Chocolate Ice Cream

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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 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

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Method

1 Melt chocolate: 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).

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2 Add boiling water, cocoa powder, half of the sugar: When the chocolate has 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.

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3 Add milk, 1 cup cream, remaining sugar, instant coffee, salt: 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, increase the heat to medium high, stirring occasionally, wait until the base starts to steam.

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4 Temper egg yolks with  hot chocolate mixture: 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.

5 Heat the base until it starts to thicken, remove from heat, add chilled cream: Lower the 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.

6 Strain out any solids, place in bowl in ice water bath, stir in vanilla: Pour the chocolate base through a mesh strainer into 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.

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7 Chill the base completely: 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.)

8 Process in ice cream maker: 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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Links:

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

Chocolate Ice Cream

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Showing 4 of 18 Comments

  • Kathy

    Do you use whole milk and heavy cream with this recipe?

  • Arlene

    I plan to try this recipe soon but I’ve been making ice cream for years with great results. Also buy dark chocolate Haagen-Daz which I really love. Am writing to share a tip about hard frozen ice cream. I put my container in the microwave oven for about 10 seconds and it is ready, much easier to scoop. No waiting on the counter.

  • Cel

    For how many servings can this take? :)

  • Michael

    I love dark chocolate ice cream and have been making it for years. Of course it is a lot of work because it is a custard based recipe versus a sweet cream. I have never even tried a sweet cream and only cringe at the thought!

    As for chocolate I always use a couverture versus a baking chocolate for the added cocoa butter. There are many wonderful varieties to choose from Valrhona, Callebaut, to Scharffenberger.

    Over the years I have tried different things with varying success. For example, I always chill the custard overnight in the fridge. Second, I have now started to whip the custard in a mixer (before chilling) to increase the air content and smoothness of the final result. I don’t whip it too much just to increase the volume slightly because my ice cream mixer simply never imparts enough air and I don’t like a dense final result. I now substitute evaporated milk instead of regular milk.

    The thing I have struggled with is a thickening agent. I tried some plain gelatin once but that was a disaster. Lecithin works really well if you can get your hands on some.

    Also, I always freeze overnight before serving. Yes, that means it is a three day process, but without industrial equipment what do you expect :)

    And I constantly vary the amount of chocolate and have been know to put as much as 10 oz in a single recipe! So as you can see, making chocolate ice cream is fun as you can experiment and try different things and always the result is a success!

  • Yana

    Ultimately a great recipe.
    The coffee flavor is rather strong, so if you’re not a fan don’t add it.
    My only criticism is that it takes a while to prepare.

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