Happy St. Patrick's Day: Guinness Ice Cream

I thought I would post this recipe in honor of St. Patrick's Day. This is an Emeril recipe that I got off of the Food Network website a couple of years ago. I made it for a potluck and liked it quite a bit. Because I was afraid of it being too strong I did use less than the called-for amount of Guinness, but it ended up being very mild. I think that using the full amount would be fine, but you should always taste as you add and remember that flavors are milder when food is cold.

This yields about 1 quart, or 8 servings.

Guinness Ice Cream with Dark Chocolate-Honey Sauce

12 ounces Guinness Stout
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups whole milk
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise (or 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract)
6 each egg yolks
3/4 cup granulated sugar
pinch of salt

Dark Chocolate Honey Sauce
2 cups whipping cream
1/4 cup honey
20 ounces bittersweet chocolate -- finely chopped
2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large saucepan, simmer the Guinness until reduced by 3/4 in volume, about 8 minutes. Reserve.

Combine the cream and milk in a separate medium-sized, heavy saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the pan and add the vanilla bean halves. Scald by heating on medium until the edges begin to bubble. Remove from heat.

Beat the egg yolks and sugar and just a pinch of salt in a medium-sized bowl. Temper the yolks by slowly drizzling 1 cup of the hot cream into the yolks while constantly whisking the mixture. Gradually add this mixture in a slow steady stream to the remaining hot cream. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until nappe, or when the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (170F on an instant-read thermometer), about 5 minutes. Do not boil!

Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer into a clean container. Cover with plastic, pressing the wrap down so that it rests on the surface of the mixture. This keeps a skin from forming. If you already know how much of the Guinness reduction you want, you could add it at this point, but if you don't, it'll be easier to judge the strength when the base is cold. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Remove mixture from the refrigerator and add the Guinness reduction, tasting as you go and whisking until well blended. If you added the reduction before chilling, whisk the mixture anyway to eliminate any separation. Pour into the bowl of an ice cream machine and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. Transfer to an airtight container and freeze until firm and ready to serve.

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Dark Chocolate Honey Sauce

In a medium saucepan, combine cream and honey and scald by heating on medium until edges bubble. Remove from heat.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Add the hot cream slowly while whisking, then continue to whisk until smooth. Whisk in vanilla. Let stand until cool but still pourable. If you make this ahead you can rewarm it if necessary by placing the container in some warm water. You can also use the microwave, just keep an eye on it. Serve over ice cream.