Chocolate Ice Cream


Oh.My.God. In his prologue to this recipe in The Perfect Scoop, David Lebovitz says that when he first made this ice cream it was so good he licked the dasher clean when it was done churning. I may have done him one better. After licking the dasher clean, I took a spoon to clean up all the bits of ice cream that were still frozen to the sides of the bowl and hadn’t made it into the freezer container. This is, without question, the absolute best chocolate ice cream I have ever eaten. And I certainly have eaten enough to guarantee that the previous statement is statistically accurate. Smooth, creamy, and the most intense chocolate flavor you will ever find in a chocolate ice cream.

Let’s talk about the chocolate, shall we? This recipe calls for Dutch-process cocoa powder*, which adds a tremendous amount of depth and richness to this ice cream. I believe it’s a drastically improved flavor over what you would get using a regular unsweetened cocoa powder. The recipe then gives the option of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate and I used 60% bittersweet. I love dark chocolate and it definitely added an extra oomph of richness to the ice cream. I really just can’t say enough about the incredible flavor of this ice cream and I think the Dutch-process cocoa and the bittersweet chocolate is a stellar combination.

And now, on to the texture. This is the first time I have made ice cream using egg yolks to thicken the custard and I’ve been officially converted. While the other ice creams I’ve made have had a nice texture, this ice cream is completely unmatched. It is unbelievably smooth and creamy, and you can run a spoon through it straight from the freezer like you’re cutting butter. Absolutely superb.

And now I need your help. I am in need of a quality ice cream scoop. I want the pretty round scoops. Does anyone have any recommendations? I recently saw the Rösle ice cream scoop received high praise from Cook’s Illustrated, but am interested in hearing about any that you use and  love. Thanks for the input!

*I typically can’t find Dutch-process cocoa powder in the regular grocery stores in my area; if you’re in the same boat, you can easily order it online. I have ordered it both from Penzeys and Amazon with no problem. I would highly recommend getting it, as you can use it in many other chocolate baked goods as well. Penzeys offers smaller quantities, so if you just want to try it out, you can get a small bag of it through them for a much lower cost.

Want more ice cream? Check out the Blueberry Cheesecake and Classic Vanilla recipes.

Don’t forget! If you’re dying to make homemade ice cream and cursing yourself for not having an ice cream maker, head straight to this tutorial on how to make homemade ice cream without an ice cream maker!

One year ago: Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread

Chocolate Ice Cream

Makes about 1 quart

2 cups heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
1 cup whole milk
¾ cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Warm 1 cup of the cream with the cocoa powder in a medium saucepan, whisking to thoroughly blend the cocoa. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer at a very low boil for 30 seconds, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate, stirring until smooth. Then stir in the remaining 1 cup cream. Pour the mixture into a large bowl, scraping the saucepan as thoroughly as possible, and set a mesh strainer on top of the bowl.

2. Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk. Slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

3. Stir the mixture constantly over the medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula (170°F on an instant-read thermometer). Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the chocolate mixture until smooth, then stir in the vanilla. Stir until cool over an ice bath.

4. Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (If the cold mixture is too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.)

(From The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)

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144 Responses to “Chocolate Ice Cream”

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  1. Cat on December 22, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I made this a year ago and it was the best ice cream I have ever tasted in my long legged life. And I have been to Italy. I will attempt to make it again for Christmas Eve for my mom who cannot swallow. (I don’t have the baker’s chocolate so I am going to use my Costco bag of chocolate chips.)


  2. Kathryn on December 29, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    How long can you keep the custard in the fridge before churning?


    • Michelle on December 30th, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Kathryn, I would say up to 24 hours or so.


  3. Shelley on January 4, 2014 at 9:12 am

    Got a Kitchenaid maker for Christmas. I am making ice cream this weekend and this is just what I’m looking for to launch it’s inaugural use!

    Thank-you for posting!


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  8. Mary on April 3, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Help! I guess I am a bit of a blonde…I just did the egg mixture part and it separated! It looks like cottage cheese in a pan of milky water. What did I do wrong? How do I fix it?


    • Michelle on April 7th, 2014 at 10:55 pm

      Hi Mary, I’m not really sure how this could have happened? I’ve never heard of this happening… did you make any substitutions or change the technique in any way?


  9. Maha on April 15, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    I made this last week and it was absolutely the best ice cream I’ve ever had. I did not have dutch processed cocoa (used a store brand) but it still turned out creamy and very chocolately. Thanks for such a great recipe.


  10. Leann on April 17, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Mmmmm! This was the best creamiest ice cream I have ever made! Thanks so much for sharing!


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  17. Yulanda on June 21, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Ok, I just made this ice cream using semisweet chocolate and it’s good but not what I want in a chocolate ice cream. It reminds me of a frosty from the Wendy’s fast food chain. Next time I’m going to use the bittersweet chocolate and hopefully it will come out like the picture.



  18. Yan on June 24, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    My six year old loves this ice cream. He loves it so much that I stop buying ice cream and now I do this one at least twice a month lol. Thank you for your awesome recipes


  19. Tracy on July 1, 2014 at 3:04 am

    oh em gee!!! I made this recipe today and it is absolutely devine! I also had some left-over salted caramel in the fridge so some tubs have this swirled through which is to die for! Thanks for a great recipe :) Cheers.


  20. Sam on July 1, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Gonna try this tomorrow, have a batch of chocolate chip going now. It sounds yummy! I had planned on using dutch cocoa but not the added melted chocolate, a welcome addition! Anyways thanks for the recipe, I cannot wait to try this out tomorrow.


  21. Sam on July 1, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Oh and if you still need a good scoop search Google for “antifreeze ice cream scoop” as there are many brand and sizes to suit your needs. my mother bought one about 25 years ago, paddle shape. They are solid aluminium and have antifreeze inside. The ice cream slips right off. They have the classic scoop shape and paddle shape, for filling a bowl up quick. I inherited hers and still use it to this day :)


  22. Andrew on July 28, 2014 at 11:19 am

    I made this ice cream over the weekend as part of a homemade ice cream cake for my wife’s birthday. It is divine.


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