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I planned on writing about the weather and how it hasn’t been as hot as usual. How there have been no car cookies this summer, because there have been no days over 100 degrees. How I haven’t even made it to the beach yet. But you know what? Only New Englanders enjoy chatting about the weather, and it just didn’t seem like something that would be fun to read.
Where do I go instead?
At the time, Can’t Buy Me Love, License to Drive, The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink, The Goonies, Some Kind of Wonderful, Heathers, Better Off Dead, etc., etc., etc. were IT, rocked my world, and I loved them all. What I don’t have in my own collection, I supplement with a Netflix streaming subscription. I love my 80s movies.
It’s funny watching these gems as an adult, though. I often turn them on in the background when working on blog posts, offering something familiar that doesn’t require my full attention; I’ve viewed them so many times already. Even with them as background noise, you discover the formula present in just about every teen film that somehow escaped your notice the first time around. And they all feel familiar–new to you or not–because none of them is really breaking any ground. It’s comfortable. It’s safe. Yet you still love them, so entwined with your childhood that they cannot be extricated; they’re a part of you.
It’s always disappointing when I try to share these treasures with my children, though. Much like when I showed them Eat It on YouTube a month ago, their reaction is never as exuberant as I expect. Sure, they appreciate Better Off Dead and The Goonies, but the rest? Not worth their time. And maybe it’s just because times have changed. The plots that worked 25 years ago don’t work anymore. The world is a different place. And while I never have looked back with nostalgia on the 80s, I can appreciate the simplicity of a time without rampant technology; a more wholesome (for the most part) period where swear words are eschewed in favor of “freaking” and “darn it” and the biggest problems are if the unpopular boy/girl can figure out how to become cool and fit in with the crowd. Until s/he realizes that s/he is better off being his/her own weird self.
The real world isn’t as simple.
So while these aren’t exactly rich pieces of entertainment, at least there’s a good take-away: be yourself. And the rest will work itself out.
This ice cream, though, is rich. And deep. And worthy of your full attention. So thick and creamy, it’s almost like eating frozen pudding instead of ice cream. You can skip the peanut butter cups if you want a deeply euphoric adult experience… but the kid inside me insisted upon them. You won’t be sorry.
- 2 cups heavy cream
- ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used a blend of regular and Dutch process)
- 1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee grounds
- 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- pinch sea salt
- 5 large egg yolks
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 16-20 mini peanut butter cups, unwrapped and chopped roughly
- In a 2-quart, heavy-bottomed sauce pan, whisk 1 cup of the heavy cream with the cocoa powder and espresso.
- Heat over medium heat until it just starts to boil, whisking frequently, then cook for an additional 30 seconds, whisking constantly.
- Remove from heat and add the chocolate chips and the rest of the heavy cream and stir until smooth, then transfer to a 2-quart mixing bowl, scraping the sides well. Place a strainer over the top and set aside.
- In the same sauce pan, combine the milk, sugar, and sea salt. Stirring often, heat until warm.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks.
- Add a few spoonfuls of the warmed milk mixture to the egg yolks, mixing constantly (this is tempering the eggs to prevent them from becoming scrambled).
- Pour the egg mixture into the rest of the warmed milk, stirring constantly. Cook until thickened to the point that it coats the back of a spoon.
- Pour the custard through the strainer into the chocolate mixture (so as to remove any eggs that did maybe accidentally become a little scrambled... it happens). Add the vanilla extract.
- Stir until well incorporated and smooth.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, and up to 12 hours.
- Freeze in an ice cream machine per manufacturer's instructions.
- Transfer to an airtight container, layering the ice cream with the peanut butter cups.
- Cover and freeze to set at least 4 more hours.
- Best eaten within 2 days.
- Solid Stainless Steel Ice Cream Scoop (this hefty scoop makes easy work of even the hardest ice creams…which this ice cream is not)
- Mini Chopper (chop, chop, chop your toppings away!)
- Small Silicone Spatula (can never get enough silicone spatulas)
- Medium Square LockTop Container (perfect for storing your ice cream!)
- 4-Piece Mini Measuring Beaker Set (a science set for your kitchen!)
- Sugar Dispenser (also great for sprinkles and other fun toppings)
- 2-Cup Angled Measuring Cup (for lazy people like me who tend to eyeball it instead of getting down to eye level)