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Strawberry Dark Chocolate Balsamic Frozen Custard

First, let me just say THANK YOU for all of the lovely comments and encouragement on my post yesterday.  I have the most wonderful readers, and I appreciate y’all more than I can express.

So, how about a treat?

We picked up two pints of absolutely gorgeous strawberries I’ve ever seen at the farmer’s market last weekend.  They were much smaller than the Driscoll berries that are so ubiquitous at the grocery store (or, as my brother calls it, the “gross-ery store”), and far sweeter.  Even The Young One, who usually limits his fruit consumption to apples, grapes, bananas and the occasional pear, has been eating them.  And while they’ve been delicious on their own, I was moved to do something else with them.

So I broke out the ice cream maker for the first time in over a year.

I have also become enamored with the dark chocolate balsamic vinegar I purchased online – it’s sweet, but not cloyingly so, with a rich, dark chocolate flavor and aroma.  Used in concert with the dark chocolate balsamic vinegar mustard we purchased at a nearby natural foods co-op and a high-quality extra virgin olive oil, it makes a incredible vinaigrette for a salad composed of bitter greens; drizzled over fresh berries it is incomparable.  It also gives this frozen custard complex and sophisticated flavor that in no way detracts from the sweet and slightly acidic strawberries.

I used organic, fair trade coconut milk for the custard but the coconut flavor is barely, if at all, detectable.  You can substitute an equal amount of heavy cream – about 2 cups – if you wish (and make actual ice cream), but made as written this is a marvelous dairy-free dessert that is rich and not too sweet.

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Balsamic Frozen Custard

Strawberry Dark Chocolate Balsamic Frozen Custard

serves 6

1 can coconut milk
3 large egg yolks
2 cups strawberries, quartered
3 tablespoons raw honey
3 tablespoons dark chocolate balsamic vinegar

Heat the coconut milk in the top of a double boiler over simmering – not boiling – water until very hot.

Place the egg yolks in a small bowl and beat lightly with a fork; gradually add about ½ cup of the hot coconut milk to the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the egg yolk/coconut mixture back into the top of the double boiler and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until the mixture has thickened enough to coat a spoon. Pour the custard into a medium mixing bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.

While the custard is chilling, place the strawberries, honey and dark chocolate balsamic vinegar in a heavy saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the strawberries are soft and “saucy.” Remove from heat and allow to stand until the custard has finished chilling.

Pour the custard and strawberry mixture into an ice cream maker and freeze according the manufacturer’s instructions.

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