Cacao Nib Gelato, from Bon Appetit, September 2009 issue

1 ½ cups heavy cream

1 ½ cups whole milk

½ cup cacao nibs

½ vanilla bean, split lengthwise (you could also use 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract or vanilla paste)

5 large egg yolks

¾ cups sugar

Combine heavy whipping cream, whole milk, and cacao nibs in heavy large saucepan. Scrape in seeds from 1/2 vanilla bean; add bean.  Bring mixture to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat. Cover and let mixture steep 30 minutes. Uncover and return to simmer.

Whisk 5 large egg yolks and 3/4 cup sugar in large heatproof bowl until mixture is pale yellow and slightly thickened. Gradually add hot cream mixture to yolk mixture, whisking until well blended.  Return mixture to same saucepan and stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens and coats back of spoon when finger is drawn across and instant-read thermometer inserted into custard registers 170°F, about five minutes (mine took less than five minutes).  Transfer custard to medium bowl, cover with plastic, and chill overnight (both times I’ve made this, I’ve chilled the custard at least twenty hours).

When ready to churn the ice cream, pour custard through fine strainer set over bowl; discard solids (cacao nibs and vanilla beans) in strainer. Transfer custard to ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer gelato to freezer container. Cover and freeze until ice cream is firm, at least 8 hours or overnight. Can be made three days ahead. Keep frozen.