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Course: Sweets
Keyword: Chocolate, Chocolate Ice Cream, Desserts, Frozen, Make-Ahead

Chocolate Ice Cream

ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 9 hours
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts
Five basic ingredients and good-quality cocoa powder are all you need to churn up a batch of better-than-store-bought chocolate ice cream.
One might think that retrofitting a vanilla ice cream recipe to create chocolate ice cream would simply involve melting chocolate into the original mixture. And, indeed, that can be done.
But let's consider for a moment the anatomy of solid chocolate.
Most chocolate contains a fair mount of sugar, and we've already got enough of that. It also might contain milk, salt, or extracts, And we don't ned any of that, either.
So what it really comes down to are the two primary chocolate components: cocoa solids and cocoa butter. All we really want here are the cocoa solids, which we can get easily from good old-fashioned cocoa powder. Dutch-process or alkalized is best because it disperses in liquid easily. And its color is, well, more chocolatey.
This recipe first appeared in Season 9 of Good Eats.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 large egg yolks
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Specialized Hardware

Digital kitchen scale
Ice cream maker
ACTIVE TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 9 hours
Yield: 1 1/2 quarts


  • Add the cocoa powder and 1 cup of the half and half to a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Add the remaining half and half and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.
  • Whisk the egg yolks in a large mixing bowl until they lighten in color. Gradually whisk the sugar into the yolks until smooth.
  • Slowly ladle one third of the hot dairy into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. (This is the tempering part.) Return this mixture to the pot containing the rest of the dairy. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently, until the custard thickens slightly, enough to coat the back of a spoon, and reaches 170 to 175ºF. Pour the mixture into a container, stir in the vanilla extract, and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until the temperature drops below 40°F, at least 4 hours or up to overnight.
  • Pour the mixture into a prepped ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer's directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.
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