Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

I knew when I pulled out my ice cream maker the other day that it was the equivalent of opening an ice cream Pandora’s Box.  There was no doubt in my mind as to what was inside the box—lots of calories…but exceptionally delicious calories!  Yes, even though National Ice Cream Month  is over, the ice cream maker is still sitting out on my counter top; and I’m churning (yes, pun intended) through ice cream recipes.

It should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway—homemade ice cream is vastly superior to any store-bought variety.  It is luxuriously creamy; and, when it is freshly churned, it is almost impossible to stop eating it.  If your family indulges in ice cream all summer long, I’d seriously consider making the investment in an ice cream maker.  As long as you can make a custard, the ice cream maker does the rest in 30 minutes or less.

The flavor of the day for you chocolate lovers is a deep, dark and delicious chocolate ice cream from the renowned former Chez Panisse pastry chef, David Lebovitz.  While he still worked there, Chez Panisse was named the best restaurant in America in 2001 by Gourmet.  I have no doubt that Lebovitz’s contributions played a significant role in that designation.

Here in this recipe, he calls for both Dutch-processed cocoa powder and your choice of either bittersweet or semisweet chocolate.  I adore bittersweet chocolate, so it was an easy choice for me.  Given the choice of either 10 free bars of milk chocolate or just one bar of dark chocolate, I’ll take the dark chocolate every time.  I believe the combination of the Dutch cocoa and the bittersweet chocolate gives the ice cream a richness and depth of chocolate I’ve never experienced before.  It turned out to be the most intensely chocolate ice cream I’ve ever had and has spoiled me forever!

One year ago:  Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Two years ago:  Green Bean Salad

Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

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Makes about 1 quart


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 3 tbl. unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


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.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in the same saucepan.  In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolk.  In order to temper the eggs so that they don’t curdle, slowly pour the warm milk into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

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.

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.)

Fran’s Notes

Use semisweet chocolate rather than bittersweet if you want a slightly less dark chocolate ice cream.

Source:   The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz via Brown Eyed Baker

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