- 4 cups half-and-half
- 1/2 vanilla bean pod, cut and scraped
- 2 sticks cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Pinch salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 8 whole egg yolks
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Chipotle Chocolate Sauce, recipe follows
- Whipped cream, for garnish
- Fresh mint sprigs, for garnish
- Maraschino cherry, for garnish
Combine the half-and-half, vanilla bean and seeds, cinnamon sticks, cinnamon and salt, in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat. Bring the half-and-half to a boil to scald it, and remove the saucepan from the heat.
Beat the sugar and egg yolks in a bowl. Add the half-and-half mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, to the beaten eggs and sugar, whisking in between each addition, until all is used. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the mixture becomes thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, strain through a fine mesh sieve and cool completely. Pour the filling into the ice cream machine and follow the manufacturer's instructions for churning time. Place ice cream in a freezer-safe container and freeze until firm, about 8 hours.
Line a baking sheet (that will fit in the freezer) with plastic wrap. Using a 1/2 cup ice cream scoop, form 8 large balls and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cover the ice cream balls with plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 2 hours.
Whisk together the 2 whole eggs and vanilla in a small bowl. Place the graham cracker crumbs in a medium bowl. Remove the ice cream balls from the freezer and dip, 1 at a time in the egg mixture and then in the graham cracker crumbs. Dip the ice cream balls a second time in the egg mixture and then again in the graham cracker crumbs, pressing to coat well. Place the ice cream balls on the baking sheet and return to the freezer. Freeze overnight, or until very firm.
Pour the vegetable oil into a medium stockpot to a depth of about 3 inches and preheat the oil to 375 degrees F. Remove the ice cream balls from the freezer 2 at a time and immediately drop into the hot oil and fry for 15 seconds. Remove from the oil with a large slotted spoon, draining well and place on the serving plate. Drizzle with the Chipotle Chocolate Sauce, garnish with whipped cream, fresh mint and a maraschino cherry if desired. Serve immediately. Repeat with remaining ice cream balls.
Chipotle Chocolate Sauce:
3/4 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
1/2 pound Mexican chocolate, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine the half-and-half, butter, and ground chipotle in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Heat the mixture until a thin paper like skin appears on the top. Do not boil. Add the chocolate and vanilla and stir until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth.
Remove from the heat and let cool.
The sauce can be kept refrigerated for several days, but it must be returned to room temperature before serving.
Yield: 1 1/2 cups