THE ITALIAN WAY TO ICE CREAM

Classic Chocolate Ice Cream
with corn starch

Classic Chocolate
Ice Cream
• with corn starch

With chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, cream, sugar, and corn starch.

In this Classic Chocolate Ice Cream, we use corn starch to thicken the ice cream mixture, often used to make homemade Italian gelato. It is the kind of ice cream which is refreshing and cooling, with a full-bodied mouthfeel. It is also firm and resistant to melting, making it the perfect ice cream in summer when the weather is hot.

For a Classic Chocolate Ice Cream, we use chocolate AND cocoa powder. Although you can make chocolate ice cream using only cocoa powder or only chocolate, there is nothing like combining the two together.

3 more ways to make this Classic Chocolate Ice Cream:

THE EASY! Crowd-pleasing and easy to make. Eat now and thank us later. With chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, cream, sugar.

THE FRENCH-STYLE ICE CREAM. Rich and velvety, this is a custard-based ice cream; a tad bit tricky to make, but so much worth it. With chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks.

LIKE A PRO. The closest you can get to store-bought ice cream with just one extra ingredient: xanthan gum. With chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, cream, sugar, xanthan gum.

THE EASY! Crowd-pleasing and easy to make. Eat now and thank us later. With chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, cream, sugar.

THE FRENCH-STYLE ICE CREAM. Rich and velvety, this is a custard-based ice cream; a tad bit tricky to make, but so much worth it. With chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks.

LIKE A PRO. The closest you can get to store-bought ice cream with just one extra ingredient: xanthan gum. With chocolate, cocoa powder, milk, cream, sugar, xanthan gum.

or see:

The ingredients

Do not reduce or replace anything; everything is there for a reason.

• Corn starch (A.K.A. cornflour or maize starch) in some countries, it is named “cornflour”, but it is not flour; it is a starch. That means that it is white in colour and powdery in texture; it looks like confectioner (powder) sugar. It is described on the label as a thickener for sauces, soups etc.

Sugar: you can use regular sugar (white granulated sugar) or a raw cane sugar such as Demerara or Turbinado, which enhances the chocolate’s flavour.

Do not use any other sugar or sweetener, natural or artificial, liquid or powder, like honey, stevia, golden syrup, table sweeteners, confectioner’s sugar, etc.

• Chocolate/couverture: the taste of this ice cream will be determined by the taste of the chocolate (or couverture), so use one that you like. In this recipe we use chocolate with 70-74% cocoa solids; to make it with any chocolate from 50% to 85% cocoa solids or unsweetened chocolate, click on the cocoa solids content of choice at the end of this page and you will be taken to the recipe.

• Milk: use whole milk; this has approx. 3,5% fat. Do not substitute with skimmed milk (lower fat) or non-dairy milk. You need both the fat and the milk proteins for this ice cream recipe.

• Heavy cream (for double cream read below): for this recipe you can use heavy cream with 35% to 40% fat content. It is ok to use cream suitable for whipping or ultra-pasteurised cream with 35-40% fat content. Do not use low-fat cream or non-dairy cream.

• Unsweetened cocoa powder: any unsweetened cocoa powder will do. Use your favourite unsweetened cocoa powder, or choose a cocoa powder judging by its aroma.

Dutch-processed cocoa is a good choice for it has a rich flavour and colour, but you can also use natural cocoa powder or raw cacao powder.

🇬🇧 For UK readers: if you want to use double cream -which has a higher fat content (50%) than heavy cream (35-40% fat)- stir some milk into the double cream to bring it to the right fat content. Instructions in double cream – how to use”.

• Corn starch (A.K.A. cornflour or maize starch) in some countries, it is named “cornflour”, but it is not flour; it is a starch. That means that it is white in colour and powdery in texture; it looks like confectioner (powder) sugar. It is described on the label as a thickener for sauces, soups etc.

• Chocolate/couverture: the taste of this ice cream will be determined by the taste of the chocolate (or couverture), so use one that you like. In this recipe we use chocolate with 70-74% cocoa solids; to make it with any chocolate from 50% to 85% cocoa solids or unsweetened chocolate, click on the cocoa solids content of choice at the end of this page and you will be taken to the recipe.

• Unsweetened cocoa powder: any unsweetened cocoa powder will do. Use your favourite unsweetened cocoa powder, or choose a cocoa powder judging by its aroma.

Dutch-processed cocoa is a good choice for it has a rich flavour and colour, but you can also use natural cocoa powder or raw cacao powder.

Sugar: you can use regular sugar (white granulated sugar) or a raw cane sugar such as Demerara or Turbinado, which enhances the chocolate’s flavour.

Do not use any other sugar or sweetener, natural or artificial, liquid or powder, like honey, stevia, golden syrup, table sweeteners, confectioner’s sugar, etc.

• Milk: use whole milk, with around 3,5% fat. Do not substitute with skimmed milk (lower fat) or non-dairy milk. You need both the fat and the milk proteins for this ice cream recipe.

• Heavy cream (for double cream see scroll to the right): for this recipe you can use heavy cream with 35% – 40% fat. It is ok to use cream suitable for whipping or ultra-pasteurised cream with 35-40% fat content.

Do not use low-fat cream or non-dairy cream.

🇬🇧 For UK readers: if you want to use double cream -which has a higher fat content (50%) than heavy cream (35-40% fat)- stir some milk into the double cream to bring it to the right fat content. Instructions in Double cream: how to use” notes in the recipe.

Overview

This is a quick overview of the recipe. If you are new to ice cream making, do read the recipe before proceeding. 

Warm the heavy cream, cocoa powder and 4 tablespoons of the sugar until hot and steamy and the cocoa dissolves.

Add the chopped chocolate and stir to melt, then blend with an immersion/regular blender to smooth it.

In a large heatproof bowl whisk the corn starch with 3 tablespoons of the cold milk to create a slurry.

 

Bring to a boil the rest of the milk and sugar and pour over the corn starch slurry; the milk will instantly thicken.

Pour in the thickened milk the chocolate mixture, stir and cool down over an ice bath.

Put the ice cream mixture in the refrigerator overnight, or until completely cold (a faster chilling method is also included in the recipe).

Churn in your ice cream maker until fluffed up and creamy.

Put it in the freezer for a few hours to set. 

As soon as it sets, you can either serve it from the ice cream maker bowl or transfer it to a container and store it in the freezer.

The recipe

Classic Chocolate Ice Cream | with corn starch

Classic Chocolate Ice Cream | with corn starch

Ingredients:
Notes:

When making ice cream prefer to weigh all the ingredients by weight. We also recommend weighing the liquids directly into the bowl/pan as you proceed with the recipe instead of transferring them from one bowl to another because this transfer causes a small -but unwanted- loss of quantity.

If you do not have a kitchen scale, follow these guidelines:

• 1 cup (US) = 237 ml | 1 tablespoon = 15 ml

• sugar: measuring sugar in tablespoons is more accurate than measuring it in cups. Use a 15 ml measuring tablespoon (not a regular one); this is 13 gr of sugar. To measure correctly, each time you scoop the sugar, level it with the flat side of a knife.

• cocoa powder: first, sift the cocoa powder into a bowl and then measure by the spoonful by gently taking a spoonful at a time and levelling it with the flat side of a knife. Measure the cocoa powder right after sifting it, as its volume lessens while it sits.

• 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.

• milk and cream: thoroughly scrape with a rubber spatula any residues left on the sides and bottom of the cup every time you measure something and empty it.

Note that the quantities in each measuring system (grams, ounces, and cups) in our recipes may not be accurate conversions; any deviations you may notice do not affect the outcome.

This recipe makes a 1.2 litre/quart ice cream mixture (before churning), perfect for ice cream makers with a capacity of 1.5 and up to 2 litres/quarts (like Cuisinart ice cream makers).

If you need to scale the ice cream mixture up or down, use this ratio of the ingredients (in weight only):

milk 40.4% / heavy cream 35.2% / sugar 14.5 % / 70-74%  cocoa solids chocolate 8.6% / cocoa powder 1.3%

in desired total weight of ice cream mixture.

You can combine double cream with whole milk to make heavy cream for this recipe. To make 350 g (12.3 oz) heavy cream, you need:

  • 250 g double cream (8.8 oz) (with 50% fat)
  • 100 g/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 350 g (12.3 oz) heavy cream needed. 

*this 100 g (3.5.oz) of milk is extra to the 525 g milk (18.5 oz) asked in the recipe. If using double cream, you need in total 625 g milk (22 oz), from which:

  • 525 g (18.5 oz) are for the recipe; and
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) are mixed with the double cream to make heavy cream

A flexible rubber spatula is good for:
-wiping the bottom of the saucepan when you cook dairy on the stovetop.
-scraping residues from bowls, saucepans etc.

If you do not have one, we strongly encourage you to buy one, preferably a flexible one. 

Instructions
Plan ahead:

The ice cream mixture needs to cool completely before churning, so prepare it in advance (approx. 8 hours before) to give it time to chill in the refrigerator. Alternatively, if you have plenty of ice cubes, you can have the ice cream mixture ready for churning in one hour; you will find detailed instructions under step 2.

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: Melt the chocolate

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

Sift the cocoa powder (20 g; 0.7 oz) through a fine-mesh sieve and into a small bowl if you haven’t already done so. Do not skip sifting, it is necessary.

Warm the heavy cream with the cocoa powder: in a medium saucepan, put the heavy cream (350 g; 12.3 oz), the cocoa powder and 4 tablespoons of the sugar (60 g; 2.1 oz). Warm over medium heat, often whisking until the cocoa dissolves and the milk is hot and very steamy. Do not let it come to a boil. Remove from the heat.

Add the chocolate (115 g; 4.1 oz) and stir to melt it.

Blend with an immersion blender for 30 seconds or until no brown clumps are visible, pausing once to scrape the bottom and sides of the saucepan with the rubber spatula.

Pour it into a heatproof bowl, scraping along any residues left in the saucepan with the rubber spatula. Let it cool down while you proceed with the next step.

Step 2: Thicken the milk

Make a corn starch slurry: in a large 

heatproof bowl, put the corn starch (25 gr; 1 oz) and roughly 3 tablespoons of the cold milk (45 g; 2 oz). Whisk until smooth. Set aside. 

Warm the rest of the milk with the sugar: in a medium saucepan, put the rest of the milk (480 g; 17.5 oz) and the rest of the sugar (120 g; 4.3 oz; 10 tablespoons) and warm over medium heat, often stirring until the sugar dissolves. Do not let the milk boil before the sugar fully dissolves, or the milk may curdle; often stirring helps the sugar dissolve efficiently.

Bring the milk to a rolling boil: (95° C / 203° F / when the milk’s surface is covered with bubbles which pop vigorously / if the milk starts to overflow); at this time, give a thorough whisk to the corn starch slurry to re-smooth it. Do not let the milk boil for too long; as soon as it comes to a full boil, take it off the heat.

Immediately pour the boiling milk into the starch slurry and stir for one minute; notice that it will start to thicken as you stir.

Just a tad. The difference in the thickness will be from that of milk to the thickness of heavy cream. That may seem too little, but it is enough for now, as the ice cream mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.

If the milk doesn’t thicken as described above, return it to the saucepan and onto medium-high heat, constantly stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. When it starts to thicken (or when the first bubbles appear on its surface), immediately remove it from the heat and pour it back into the bowl. 

Step 3: Chill the ice cream mixture

Combine the two mixtures: pour the chocolate cream into the thickened milk scraping all residues from the bowl. Stir until it is a uniform brown colour with no streaks.

Strain the ice cream mixture over a fine-mesh sieve and into a bowl.

Cool it down: prepare an ice bath by putting the bowl with the ice cream mixture into a larger bowl and filling the empty sides with ice cubes and cold water. How many ice cubes? A tray of ice cubes (200 g; 7 oz of ice) is enough to bring the ice cream mixture to room temperature. Let the ice cream mixture cool down for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chill until completely cold: cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.

If you have plenty of ice cubes, you can have the ice cream mixture ready for churning in less than one hour by cooling it in an ice bath. Note that the time and quantity of ice given below, are for an ice cream mixture that has been cooled down (it is not hot to the touch).

How to prepare an ice bath for fast chilling:

1. Put the ice cream mixture in a bowl made of heatproof glass or stainless steel; these materials help the mixture chill fast; and don’t break in sudden temperature changes. Avoid using a plastic bowl which will take forever to cool, or a regular glass bowl that may break upon contact with the ice bath.

2. Nest the bowl with the ice cream mixture into a large empty bowl (it should be large enough to fit ice cubes on the sides) and fill the sides of the large empty bowl with ice cubes. How many ice cubes? Well, the more ice you put in, the faster it will chill.

3. Pour cold water into the sides of the large bowl, taking care that no water slips into the ice cream mixture. Pour as much cold water as needed so that the level of the water bath in the large bowl is 2 cm / 1 inch above the ice cream mixture. Add more ice cubes to keep them plentiful in the water.

 For this quantity of ice cream mixture, we started with approx. 500 g; 17 oz ice cubes and less than 1 litre fridge-cold water.

4. Refresh the ice bath with new ice cubes as soon as the older ones start to melt. If you have a thermometer, add enough ice cubes to keep the water well below 10° C / 50° F – take care that you measure the temperature of the water itself, not the ice temperature. The colder the ice bath, the faster the ice cream mixture will chill. You may need to remove water from the ice bath if it starts to overflow; to do so, carefully remove the bowl with the ice cream mixture, pour out the excess water and put the bowl back in. We used approximately 250 g; 9 oz additional ice cubes.

5. Stir often, leaving the spatula in the bowl during the cooling process. The ice cream mixture is ready for churning when it is fridge-cold to the touch (anywhere between 4-12° C / 39-54° F is perfectly ok).

6. Remove the bowl with the ice cream mixture from the ice bath, and wipe its bottom with a kitchen towel. The ice cream mixture is now ready for churning.

When churning with a domestic ice cream maker, the ice cream mixture must be fridge-cold (4ºC–12ºC / 39ºF-54ºF / it feels fridge-cold when you place your index finger into it).

If the ice cream mixture is not cold enough, the ice cream maker may not be able to churn it to its fullest potential, resulting in a sloppy liquid vs. fluffy ice cream.

Step 4: Churn the ice cream

Check if the ice cream mixture is cold before churning it: 4ºC–12ºC / 39ºF-54ºF / it feels fridge-cold when you place your index 

finger into it.

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

Stir: the ice cream will thicken after chilling; give it a vigorous and thorough stirring to loosen it; this will allow it to churn for longer and fluff up. If it is too thick, give it a quick blitz with the immersion blender.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the ice cream mixture through the canister and into the ice cream makerLeave to churn until fluffed up and creamy; depending on your ice cream maker, this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes.

This ice cream will expand and fluff up during churning. It is ready when it looks smooth and fluffy, with the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. The total churning time depends on your ice cream maker and could be anywhere from 30-70 minutes.
To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will still be soft like soft-serve ice cream. If it looks watery or starts to melt the moment you spoon it, leave it to churn 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 stop after a specific 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 5: Put the ice cream 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, turn off the ice cream maker and: 
· 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 place it in the freezer 
Setting time depends on many factors; see notes below for indicative times.

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

Storing and serving

Storing: 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 cream, freezes hard in the long term. You can make it perfectly scoopable again by putting it in the refrigerator for 45-60 minuter until soft; or until its internal temperature reads -11°C / 12°F.

Instructions

The ice cream mixture needs to cool completely before churning, so prepare it in advance (approx. 8 hours before) to give it time to chill in the refrigerator. Alternatively, if you have plenty of ice cubes, you can have the ice cream mixture ready for churning in one hour; see detailed instructions below.

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.

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

Sift the cocoa powder (20 g; 0.7 oz) through a fine-mesh sieve and into a small bowl if you haven’t already done so. Do not skip sifting, it is necessary.

Make a corn starch slurry: in a large heatproof bowl, put the corn starch (25 g; 1 oz) and roughly 3 tablespoons of the cold milk (45 g; 2 oz). Whisk until smooth. Set aside.

Warm the cream with the cocoa powder and 1/3 of the sugar: in a medium saucepan, put the heavy cream (350 g; 12.3 oz), the cocoa powder and 60 g of the sugar (2.1 oz; 4 tablespoons). Warm over medium heat, often whisking until the cocoa dissolves and the milk is hot and very steamy. Do not let it come to a boil. Remove from the heat.

Add the chocolate (115 g; 4.1 oz) and stir with the rubber spatula to melt the chocolate.

Blend with an immersion blender for 30 seconds or no brown clumps are visible, pausing to scrape the bottom and sides of the saucepan with the rubber spatula as needed.

Pour it into a heatproof bowl, scraping along any residues left in the saucepan with the rubber spatula. Let it cool down while you proceed with the next step.

Make a corn starch slurry: in a large

heatproof bowl, put the corn starch (25 gr; 1 oz) and roughly 3 tablespoons of the cold milk (45 g; 2 oz). Whisk until smooth. Set aside. 

Warm the rest of the milk with the sugar: in a medium saucepan, put the rest of the milk (480 g; 17.5 oz) and the rest of the sugar (120 g; 4.3 oz; 10 tablespoons) and warm over medium heat, often stirring until the sugar dissolves. Do not let the milk boil before the sugar fully dissolves, or the milk may curdle; often stirring helps the sugar dissolve efficiently.

Bring the milk to a rolling boil: (95° C / 203° F / when the milk’s surface is covered with bubbles which pop vigorously / if the milk starts to overflow); at this time, give a thorough whisk to the corn starch slurry to re-smooth it. Do not let the milk boil for too long; as soon as it comes to a full boil, take it off the heat.

Immediately pour the boiling milk into the starch slurry and stir for one minute; notice milk (45 g; 2 oz). Whisk until smooth. Set aside. If it doesn’t thicken or you have doubts, read Thickening the milk in the questions & troubleshooting section below.

Strain the ice cream mixture over a fine-mesh sieve and into a bowl.

Cool it down: prepare an ice bath by putting the bowl with the ice cream mixture into a larger bowl and filling the empty sides with ice cubes and cold water. How many ice cubes? A tray of ice cubes (200 g; 7 oz of ice) is enough to bring the ice cream mixture to room temperature. Let the ice cream mixture cool down for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Chill until completely cold: cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.

Alternatively, to speed up the chilling process, read A faster way to chill the ice cream mixture in the questions & troubleshooting section below.

Check if the ice cream mixture is cold before churning it: 4ºC–12ºC / 39ºF-54ºF / it feels fridge-cold when you place your index finger into it.

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

Stir: the ice cream will thicken after chilling; give it a vigorous and thorough stirring to loosen it. If it is too thick, give it a quick blitz with an immersion/regular blender; this will allow it to churn for longer and fluff up.

Churn: with the machine running, pour the ice cream mixture through the canister and into the ice cream makerLeave to churn until fluffed up and creamy; depending on your ice cream maker, this can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes; read more in How do I know when the ice cream is ready in questions & troubleshooting below.

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, turn off the ice cream maker and: 

· 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 place it in the freezer 

Setting time depends on many factors; read How long does it take for the ice cream to set in questions & troubleshooting below.

Serve or store: as soon as it sets, you can either serve it directly from the removable freezer bowl or transfer it to an airtight container for longer storing. 

Storing: 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 cream, freezes hard in the long term. You can make it perfectly scoopable again by putting it in the refrigerator for 45-60 minuter until soft; or until its internal temperature reads -11° / 12°F.

How much should the milk thicken? Just a tad. The difference in the thickness will be from that of milk to the thickness of heavy cream. That may seem too little, but it is enough for now, as the ice cream mixture will continue to thicken as it cools (step 4).

Troubleshooting: if the milk doesn’t thicken as described above, return it to the saucepan and onto medium-high heat, constantly stirring so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. When it starts to thicken (or when the first bubbles appear on its surface), immediately remove it from the heat and pour it into the bowl.

If you have plenty of ice cubes, you can have the ice cream mixture ready for churning in less than one hour by cooling it in an ice bath. Note that the time and quantity of ice given below, are for an ice cream mixture that has been cooled down (it is not hot to the touch).

How to prepare an ice bath for fast chilling:

1. Put the ice cream mixture in a bowl made of heatproof glass or stainless steel; these materials help the mixture chill fast; and don’t break in sudden temperature changes. Avoid using a plastic bowl which will take forever to cool, or a regular glass bowl that may break upon contact with the ice bath.

2. Nest the bowl with the ice cream mixture into a large empty bowl (it should be large enough to fit ice cubes on the sides) and fill the sides of the large empty bowl with ice cubes. How many ice cubes? Well, the more ice you put in, the faster it will chill.

3. Pour cold water into the sides of the large bowl, taking care that no water slips into the ice cream mixture. Pour as much cold water as needed so that the level of the water bath in the large bowl is 2 cm / 1 inch above the ice cream mixture. Add more ice cubes to keep them plentiful in the water.

 For this quantity of ice cream mixture, we started with approx. 500 g; 17 oz ice cubes and less than 1 litre fridge-cold water.

4. Refresh the ice bath with new ice cubes as soon as the older ones start to melt. If you have a thermometer, add enough ice cubes to keep the water well below 10° C / 50° F – take care that you measure the temperature of the water itself, not the ice temperature. The colder the ice bath, the faster the ice cream mixture will chill. You may need to remove water from the ice bath if it starts to overflow; to do so, carefully remove the bowl with the ice cream mixture, pour out the excess water and put the bowl back in. We used approximately 250 g; 9 oz additional ice cubes.

5. Stir often, leaving the spatula in the bowl during the cooling process. The ice cream mixture is ready for churning when it is fridge-cold to the touch (anywhere between 4-12° C / 39-54° F is perfectly ok).

6. Remove the bowl with the ice cream mixture from the ice bath, and wipe its bottom with a kitchen towel. The ice cream mixture is now ready for churning.

When churning with a domestic ice cream maker, the ice cream mixture must be fridge-cold (4ºC–12ºC / 39ºF-54ºF / it feels fridge-cold when you place your index finger into it).

If the ice cream mixture is not cold enough, the ice cream maker may not be able to churn it to its fullest potential, resulting in a sloppy liquid vs. fluffy ice cream.

This ice cream will expand and fluff up during churning. It is ready when it looks smooth and fluffy, with the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. The total churning time depends on your ice cream maker and could be anywhere from 30-70 minutes.

To evaluate if it is ready, lift a spoonful; it should be thick enough to stand on the spoon, but it will still be soft like soft-serve ice cream. If it looks watery or starts to melt the moment you spoon it, leave it to churn 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 stop after a specific 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.

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.

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.

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. 

You can use any cocoa solids % you like; the results will be the same. The ingredients change as needed; e.g. the lower in cocoa solids is the chocolate, the more chocolate you need to make this ice cream: if using chocolate with 50% cocoa solids, you need 200 gr (7.05 oz.) chocolate, whereas, if using 70-74% chocolate, you need 115 gr (4.1 oz.); e.t.c..

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