My friend Ben loves the English dessert Jaffa Cake, which you can’t really get here in the States. It’s a sponge cake with orange jelly and chocolate coating. Jelly is a bit outside of my skill set but I decided to do orange curd instead. I make lemon curd rather frequently but I might even like the orange curd more. Chocolate shavings completed the illusion.
Ben’s Chocolate with Orange Curd
1 ½ cups milk
1 ½ cups cream
½ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
3 egg yolks
½ teaspoon salt
4 oz finely chopped bittersweet chocolate
For the curd
8 tablespoons butter
3 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup orange juice, strained
2 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
zest of one orange
Make the curd first. Mix the salt, sugar, and cornstarch in a bowl until well blended. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks. In a small pot over medium heat, whisk to combine the juice, zest, sugar, salt, cornstarch, and butter. When the butter has melted and the mixture is warm, add ½ cup to the bowl with the egg yolks and whisk until the yolks are blended into the mixture, then add back into the pot. Whisk constantly as the mixture thickens; once it starts to hold the marks of the whisk briefly as you stir, remove from heat and place into a small bowl until cool, then refrigerate.
Cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Whisk to combine cream, milk, ½ cup sugar, ground and salt in a medium pot. With a paring knife, scrape out the seeds from each half of the vanilla bean and add to the pot. Add the two halves of the bean as well. Heat over medium heat for a few minutes, but do not let it boil. Once the mixture is hot, remove from heat and cover for thirty minutes.
Whisk three egg yolks in a medium bowl. It’s OK if there are some traces of egg white — no need to be a perfectionist — but try to minimize that. Position a strainer over a large bowl.
Once the bean has steeped, remove the two halves of the vanilla bean from the pot and discard. Reheat the dairy mixture. Once the mixture is warm, slowly ladle about a cup into the egg yolks, whisking with one hand while ladling with the other to temper the yolks.
Once complete, transfer the yolk mixture to the pot, and then return to medium heat. Stir the mixture with a rubber spatula, scraping the bottom at times. Once the custard is thick enough to slightly coat the back of the spatula (another sign: you will start to notice that scraping the bottom of the pot encounters some solid residue), remove from heat and pour through the strainer into the bowl.
Place the bowl in an ice bath to cool for thirty minutes (if you’re too lazy, it’s ok to just do this on the counter). Then, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid and refrigerate for at least two hours before churning. Churn according to manufacturer’s instructions, adding the chopped chocolate once the mixture is mostly solid.
In the container you plan to freeze the ice cream with, place about a quarter of the orange curd on the bottom and smooth with the back of a spoon or an offset spatula. Continue in layers as much as possible, finishing with a layer of orange curd. Freeze for at least eight hours.