2ouncesunsweetened chocolate baking block (good quality, at least 55%)
½cupbeer (both stout and a pale ale work well)Try Guinness (stout) or Sierra Nevada's Pale Ale
Before beginning, make sure your ice cream maker freezer bowl is frozen (if needed).
Finely chop chocolate into small slivers, and set aside.
Mix Milk with Thickeners:
Mix Milk + Cornstarch: Mix ¼ cup of the milk and all the cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk until the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Set aside.
Mix Milk + Cream Cheese: Warm cream cheese and another ¼ cup of milk for 20 seconds in the microwave. Whisk together until smooth. Whisk in the salt. Set aside.
Make the Ice Cream Base:
Place the remaining 1 ¾ cups milk, cream, sugar, and honey in a medium saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking frequently. Reduce the heat and simmer for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
Whisk about ½ cup of the hot milk mixture into the cornstarch mixture. Slowly pour the cornstarch and milk mixture back into the hot milk, whisking constantly. Return to medium heat and cook, whisking frequently, until it comes to a boil. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from the heat.
As soon you remove the mixture from the heat, begin whisking in the chocolate. Continue whisking until all the chocolate is added and the mixture is smooth.
Whisk in the cream cheese mixture. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
Slowly pour the stout into the mixture, and whisk until smooth.
Chill the Ice Cream Base:
Let the mixture cool to room temperature, and then chill the ice cream base for at least 4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
Make the Ice Cream:
Optional: Pour chilled mixture into a blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds. This will help add air bubbles into your ice cream, and make it lighter. Skip if you don’t have a blender, or if you’re using a high-end ice cream machine that adds air while churning.
Pour mixture into ice cream maker, and churn according to your machine's directions. In the last minute or two of churning, add the pretzels, and let the ice cream machine mix them into the ice cream for you.
Scrape the ice cream into a container, and lay wax paper directly on top of the ice cream (to keep ice crystals from forming on top). Seal with a lid (or plastic wrap or foil) and freeze for 2-3 hours or until hardened.Tip: Ice cream will harden more quickly in a shallow container.
Keep frozen, and use within 2 months. Keep the container sealed and the wax paper directly on top of the ice cream.