I Love Chocolate

by Stephanie Zonis


White Chocolate-Lemon Ice Cream

Generous 1 quart


White chocolate isn't usually my favorite, but I could eat this all day. It's very smooth and quite rich, with a definite lemon aftertaste. You can omit the lemon rind if you wish. Please use top-quality white chocolate for this; cocoa butter should be one of the first couple of ingredients. You'll need a candy thermometer to make the base, and a one-quart capacity ice cream freezer to make the ice cream. The custard must chill at least six hours before it is churned, so plan accordingly.

My favorite way to serve this is with fresh fruit on top or on the side. Sliced strawberries would be delicious, of course (look for the Strawberry-and-Chocolate Sundae elsewhere in this column, and make the strawberry topping for this ice cream). You could also use blueberries, raspberries, or peeled, diced mango. This is best eaten within three days of churning.


2 cups heavy cream, divided
3/4 cup whole milk
Grated zest 1 to 2 medium lemons
   (no white pith)
9 ozs. best-quality white chocolate,
   finely chopped
6 egg yolks, from eggs graded "large"
1/3 cup granulated sugar
Few grains salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbsp. orange liqueur


In heavy-bottomed, nonaluminum, 1-1/2 to 2 quart pot, combine 1 cup cream (reserve remainder), whole milk, and lemon zest. Stir over medium heat just until mixture simmers. Remove from heat, cover tightly, and allow to stand 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in medium heatproof bowl, place chopped chocolate. In small saucepan over low heat, heat 2/3 cup of reserved cream (reserve 1/3 cup) over low heat, stirring often, until very hot. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand about 2 minutes, then stir or whisk until smooth. If necessary, place bowl of chocolate over warm water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl), and stir often until melted and smooth, then remove from heat and hot water. Note: White chocolate can be stubborn about melting, but it is important not to get it too hot. If you cannot get your white chocolate mixture smooth after a reasonable length of time over the warm water on low heat, transfer the mixture to a food processor fitted with a steel blade, and process briefly only until no lumps of white chocolate remain.

In separate heatproof medium bowl, combine egg yolks, sugar, salt, and reserved 1/3 cup cream. With spoon, beat until well-mixed. Set aside near stovetop.

After 20 minutes, reheat lemon zest liquid over medium heat, stirring often, just to a simmer. Remove from heat. Very gradually add to yolk mixture, stirring the latter constantly. Return this custard to the pot. Cook and stir over medium heat to a temperature of 174 degrees F on a candy thermometer (this custard thickens substantially toward end of cooking time). Remove from heat immediately.

Gradually stir or whisk about half the custard into the white chocolate mixture, then turn this blend back into the pot and stir well. Stir in vanilla. Strain through a fine strainer into pitcher or liquid measuring cup of at least 5-cup capacity, pressing on lemon zest left in strainer to extract all liquid from it. Cool briefly, then chill. When cold, cover top of pitcher or liquid measuring cup with a piece of paper towel so it doesn't touch the custard, then cover tightly with plastic wrap (if any condensation forms on the inside of the plastic wrap, the paper towel will absorb it before it can drip into the custard). Chill at least 6 hours or overnight.

Stir cold custard well before using. Freeze in an ice cream freezer according to manufacturer's instructions. When about 3/4 frozen, add orange liqueur, 1 Tbsp. at a time. Store in freezer; eat within three days of churning.

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This page created June 1999