Preparation / Directions:
Make the custard base: In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, 1 tablespoon of the sugar and salt until blended. In a small bowl, stir the cocoa powder with a whisk to break up any lumps. In a heavy, large non-corrosive saucepan, bring the remaining sugar and half-and-half to a gently boil. Whisk about 1/4 cup of the hot half-and-half into the cocoa powder and stir until it is a smooth paste. Return the cocoa mixture to the saucepan and whisk until smooth. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Gradually whisk about 1 cup of the hot half-and-half mixture into the beaten egg yolks until blended. Return this mixture to the saucepan. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with a flat-edged wooden spoon, for 2 to 4 minutes, or until the custard has thickened slightly. It is done when you can run your finger down the back of the custard-coated spoon and a path remains for several seconds. Do not let the custard come to a boil. Remove pan from the heat and stir in the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Strain the custard through a sieve into a non-corrosive metal bowl. Place the bowl over a larger bowl of ice water and stir the custard for 5 to 10 minutes, or until cool. Stir in the vanilla. Remove the bowl of custard from the bowl of ice water. Cover the surface of the custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight, until very cold. Freeze the Ultra Deep Dark Chocolate Ice Cream: Scrape the chilled chocolate mixture into the container of an ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturers instructions. Transfer the ice cream to a bowl and smooth the top. Cover the surface of the ice cream with plastic wrap and cover the bowl tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze the ice cream overnight.