowering but using a tea blend and dark chocolate created a perfect pairing of seasonal flavors.

Nothing makes a better topping for ice cream than some warm salted caramel sauce!

Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Chai Ice Cream

Ingredients {Makes 1 quart}

6 bags – Pumpkin Chai Tea

2 sticks – Cinnamon

7 whole – Allspice pods

1  teaspoon – Ground Cinnamon

1 teaspoon – Ground Ginger

1/4 teaspoon – Ground Nutmeg

1 1/4 cups – Heavy Cream

1 cup – 1% Milk

1/4 cup – Granulated Sugar

1/4 teaspoon – Salt

5 large – Egg Yolks

6 oz {1 1/4 cups} – Dark Chocolate {finely chopped}

Recipe {Adapted from Bi Rite Creamery}

Empty the contents of the tea bags, the cinnamon sticks, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg into a saucepan, heat over medium-high heat and toast until the spices become aromatic {about 2 minutes} Add the cream, milk, sugar and salt. Remove the mixture from the heat when it begins to bubble around the edges. {Don’t let it get to a boil} Cover and let it steep for 30 minutes. {Stir it occasionally and taste how the chai flavor develops}

Whisk the yolks in a medium heat-proof bowl, just to break them up. Put the chopped chocolate in another medium heat-proof bowl, set aside. When the infused cream has developed its flavor, place it back on medium-high heat until it reaches a simmer and bring it down to medium heat. Scoop out 1/2 cup of the cream and you whisk the yolks. {Make sure to add the hot mixture slowly and whisk quickly, so you don’t curdle the eggs} Repeat with another scoop. Stir the cream mixture in the pan as you slowly pour the yolk mixture in.

Cook the base over medium  heat, constantly stirring until it has thickened {It should coat the back of your wooden spoon, about 2 minutes} Pour the hot mixture into the chocolate, whisk into smooth and all the chocolate has melted. Strain it through a mesh strainer into a container over a ice-water bath. Stir until the base has cooled, cover with plastic and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Freeze the base in your ice cream machine according to the manufacturers directions {Mine took about 20 minutes, maybe even less. It churned pretty quickly.} Remember when it leaves a mark as it churns, then you know you’ve hit the soft serve stage.

Enjoy immediately or freeze for at least 4 hours.

8 thoughts on “Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Chai

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