For Chocolate Lovers only

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Vanilla is still the world’s most popular ice cream flavor, but those of us “in the know," while perfectly capable of appreciating the many merits of a good vanilla ice cream, find that said merits are multiplied with the addition of some chocolate! This is a custard-based ice cream, the type I like best; make the custard at least 6 hours in advance of churning, so it has a chance to become very cold. You’ll need a candy thermometer, a fine strainer, a heatproof pitcher or liquid measuring cup of about 4-cup capacity, and (of course) an ice cream churn. My churn is an electric Krups of 1-quart capacity, and it’s performed like a trooper for some years now. Remember to freeze the inner bowl at least 24 hours in advance of churning if you need to do so! 

There are two ways to go with the chocolate here. If neatness of appearance matters to you in your ice cream, use miniature semisweet chocolate chips, which will work beautifully. If you don’t mind small bits and shreds of chocolate in your ice cream, use the best bar chocolate you can find and chop it into small chunks. Because chocolate seldom chops perfectly neatly, you’ll have many smaller bits, too, but there’s no problem including them. This ice cream is terrific with a good hot fudge sauce. As with most homemade ice creams, eat within about three days of churning for the best flavor and texture. Incidentally, the alcohol is in here to prevent the ice cream from freezing rock-hard in your home freezer. You won’t notice the small quantity in the finished product.

Yield: 1 generous quart 

  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. instant nonfat dry milk powder
  • Few grains of salt
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1-1/4 cups whole milk
  • 4 egg yolks, from eggs graded “large”
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tbsp. vodka
  • 3/4 cup (4-1/2 ounces) miniature semisweet chocolate chips OR excellent-quality bar chocolate, chopped into small chunks

In 2-quart, heavy-bottomed, nonaluminum pot, combine sugar, nonfat dry milk powder, and salt. Set aside. Combine heavy cream and milk. In small bowl, beat egg yolks and a small amount of cream-milk (about a tablespoon) until mixed. Beat in about 1/2 cup additional liquid, then turn this egg yolk mixture into the 2 quart pot. Stir egg yolk mixture and sugar mixture to combine well.

In microwave or small saucepan over low heat, heat remaining cream-milk until very hot, stirring occasionally. Gradually (very gradually at first), add hot liquid to egg yolk mixture, stirring yolk mixture constantly while doing so. Scrape down sides of 2 quart pot with a heat-resistant rubber spatula.

Place pot over medium-low heat. Cook and stir until mixture reaches 174’ to 176’ F. on a candy thermometer. Immediately strain through a fine strainer into a heatproof pitcher or liquid measuring cup of 4-cup capacity (there will be about 3 to 3-1/2 cups of custard). Gently stir in vanilla until mixed. Cool briefly, then chill for at least 6 hours before churning, covering tightly when cold. To cover, gently place a circle of paper towel slightly larger than the top of the liquid measuring cup over the top of the cup, then cover tightly with plastic wrap (if any condensation forms on the inside of the plastic wrap, the paper towel will absorb it before it can drip into the custard).

About an hour before you want to churn your ice cream, place the chocolate chips or chunks in a small bowl, cover, and pop into the freezer (or at least the fridge). Chill a container of about 5-cup capacity for the ice cream (a plastic container that closes airtight is ideal).

Follow manufacturer’s instructions for churning your ice cream. When the ice cream is about 3/4 frozen, add the vodka, one tablespoon at a time, waiting until the first tablespoon is blended in before adding the second.

When ice cream is frozen, work quickly. Remove lid and dasher from churn. Add cold chocolate chips or chunks and stir in briefly but thoroughly until evenly distributed (be sure to use a utensil that won’t scratch your churn!). Pack ice cream into chilled container and place immediately into freezer to harden. Consume within about 3 days of churning.

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