Even with all the amazing ice cream flavors out there, chocolate and vanilla remain two of the most popular flavors around. Not a huge surprise to me, but then again, I’ve always been a fan of the classics. Chocolate has always been a favorite of my boys. Straight-up, no toppings, the richer-the-better.
While I enjoy chocolate ice cream, I prefer one that’s not too intense and so rich I can’t finish a scoop. Häagen-Dazs chocolate ice cream was my favorite as a kid, rich but not overwhelmingly so. This recipe reminds me of a homemade Häagen-Dazs, just slightly better. This recipe is not mine, but it is my go-to favorite for making homemade chocolate ice cream. This recipe is Alton Brown’s, I have only adapted it slightly, but the original can be seen here.
This chocolate ice cream recipe is full-fat, rich, creamy and incredibly satisfying in both the ice cream and chocolate categories. My husband loved it only noting it was “almost too rich for him“, but my kids strongly disagree. Let’s just say, a little cup goes along way for some. But for my boys, they can never get enough of this tasty flavor, so I often double the batch when I make it.
The richness of this ice cream comes from a few different things; the milk-cream ration, the egg yolks and the cocoa powder. In ice cream recipes generally there are only a few simple ingredients, so remember selecting good ones will yield a substantially better product. As a general matter, I only use organic milk, cream and eggs so that’s a given here, but a good quality cocoa powder is also important for a great, chocolatey flavor that shines. Cocoa powder brands I like to use when making ice cream are: Droste and Gurttard.
While I love this chocolate ice cream recipe as is, it is also a great base for other add-in ice creams you want to make. Peanut butter and pretzel pieces can be swirled in toward the end of the churning process. And dried Bing cherries and mini chocolate chips make another fantastic combination I love. You can really add as much (or as little) add-ins as you like based on personal preference, just eye-ball it and get creative. You may actually amaze yourself at what delicious flavors you come up with.
Chocolate Ice Cream
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups whole milk
- 2/3 cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
- 8 eggs yolks
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Step 1 In a a medium saucepan add 1 cup heavy cream and the cocoa, whisk well to blend. Add the remaining heavy cream and milk and place over over medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat. Set aside.
- Step 2 In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks. Gradually add the sugar and whisk until pale yellow in color. Temper the cream mixture into the eggs mixture by gradually adding small amounts, until about 1/3 of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan, place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly, coats the back of a spoon and a thermometer reaches 175 degrees F.
- Step 3 Strain the mixture in a fine strainer into a clean mixing bowl and allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerator for about 4 hours or until the temperature of the custard reaches 40 degrees F or below.
- Step 4 Once cold, pour the custard into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. This should take approximately 25 to 30 minutes. Freeze for an additional 3 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.
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