Thanks to all of you for your input. I made the ice cream today and it was out of this world! I did a hybrid from a couple of recipes - one from Ruth Reichl in Gourmet - and one on Epicurious.
Here it is:
Makes about 1 Quart
1 cup whole milk
1 cup 35% cream
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
10 dried pequin chilies (lightly crushed)
7 oz Lindt Swiss Bittersweet Chocolate (49% cacao min.)1/2 cup plus 3 T sugar
3 T water
6 large egg yolks
1/4 tsp salt
1. Bring milk, cream, vanilla bean and chilies just to a boil, remove from heat
2. Chop chocolate finely and put in a heatproof bowl
3. Stir together 1/2 c sugar and 3 T water in a saucepan and swirl for 10 minutes until golden caramel, wiping down sides of pot with cold water and a pastry brush if crystals form
4. Strain milk mixture to remove chilies and vanilla bean and add to caramel, whisking until caramel is melted
5. Beat egg yolks, remaining sugar, and salt in a stand mixture for about 4 minutes until ribbon takes 2 seconds to dissolve and is tripled in size
6. Add hot milk mixture to yolks in a slow stream whie beating on med speed
7. Transfer custard to a pot and bring up to 170 degrees, just under a boil
8. Pour hot custard over chocolate and allow to sit for a minute to melt, then whisk to combine and allow to sit for about 30 minutes stirring occasionally until it reaches room temp.
9. Freeze in ice cream maker and then into the freezer for at least an hour
This is a rich, velvety ice cream that has a bit of bite to it. A perfect 10!