Chocolate Ice Cream

My young friend Audrey and I have many things in common. We both like to dress up with pretty aprons. We are both excruciatingly accurate with water guns in a swimming pool. We would both rather read a book than do anything too physically strenuous (water fights excepted). And we both have a serious love for rich chocolate desserts and pretty much any homemade ice cream. So when Audrey (age almost 15) suggested that we make chocolate ice cream, I was all over it. The credit for this recipe goes to Audrey, who has been making it for her family with great results. My own meager contributions were to include some salt and instant coffee (both intensify the chocolate taste), and vanilla to help deepen the overall flavor of the ice cream. The ice cream is rich, creamy, smooth, and super chocolate-y.

Chocolate Ice Cream Recipe

  • Prep time: 3 hours
  • Yield: Makes about 1 1/2 quarts.


  • 4 oz 60% baking chocolate
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2-cup sugar
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee (optional)
  • 3 egg yolks, whisked
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract



1 Melt chocolate in a double boiler (you can use a makeshift double boiler by placing a metal bowl over a small saucepan of boiling water, just don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). When melted, transfer to a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan, turn heat to medium low and add the boiling water, cocoa powder and half of the sugar. Whisk vigorously until there are no lumps. Remove from heat.


2 Add the milk, 1 cup of the cream, remaining sugar, instant coffee (if using), and the salt to the chocolate base, and whisk vigorously until fully incorporated, then use a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan. When the chocolate base is smooth, turn heat to medium high, stirring occasionally, wait until the base starts to steam. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium sized bowl. Once the chocolate base has heated to point of being steamy, temper the eggs by slowly pouring some of the hot base into the eggs while whisking the eggs vigorously to prevent them from cooking. Once you've incorporated about half of the base with the eggs, pour the egg mixture back into the pan with the rest of the chocolate base and stir to combine.


3 Turn heat to medium, and heat the base until it reaches 170°F. At this point the base will have thickened slightly and will just be getting steamy again. Remove from heat. Stir in the remaining cup of cold cream, to prevent further cooking. Pour the chocolate base through a mesh strainer in to a bowl to strain out any solids or curds, and place bowl in an ice bath to speed up the chilling. Stir in the vanilla.

4 Chill ice cream base for several hours, preferably overnight, until completely chilled. (To speed up this process you can put the ice cream base, still in its bowl in the ice bath, in the freezer for an hour, stirring every 20 minutes.) Churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. If you like soft ice cream, eat immediately. Otherwise put it in the freezer for a couple hours to firm up. Note that the ice cream may be quite hard when you first take it out of the freezer, so you may want to let it sit for a few minutes to soften before trying to scoop.

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The easiest chocolate ice cream ever from David Lebovitz, doesn't require an ice cream maker, includes ripe bananas, rum, and Bailey's liquor
Agave-sweetened chocolate ice cream also from David Lebovitz
Double chocolate peanut butter ice cream from Joy the Baker


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Showing 4 of 18 Comments

  • Krista

    That looks yummy! I have been looking for a good chocolate ice cream recipe to try with the new Cuisinart Soft Serve ice cream maker I just got for my birthday. Any idea if this would work, or would it be too thick?

    No idea on that ice cream maker. ~Elise

  • Marge

    I love deep dark chocolate desserts too. I mean what is life without dark chocolate? Not worth living, if you ask me. But I do not drink coffee or use it in cooking. Is there anything else I can use to deepen the chocolate flavor besides adding that mocha taste? I know Ina Garten adds coffee to her rich chocolate cake, but I am hoping you have an idea for me to heighten the chocolate flavor in some other way.

    Salt alone will do the trick. ~Elise

  • Susan

    This looks perfectly balanced to me. There are so many very dark chocolate ice creams on the market these days and they are so intensely flavored that you almost can’t taste the cream because of the overkill. It is supposed to be a flavored cream, right? It’s not too eggy either, which skews some homemade iced cream flavors. The kid knows her stuff! Can’t wait to make this.

  • Amy

    I’ve been looking for a good chocolate ice cream recipe that includes cocoa powder (it always lends the deepest chocolate flavor.) Also like that this one uses 3 egg yolks – my others all use 5-6.

    But one question – what do you mean by 60% ‘baking’ chocolate? Do you just mean 60% dark chocolate OR do you mean some sort of UNSWEETENED ‘baking’ type? I kind of think the former (since unsweetened isn’t usually referred to by percentage and also if it were that, I’d imagine the recipe would require more than 1/2 cup of sugar.)

    Hope that makes sense – appreciate the clarification!

    Regular dark chocolate. Sweetened, not unsweetened. :-) ~Elise

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