As much as I like Mexican chocolate, I've always preferred to nibble on a little piece rather than make hot chocolate with it, which is what it's most known for. The combination of dark chocolate, cinnamon, and coarse sugar is unusual and spectacular, but that should come as no surprise, since it was the Aztecs, after all, that gave chocolate to the world. They ought to have known a thing or two about what to do with the stuff. The Aztecs had adopted it from the Mayan Culture, and drinks made of chocolate combined with honey, nuts, seeds, and spices were used in rituals by priests and nobleman. Chocolate was so valued that it was even used as a currency. Naturally, the Spaniards fell in love with it (who wouldn't?), and upon taking it back to Spain, it became the official drink of the King. Europeans began preparing it with milk and sugar, and hot chocolate became all the rage.
This chocolate, with it's rustic and earthy appeal made for some incredible ice cream. If you're not familiar with it, you'll find it in the international aisle of most markets. It's sold under the name Abuelita or Ibarra, and comes packaged in boxes of discs that are made up of small triangles.
1 1/2 discs Mexican chocolate
2/3 cups sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups milk
Put the chocolate and cream in a large, heat-safe bowl. Set it over a saucepan of simmering water and stir occasionally until the chocolate has melted and is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat and set a mesh strainer across the top.
In a medium saucepan, heat the milk and sugar over medium low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
In a separate medium bowl, beat the egg yolks, then gradually add some of the warm milk-sugar mixture, whisking as you pour. Pour the warmed eggs back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the custard is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Strain the custard into into the chocolate mixture and stir until smooth.
Set the bowl over a large bowl of ice water. Stir the custard until cool, then cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled (3 hours or overnight).
Freeze in an ice cream machine according to the manufacturer's instructions.
Makes about 1 quart.