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How To Make Chocolate Ice Cream [+6 Tips]

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A bowl of chocolate ice cream

The best chocolate ice cream provides a perfect balance of cool, creamy richness that’s full of choc flavor. This recipe is just that. Its combination of chocolate varieties provides a delicious mix of bitter and sweet taste that makes eating an entire pint seem quite conceivable. The texture is incredibly scoopable and won’t turn into granite once it’s been in the freezer for over a day.

Having been an ice cream maker since 2016, I can honestly say I’ve made hundreds of flavors – dozens of those have been chocolate recipes. While most of them were enjoyable, it is this recipe that has set the benchmark. Once you make it, I think you’ll understand why.

How To Make Chocolate Ice Cream

Yield: 1 quart. Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes. Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces premium dark chocolate
  • 2 ounces premium milk chocolate
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp skim milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. Chill the ice cream bowl overnight if you’re using an ice cream maker without a compressor. If you have a more expensive appliance that doesn’t require pre-chilling, then set up your ice cream machine and pre-chill 30 minutes before you’re ready to churn.
  2. Chop the chocolate into small chunks then add to a large heatproof bowl. Bring a saucepan of water to boil and place the bowl on top. Ensure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Gently simmer the water until the chocolate has melted, then remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Add the milk, cream, sugar, cornstarch, milk powder, and cocoa to a saucepan and stir to remove any lumps. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat, occasionally whisking. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, or until the liquid begins to thicken, then remove from heat.
  4. Scoop out a half cup of the dairy and whisk into the chocolate until well combined. Repeat this step with another half cup of dairy. Pour the remaining dairy into the chocolate and whisk again to combine.
  5. Pour the ice cream base through a strainer to remove any remaining solids, then refrigerate in an airtight container for 2-3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  6. Scoop the ice cream base into an ice cream maker and churn as per the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the consistency is similar to soft-serve, transfer to a suitable container, and freeze for 2-3 hours or until hard.
A bowl of cocoa
Great ice cream is helped by using Dutch-process cocoa.

Other ice cream you might enjoy:
Learn how to make strawberry ice cream at home.
Find out the secret to making fresh mint choc chip ice cream.

What is Philadelphia-style ice cream?

Philadelphia ice cream is a style of ice cream where milk, cream, sugar, and flavors are combined, chilled, and then churned. Unlike the more traditional Anglaise base, which uses eggs to make a custard, this recipe is eggless. Instead, it uses cornstarch and milk powder to encourage the texture to thicken when churned.

The Philly or American-style has its benefits. First, it’s easier than having to temper eggs. If you slightly overheat egg yolks, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs, and ruined ice cream. It’s comforting for beginner makers of frozen desserts to take eggs out of the equation.

The other benefit of an eggless recipe is the flavor. Not everyone enjoys an eggy undertone in their dessert. Philadelphia ice cream allows the different flavors of dairy and chocolate to shine through. The texture is lighter, without the rich and dense characteristics that come from adding yolks.

Two secret ingredients that make all the difference

Cornstarch: helps thicken the ice cream without adding fat or additional flavor.
Skim milk powder: is useful for absorbing water, which is a significant component of milk, resulting in smoother, creamier texture.

How to choose the right ingredients

  • Any dairy will work, but organic milk and cream produced on farms close to where you live will always result in good ice cream.
  • Choose Dutch-process cocoa over regular cocoa; it is less acidic and bitter and has a richer, more chocolatey flavor.
  • Avoid the mainstream chocolate bars that are full of added sugar and other extras that will impact your ice cream’s structure and possibly result in grainy ice cream.

Got no ice cream maker?

If your kitchen doesn’t yet have one of these fancy appliances, then do yourself a favor and take a look at our review of the leading ice cream makers currently on the market. This is one of those kitchen tools that never gathers dust in the cupboard!

Having no ice cream machine doesn’t need to stop you from experiencing this delicious dessert. Follow the recipe above from step one to step five. Then, instead of churning, you can place it directly into the freezer, in an airtight container. Every 20 minutes, remove and beat with a whisk or beater until smooth. Return to the freezer and repeat this step every 20 minutes until it is too solid to beat.

Storage advice

Eggs play an important role in ice cream making, acting as a stabilizer. It is this ingredient that allows for prolonged freezing. However, this chocolate ice cream won’t store as long as it is egg-free. Try to consume the ice cream within 2-3 days while it is at its best. After a few days, it is still perfectly safe to eat, but the texture will begin to degrade.

Chocolate ice cream and a bowl of cocoa

6 tips for better ice cream

1. Chill everything

Don’t just freeze the freezer-bowl, chill the container, and any utensils that’ll come into contact with the ice cream. Add-ins like chocolate chips should be cooled as well if you decide to throw in anything extra.

2. Treat chocolate with care

When melting the chocolate, don’t allow it to heat too quickly; the heat should be gentle. It is also essential that no water gets into the chocolate, as this will cause it to seize.

3. Adjust your freezer to the lowest temperature

The lower your freezer temp, the better. It will freeze the ice cream quicker, resulting in a dessert with better texture.

4. Store in the right spot

Place the ice cream at the back of the freezer to harden as this area has the least temperature fluctuation when the door opens.

5. Add alcohol

Alcohol will help reduce the freezing point of the ice cream, resulting in an improved texture. Use 40% Vodka or a similar clear spirit that doesn’t affect the flavor too much.

6. Avoid over-filling the ice cream bowl

The ice cream manufacturer will have marked the bowl with a maximum level. Try not to overfill the bowl as the machine will struggle to churn the base. The less liquid added, the faster it will freeze, leading to a better quality ice cream.

Useful reading:
Check out our ultimate ice cream making page. The best advice all on one page for getting started creating ice cream at home.

Summing up

Making homemade chocolate ice cream is a fun project that results in delicious dessert everyone will love. If you can get your hands on an ice cream machine, the final result will be a creamier tasting dessert that is simpler to make. For a once-off recipe, you probably won’t need one of these appliances as they’re a “space hog.” For anyone that intends to make ice cream regularly, then investing in a tool to help you make it will be a wise move.

You could use any dairy and chocolate and the end-result would be enjoyable. To take your dessert to the next level find the best milk, cream, chocolate, and cocoa available.

Have you tried making ice cream without eggs? What did you think of it? Let us know in the comments below.

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