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Chocolate 60-64% Ice Cream | with egg yolks (custard)
Chocolate 60-64%
Ice Cream
with egg yolks (custard)

For best results, use a digital kitchen scale and measure the ingredients directly into the bowl/saucepan, as you proceed with the recipe. 

If you have a kitchen scale, prefer to weigh the ingredients instead of measuring by cup; it provides accurate results, very much needed in ice cream making. If you do not have a kitchen scale, follow these guidelines:

1 cup (US) = 236 ml | 1 Tbs. = 15 ml 

– for sugar: only use white granulated sugar (regular).

– for chocolate/couverture: measuring chocolate by volume is impossible because measurements vary depending on how finely chopped the chocolate is. What you can do is calculate the number of pieces you need based on the weight of the chocolate bar as written on the packaging.

– for liquid ingredients: make sure that you thoroughly scrape with a rubber spatula the cup every time you measure something and empty it.

Use egg yolks from 4 eggs in the range of 65 – 75 gr; 2.3 – 2.65 oz, approximately (this is the weight of a whole egg, in its shell). These eggs are labelled as:

  • Large (L) in the UK
  • Extra-Large (XL) in the USA
  • Jumbo in Australia

If your eggs are smaller than this or you do not know their size, prefer to weigh the egg yolks. You need 80 gr; 2.8 oz. of egg yolks, but 10 gr more/less than that is ok, so do not stress much over accurate weight.

TIP: to separate the egg yolk from the white, do it when the eggs are cold from the fridge when the egg yolks are firmer and are easy to handle.

This recipe is for chocolate/couverture with 60-64% cocoa solids; for other cocoa solids % click here.

Do not use in this recipe:

  • chocolate which contains nuts, fruits, cereals, etc. 
  • chocolate sweetened with sweeteners, honey, or anything other than regular sugar (although raw cane sugar is ok)
  • milk chocolate, white chocolate, or unsweetened chocolate 

Only use whole milk (this is around 3.5% fat). Do not substitute with skimmed milk or plant-based milk.

Use heavy cream with 35-40% fat content and pourable consistency. “Ultra-pasteurised cream” and “cream suitable for whipping” with 35-40% fat are ok, too. Avoid any cream which contains sugar or other sweeteners. Do not substitute with low-fat cream or plant-based cream.

You can combine double cream with whole milk to make heavy cream for this recipe. To make 360 gr (12.7 oz.) heavy cream, you need:

  • 260 gr double cream (9.2 oz.) (with 50% fat)
  • 100 gr/ml whole milk (3.5 oz.) (3.5% fat) *

To make the heavy cream, put the double cream in a large bowl, then pour in the milk, a little at a time, stirring smoothly with a rubber spatula until smooth. Avoid whisking, as it may turn into whipped cream.

The resulting heavy cream has 36% fat, perfect for this ice cream. Proceed with the recipe, just as if you had the 360 gr (12.7 oz.) heavy cream needed. 

*this 100 gr (3.5 oz.) milk is extra to the 460 gr milk (16.2 oz) asked in the recipe. So, if using double cream, you will need in total 560 gr milk (19.7 oz.), from which:

  • 460 gr (16.2 oz.) are for the recipe; and
  • 100 gr (3.5 oz.) are mixed with the double cream to make heavy cream

Use only regular sugar (white granulated sugar) or raw cane sugar such as Turbinado or Demerara.

Do not use:

  • sugar substitutes, such as table sweeteners or stevia
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • honey or other liquid sweeteners, natural or artificial

A flexible rubber spatula is good for:
-wiping the bottom of the saucepan when cooking dairy on the stovetop.
-scraping residues from bowls, saucepans etc.
If you do not have one, I strongly encourage you to buy one, preferably a flexible one.

Plan ahead:

Make the ice cream mixture (steps 1 & 2) the day before churning it. 

If your ice cream maker has a removable freezer bowl, put it in the freezer for the whole time indicated by the manufacturer before churning, usually 24 hours.

Step 1: Make the custard

Place a rubber spatula and a whisk on a plate next to the stovetop to have them close and ready to use interchangeably.

Prepare the egg yolks: put the egg yolks (80 gr; 2.8 oz.)  in a medium bowl, and whisk them smoothly to break them down. Set the bowl next to the stovetop.

Warm the milk and the sugar: place the milk (460 gr/ml; 16.2 oz.) and the sugar (150 gr; 5.3 oz.) in a medium saucepan. Warm over low-medium heat, often stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Pour the hot milk in the egg yolks: when all the sugar dissolves and the milk is hot and steamy, remove it from the heat and pour a ladle or two in a slow, steady stream over the egg yolks with one hand while whisking them vigorously with the other. Give a thorough stir with the rubber spatula to the mixture, scraping the inside of the bowl.

Cook until thickened: return the milk&yolks mixture to the saucepan and over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a rubber spatula so that the base doesn’t catch. Remove from the heat when the custard starts to thicken slightly (this is at 80ºC / 176 ºF if you have an instant-read thermometer). Pour it into a large heatproof bowl.

Add the chopped chocolate (160 gr; 5.6 oz.) and whisk until all the chocolate has melted. 

Blend the ice cream mixture with an immersion/regular blender for 1 minute to ensure a smooth texture.  

Add the heavy cream (360 gr; 12.7 oz.) and blend until it has a uniform brown colour with no streaks. Pause to scrape with the rubber spatula the insides of the bowl and blend for some more. 

Step 2: Chill the ice cream mixture

Cool it down: prepare an ice bath by putting ice cubes and cold water in a large bowl and carefully nest the bowl with the ice cream mixture in it, taking care that no water slips into it. Let it cool down for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Strain the ice cream mixture through a fine mesh sieve and into a clean bowl/storing container.

Chill thoroughly: the ice cream mixture should come to fridge-cold temperature before you churn it with the ice cream maker; to chill it, use one of the two methods below (click on methods to read more):

When you have time, prefer the slow method to mature the ice cream mixture and improve its flavours. If you are in a hurry, you will be happy to know that most people do not notice this flavour improvement, so feel free to shortcut.
When choosing the fast method, consider that it needs more ice than an average household usually holds.

When churning with a domestic ice cream maker, your ice cream mixture should always be thoroughly chilled. Otherwise, if the ice cream mixture is not cold enough, the ice cream maker may not churn it to its fullest potential, resulting in a sloppy liquid vs fluffy ice cream.

Step 3: Churn the ice cream

Check the ice cream mixture if it is thoroughly cold before churning: it should feel fridge-cold to the touch (if you have an instant-read thermometer, it should read 4ºC–10ºC / 39ºF-50ºF). 

Prepare the ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Stir: this chocolate ice cream mixture may become very thick after chilling, so give it a thorough and vigorous stirring with a rubber spatula to loosen it; this will allow it to churn for longer and to acquire a better texture.

After chilling the ice cream mixture, it will be slightly thick. If the ice cream mixture is too thick (like yoghurt), stir it vigorously to loosen it or blend it briefly with an immersion/regular blender. Why do we do that? If the ice cream mixture is thick, it will quickly become too stiff during churning. The paddle will come to a stop before enough air is incorporated into the ice cream mixture, resulting in sloppy ice cream, which will freeze to a block.
So if you are after fluffy ice cream, take the time to bring the ice cream mixture to a pourable consistency before churning it.
If you feel unsure about the ice cream’s thickness, prefer to err on the side of fluid and give the ice cream mixture a blend nevertheless before churning it.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the ice cream mixture through the canister and into the ice cream maker.

Leave to churn until fluffed up and creamy; depending on your ice cream maker this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes (see below).

This chocolate ice cream will expand and fluff up during churning. It is ready when it looks smooth and fluffy, with a mousse-like consistency. That could take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, depending on your ice cream maker.
To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will be still soft like soft-serve ice cream. If you lift ice cream with the spoon and a pool immediately starts forming on its edges, you will have to churn it for longer.
In any case, if you feel doubts about the consistency, leave it to churn for ten minutes more. But beware: at this stage, do not expect it to be like store-bought carton ice cream; for now, it should be more like soft-serve ice cream. It will firm up and become like store-bought ice cream only after it sets in the freezer.
So, stop the ice cream maker when thick and creamy, as described above. If you leave to churn it for much longer, it will start turning grainy.
Warning: some ice cream makers are programmed to automatically stop after a specific length of time, which doesn’t make sense because the ice cream may need to churn for more to reach its fullest potential. So, if you notice that your ice cream maker stops on its own and upon checking the ice cream, you find that it is sloppy instead of fluffy, try to turn the machine on again and leave it to churn until it reaches the desired texture.

Step 4: Put in the freezer to set

Put in the freezer to set: before serving the ice cream or moving it to a container for storing, you have to put it in the freezer to set. To do so: 

  • remove the removable freezer bowl (still filled with the ice cream) from the ice cream machine
  • remove the paddle, scraping any ice cream attached to it back into the ice cream bowl
  • cover the ice cream bowl and put it in the freezer to set

Setting time depends on the ice cream maker you use; see notes below for indicative times.

If you intend to transfer the ice cream to a container to store the ice cream, place this container in the freezer well ahead of time, too; this will prevent the ice cream from melting upon contact with it.

Serve or store: when it sets, you can serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl or transfer it to an airtight container for storage.

The setting time for the ice cream largely depends on the type of ice cream maker you use.

It can take :

  • 3-5 hours for removable freezer bowls (these are the ice cream maker bowls which you should pre-freeze before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

Note: the times given are indicative. Setting time depends on many factors.

Check it occasionally (approx. every 2 hours; or as needed) while it is in the freezer. The ice cream is ready when it has an internal temperature of -11ºC / 12ºF. If you do not have a thermometer, to evaluate if the ice cream has set, insert a round tip knife into it, all the way to the bottom: 

  • when the ice cream is ready, it feels firm as you go down, but at the same time it is soft enough to insert the knife into it; it should have this same firm consistency from top to bottom.
  • not ready yet: it will feel hard on the top and softer as you go down
  • if left in the freezer for too long: it will be too hard for the knife to insert into it and too hard to scoop out of the ice cream bowl. Do not worry, though! Read right below how to soften it.

If the ice cream stays in the removable freezer bowl for too long, it will harden and be difficult to remove or serve.

To make it scoopable again, leave it in the refrigerator to soften. That can take:

  • anywhere from 4 to 10 hours for removable freezer bowls (the ones which need pre-freezing before churning)
  • 1-2 hours for aluminium bowls (these are the bowls from compressor ice cream makers)

(Note: the time given is indicative, time may vary depending on many factors, so do check it occasionally as it sits in the refrigerator.)

When the ice cream is easy to scoop (or it has an internal temperature of approx. -11°C / 12°F if you have a thermometer), you can transfer it to another container and store it in the freezer or serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl.

Straight after churning, the ice cream has a soft-serve consistency and melts immediately upon contact with anything. This makes it impossible to serve or transfer to another container.

Putting it in the freezer after churning sets it and brings it to the right consistency, similar to that of an ice cream parlour’s.

Storage and serving
Storage: in the freezer for one month, covered well to protect it from absorbing the freezer’s smells. 

Scooping: this ice cream, like all artisanal ice creams, freezes hard in the long term. To soften it to a perfectly scoopable consistency, put it in the refrigerator for 45-60 min (or if you have a thermometer, when it reads around -11ºC / 12ºF, inserted midway through the ice cream).

If you have an instant-read thermometer, the perfect serving temperature of this chocolate ice cream is when the thermometer inserted midway through the ice cream reads around -11ºC / 12ºF. At this temperature, the ice cream is at its best to scoop and enjoy.

Make this ice cream with any cocoa solids % chocolate/couverture!
Make this ice cream with any cocoa solids % chocolate!

Click on the cocoa solids % chocolate of your choice for the recipe. 

Note: the lower in cocoa solids is the chocolate, the more chocolate you need. For example, to make this ice cream with 50% chocolate, you need 200 gr (7.05 oz.) chocolate, whereas, to make it with 70-74% chocolate, you need 125 gr (4.4 oz.). All the other ingredients are adjusted accordingly to create similar chocolate intensity and texture.

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