A luscious Chocolate Ice Cream recipe naturally flavoured with orange heavenliness. And a really good reason to use those vibrant, flavour-packed seasonal oranges you have picked from the farmer’s market.
But please, do not use just any oranges available to make this ice cream. You need to make this Chocolate Orange Ice Cream with oranges which motivate you, oranges which make you want to sing; the kind that when you scratch the skin and bring close to your nose, immediately captures you with its exquisite orangey aroma.
Only if you have the right oranges, should you grab your favourite chocolate and make this ice cream. It doesn’t have to be the most expensive chocolate though, just pick one which you definitely enjoy, stick to the recommended cocoa solids and you will have an artisanal ice cream, one which is perfectly fluffy when churned and makes the best use of those precious ingredients you have chosen.
Chocolate Orange Ice Cream recipe
Before beginning, make sure that your ice cream maker will be ready to use when needed. This means that if it has a removable freezer bowl, it should be put in the freezer beforehand, for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer.
You do not have to worry about eating raw eggs in this recipe. By pouring the right amount of the boiling cream into the right amount of fridge-cold eggs, while whisking vigorously, you bring the total mixture to a perfect 79º C (174º F), which is well beyond 71º C (160º F) at which temperature all bacteria are killed. To achieve this, you will need to be precise with weighing the ingredients.
You will find useful information on choosing the right ingredients, at the end of the recipe.
Special Equipment needed:
Ice Cream Machine
The recipe at a glance:
• this is an overview, detailed instructions follow •
❶ Warm the milk, sugar and salt over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the orange zest. Cover and let steep for 1-2 hours.
❷ In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 50 gr cold milk, then place them in the fridge. Add the cocoa to the infused milk and bring to a boil. Pour over the egg yolks, while whisking vigorously. Add the chocolate, stir, then add the heavy cream.
❸ Cool by placing over an ice bath. Strain and store in the refrigerator overnight to chill.
❹ Churn the ice cream in your ice cream maker. Store in the freezer to set for 3-6 hours, before serving.
This batch is for an ice cream maker of 1.5 liter/quart capacity.
- 400 gr + 50 gr fresh whole milk, cold from the fridge (total 450 gr/ml )
- 150 gr raw cane demerara sugar ( or regular white sugar, see footnotes )
- 4 oranges, unwaxed
- pinch of salt
- 15 gr cocoa powder, unsweetened ( about 2 Tbs. )
- 70 gr egg yolks, Large, cold from the fridge ( about 4 large eggs )
- 120 gr bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, around 50% – 65% cocoa solids, chopped
- 300 gr/ml heavy cream
Step 1 – Infuse the Milk
In a medium, 2-litre (2-quart), saucepan with a long handle, put the 400 gr milk, sugar and salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring often with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon, until the sugar dissolves.
When it is hot and steamy, remove from the heat and directly zest in the oranges. Give it a stir and cover with a lid.
Let it infuse at room temperature for 1 hour (2 hours at most).
Step 2 – Prepare the Ice Cream Mix
Put a plate near the stovetop. Place a whisk and a silicone spatula (or wooden spoon) on it to have handy for when you need them.
Put the cold egg yolks in a large bowl, whisking them lightly to break them down. Pour in the 50 gr cold milk, whisk and put the bowl in the fridge.
Add the cocoa to the orange-infused milk, whisk well and place the saucepan back on to the heat. Warm, uncovered, over medium heat, stirring often with the spatula, until hot and steamy.
Increase the heat to medium-high. When it starts bubbling, quickly remove the egg yolks from the fridge.
When the milk comes to a full boil, count 60 seconds while whisking constantly, remove from the heat and immediately pour it in a steady stream onto the egg yolks with one hand while whisking the eggs vigorously with the other.
While the mixture is hot, use the spatula to thoroughly scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, where residues of egg yolk lie.
Add the chopped chocolate, let it sit for one minute and stir well until melted.
Finally, add the heavy cream and stir to combine.
Step 3 – Cool the Ice Cream Custard
Place in an ice bath and let cool completely. Stirring always helps it cool down faster.How to prepare an ice bath
Put in some ice cubes and cold water. Carefully nest the bowl with the ice cream custard in it.
Pour more cold water from the sides, till it is up to the level of the ice cream custard in the inner bowl.
Take extra care that the bowl with the ice cream custard is stable and no water can slip into the ice cream custard.
When the ice cream mix has cooled, put a mesh strainer over a container and pour it through the mesh strainer into the container.
Cover with a lid and leave in the refrigerator overnight to cool. Or follow the instructions below to speed up the process.
In a hurry? Here is how to speed things up:
If you want to bypass the overnight refrigeration process and churn the ice cream immediately, you can put the ice cream in a sealable bag, place it in a large container (or in the kitchen sink, if you are not using it), fully cover it with ice and let it chill for a few hours ( it may take up to 3 hours to properly cool ).
The downside of this method is that you will need lots of ice. And you will definitely need a thermometer to check if the temperature has reached the desired 4º C ( about 39º F ), it would have reached if you had left it in the refrigerator overnight. When the ice cream custard has reached the desired temperature, it is ready to churn.
I always go through the overnight refrigeration process, because the flavours improve and mature during this time, resulting in a more sophisticated taste.
However, this flavour improvement goes unnoticed by most people, so go on and use the cooling method you prefer: with overnight refrigeration or with quick cooling under lots of ice.
Step 4 – Churn the Chocolate Orange Ice Cream
Prepare the ice cream machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Give the ice cream custard a stir.
With the machine running, pour the chilled ice cream custard through the canister and into the ice cream machine.
Leave to churn until nice and fluffy. In my ice cream machine, it takes a full 40-50 minutes to perfectly fluff up.
Remove the machine from the freezer bowl.
At this point, the ice cream is soft like soft-serve ice cream. If you attempt to serve it, it will quickly melt when it comes into contact with a room-temperature surface.
To bring to the right consistency, cover the freezer bowl with a lid and put the ice cream into the freezer.
Leave in the freezer for 3-6 hours for the ice cream to set properly, before serving or attempting to remove to another sealable container for longer storage.
Do not leave it in the removable bowl for longer, because it will harden and then it will be impossible to scoop it out.
Tip: if you are using a metal container to store the ice cream, put it in the freezer beforehand, along with the ice cream maker, to freeze for 4-5 hours. This will prevent the ice cream from melting when you transfer the ice cream there from the ice cream bowl. Placing it in the freezer for under an hour will not be enough, especially in summer.
Storing the Chocolate Orange Ice Cream
This ice cream, like all artisanal ice creams, freezes hard in the long term.
To soften it before serving, remove from the freezer and put it in the refrigerator for half an hour.
It is at its best for one week in the freezer. After this, its texture starts to deteriorate. Discard after one month.
Raw Cane Demerara sugar: is a variety of raw cane sugar which gives depth of flavour. You may use any kind of raw cane sugar you like, as long as it is light brown in colour.
Regular white sugar works well too, although it doesn’t help in building flavour.
Oranges: the taste of the ice cream will be determined by the quality of the oranges.
How to choose: first scratch the surface of the orange with your nail and smell it. If it smells lovely, it is a good indicator that you may have a fairly good orange in your hands.
If the oranges are waxed (it is easy to understand, as they have a very shiny surface), you have to remove the wax by rinsing and rubbing with your hands under warm water. Imported oranges are usually waxed.
Always choose in-season, local oranges from your local market, whenever possible.
Cocoa powder: use cocoa powder of your choice, dutch-processed or not. Raw cacao is ok, too. Do not use cocoa powder with sugar or other ingredients added, as it will affect the outcome of the recipe.