Now that the Winter Olympics are over, we’re at the halfway point in the 12 Days of Oscar series. Today’s film is the 2001 film Monster’s Ball. Halle Berry won the award for Best Actress for her portrayal of Leticia, who falls for a widowed prison guard (Hank, played by Billy Bob Thornton) following the execution of her husband. The film is so much deeper and more complicated than I can explain here without giving too much away. Monster’s Ball was also nominated for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen but lost to Gosford Park.
Early in the film, Leticia works as a waitress in a diner that Hank frequents. He orders chocolate ice cream, and it is served to him in a white bowl with a white plastic spoon. This is just one of the many encounters he will have with Leticia, and one of the many ways color is used in the film.
This chocolate ice cream recipe is my new favorite thing. It blows away any other ice cream I’ve ever had or ever made. Use a good cocoa powder, because that’s the star of this show. Chop the chocolate fairly finely so that it melts a little more quickly and save yourself a little elbow grease. Also, be sure to have enough ice on hand to make an ice bath for the mixture, to cool it before it goes in to churn.
Chocolate Ice Cream
- 1 C. whole milk
- 4 tsp. corn starch
- 1 C. heavy cream
- 1 C. evaporated milk
- 2/3 C. sugar
- 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder, natural or Dutch-process
- 3 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Mix a few Tbsp. of the milk in a small bowl with the corn starch until smooth.
Heat the remaining milk, cream, evaporated milk, sugar, and corn syrup in a 4 quart saucepan.
When the mixture comes to a moderate boil, whisk in the cocoa powder, then let the mixture cook at a modest boil for 4 minutes.
After 4 minutes, whisk in the cornstarch mixture then continue to cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens slightly.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the chopped chocolate and salt, stirring until completely melted and smooth.
Stir in the vanilla extract.
Transfer the ice cream mixture into a resealable plastic bag, then submerge the bag in a bowl full of ice.
Let it sit until completely cool, about 30 minutes, adding more ice during the cooling period if necessary.
Remove the bag from the bowl of ice and wipe off any excess water.
Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer’s directions.