What is it about ice cream that makes us all feel so good? Ice cream calms me down when I’m stressed, and of course it’s also delicious! For simple flavors like vanilla, you can buy good ice cream at the store. But if you’re in the mood for chocolate, you can’t get the same rich, decadent chocolate flavor from store-bought ice cream that you can by making it yourself. For this recipe, I use really good imported milk chocolate and cocoa powder, plus a splash of Cognac and vanilla to take down the sweetness. And of course, crushed Oreos make everything better, right? This is my perfect make-ahead summer party dessert!
Place the cream and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl. Heat just until the chocolate melts, stirring occasionally. Off the heat, whisk in the cocoa powder, vanilla and Cognac and set aside.
In a medium (4 1/2-inch-diameter by 6-inch-high) saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk, sugar and salt until hot but not simmering. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cornstarch. Slowly whisk the hot milk mixture into the egg mixture, then pour it back into the saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat for a few minutes, stirring almost constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens like heavy cream. (Don’t allow it to boil!) Cook for 30 seconds, scraping the bottom of the pan with the spoon. The mixture should coat the spoon and if you run your finger down the back of the spoon, it will leave a clear trail.
Immediately, pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into the chocolate mixture and stir to combine. Cover and chill completely in the fridge or over a bowl of ice water. Transfer to an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Mix in the Oreos in the last few minutes. Transfer to a container or loaf pan, cover and freeze. Soften slightly, scoop and serve frozen.