For Chocolate Lovers only

Chocolate Ice Cream

Tips: Most commercial chocolate ice cream is pretty wimpy stuff. This is a much more serious chocolate ice cream, too rich and too dark for most kids or anyone who doesn’t appreciate a deep chocolate flavor. Make sure to use the best-quality bittersweet chocolate you can find; the usual offerings in most grocer’s “baking” aisles just won’t do! Remember, if it isn’t smooth in bar form, you can’t expect it to be smooth in the finished product. Also, different brands of bittersweet chocolates have varying levels of sweetness, so make a test batch for yourself before serving this to company. If necessary, you can adjust the sugar level, keeping in mind that freezing subdues sweetness slightly (this means that, if you taste your cold custard base before freezing it, it may seem a bit too sweet).

You’ll need a candy thermometer, a fine-mesh strainer, and a one-quart ice cream churn (I have a Krups model, which still works beautifully after some years of service). While the liqueur is technically an option, it’s addition prevents the ice cream from becoming rock-hard in your freezer. Suggestions for flavors include brown crème de cacao, orange, coffee, or dark rum. While I love black raspberry and peppermint liqueurs, I think both would overwhelm the flavor of the ice cream, as they tend to be quite strong.

A nice way to serve this is to place one small (or two very small) scoops in a small wine glass. Pour a bit of the same liqueur (or a complementary flavor) over the ice cream (I like to use orange liqueur in the ice cream and top my scoop with a spoonful of coffee liqueur). Top with a little freshly-made, lightly-sweetened whipped cream. Serve immediately!

Yield: 1 quart


  • 6 ounces best-quality bittersweet chocolate, very finely chopped
  • 1-1/4 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. instant nonfat dry milk powder
  • 2 Tbsp. unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 egg yolks, from eggs graded “large”
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Optional: 2 Tbsp. liqueur


Place finely chopped chocolate in heatproof pitcher or liquid measure container of at least 6-cup capacity. Set aside. In small saucepan, heat 3/4 cup cream (reserve remainder) over low heat until very hot, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Add about half of hot cream to chocolate. Allow to stand for a minute or two, then whisk gently until smooth. Gradually whisk in remaining hot cream. Set aside near stovetop.

In 1 quart, heavy-bottomed, nonaluminum saucepan, combine sugar, dry milk powder, cocoa powder, and salt. With spoon, mix well, pressing out any cocoa lumps with back of spoon. Set aside near stovetop.

Place egg yolks in small bowl. Combine milk and remaining 1/2 cup cream. Add about 2 Tbsp. of this mixture to egg yolks; with fork, beat to mix well. Add egg yolk mixture and about another 1/4 cup of milk mixture (reserve remainder) to sugar-cocoa mixture in saucepan. With spoon, stir to combine ingredients in saucepan until smooth (if necessary, add a bit more of milk mixture to ensure a smooth paste). Scrape bottom and sides of pan with rubber spatula.

In small saucepan over low heat, heat remaining milk mixture until very hot. Remove from heat. Stirring sugar-cocoa-egg yolk mixture constantly, very gradually add hot milk mixture. You may see flecks of undissolved cocoa powder float to the top, but that’s OK.

Place 1 quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until mixture reaches 174 to 176 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat. Immediately strain a small amount into the melted chocolate mixture and whisk it in to combine. Strain in remaining cooked custard a small amount at a time, gently whisking in each addition before adding the next. Scrape bottom and sides of liquid measure with a rubber spatula once or twice during this process. When all of cooked custard has been added, whisk in vanilla. Cool briefly. For ease in handling, transfer to heatproof pitcher of about 4-cup capacity (there will be a scant 3-1/2 cups of custard, but it expands while it freezes). Chill at least 6 hours or overnight before churning. When cold, cover top of pitcher with a layer of paper towel cut to a slightly larger circumference than pitcher’s before covering the whole tightly with plastic wrap (the layer of paper towel resting on top of the pitcher will absorb any condensation that might fall back into your custard).

At least an hour before churning, chill a 1-quart freezer carton. When ready to churn, remove custard base from refrigerator and stir. Chrun according to manufacturer’s instructions. When ice cream is about three-quarters frozen, add optional liqueur, one tablespoon at a time, waiting until first addition is incorporated before adding the second. When churned, pack into freezer carton; replace in freezer immediately. I like to give this ice cream at least 6 hours in the freezer for the flavors to blend before serving; serve within about three days of churning. Serve small portions; this is very rich!

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