Shiitake Mushroom Ice Cream with Chocolate-Covered Bacon Bits
1 lb. bacon
2 cups whole milk
2 cups heavy cream
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
1 lb. shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
½ cup sugar
3 egg yolks
3 cups dark chocolate, melted
Pan fry or bake ½ the bacon off until crispy and set aside on paper towels to cool and drain excess grease. In a medium size sauce pan add the milk, cream, vanilla extract, remaining ½ of the bacon, and ¾ of the mushrooms. Bring milk mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 10 minutes stirring often with a high temp spatula.
While that is simmering, in a mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until the yolks take on an opaque pale yellow color. Then strain the milk mixture through a china cap and return to the sauce pan. Discard the strained bacon and mushrooms. Then gradually ladle the milk a little at a time into the yolks, while whisking continually. Once the milk and yolks are combined, return to the sauce pot and bring to a simmer, stirring with the spatula every 30 seconds or so. Simmer the ice cream base for 10 minutes or until the base is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
After the base has simmered, strain through a china cap and pour into a shallow pan and place in the refrigerator to cool — the closer to 32 degrees the better. Once cooled, place the base in an ice cream machine and turn on.
While the ice cream is being made, take the cooked bacon and dip it into the melted dark chocolate and coat it completely. Place on a greased cookie rack to cool and harden. If desired, you can crumble one or two pieces to put on top of plated ice cream scoops as a garnish.
After the bacon has been coated ,put the remaining chopped mushrooms in a mixing bowl and spoon enough chocolate on them to coat and be able to form into a ball with a spoon in the bowl. Spoon the chocolate mushroom ball onto a piece of greased sheet pan and spread out until its about a ¼-inch in thickness; allow to cool and harden.
As the ice cream is just about done, take the chocolate covered bacon and mushrooms and crumble into the ice cream machine. Stop the machine as everything mixes just enough to combine. Spoon out the ice cream into a container that has an air tight lid and place in the freezer to set.
To serve, scoop out desired amount into a serving bowl and garnish with crumbled bacon and or whipped cream.
Recipe by Robert W., Flik Independent School Dining Executive Chef