If you want to use only chocolate in your chocolate ice cream (and skip the cocoa powder), this recipe is for you. Although the most favoured way to make chocolate ice cream is with chocolate AND cocoa powder, you may want to skip the cocoa powder to celebrate your favourite chocolate bar. (Or you may have run out of cocoa powder like I usually do). In this case, this Chocolate-Only Ice Cream is perfect; and yes, it is outstanding, like its Chocolate-and-Cocoa counterpart is.
The chocolate flavour shines through the ice cream, so use a chocolate (or couverture) that you like. Do not go nuts getting the most expensive one; if you enjoy snacking on it, it is perfect for this chocolate ice cream, too.
In this recipe, we use chocolate/couverture with 70-74% cocoa solids, but at the end of this page, you will also find the links for other cocoa solids % chocolates. The recipes are more or less the same, with small changes which result in the same chocolate intensity and luxurious mouthfeel.
This ice cream is custard-based, which is cream thickened with egg yolks. Egg yolks are the miraculous, natural ingredient that makes perfectly velvety ice creams. They also preserve the ice cream’s perfect texture in the freezer for a long time. The chocolate is enough to cover any egg taste so that the ice cream benefits from the presence of egg yolks -a perfect mouthfeel and texture- and is perfectly chocolate-y at the same time.
However, if you don’t want to use eggs, check this easy yet fantastic Philadelphia-style ice cream, which uses only chocolate, milk, cream and sugar. Or head over to all chocolate ice creams, the ultimate collection of ice cream recipes.
You can replace regular sugar with good-quality raw cane sugar, such as Demerara or Turbinado, which are very aromatic, thanks to their natural content in molasses and have an earthy, slightly caramelised aroma.
By replacing regular sugar with raw cane sugar like the above, you boost the chocolate flavour of the ice cream, creating the ultimate chocolate ice cream experience.
Choose good-quality raw cane sugar, one which smells divine when you sniff it. The best Demerara sugar is known to originate from the island of Mauritius, so check the label for the origin.
This is what you will need:
Every ingredient plays a vital role in the recipe. Do not attempt to reduce or replace anything; everything is there for a reason. Look out for these:
Here is a quick overview of the recipe. If you are new to making ice cream, read the recipe before proceeding.
Note that the colour of your ice cream mixture depends on the chocolate you use, so its hue may differ from that of the photos.
For best results, use a digital kitchen scale and measure the ingredients directly into the bowl/saucepan, as you proceed with the recipe.
Measuring the ingredients by weight (grams instead of ml) is highly recommended in ice cream making. If you do not have a 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.
This recipe is for chocolate/couverture with 70-74% cocoa solids; for other cocoa solids % click here.
Do not use in this recipe:
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:
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.
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 415 gr (14.6 oz.) heavy cream, you need:
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 415 gr (14.6 oz.) heavy cream needed.
*this 115 gr (4 oz.) milk is extra to the 415 gr milk (14.6 oz) asked in the recipe. So, if using double cream, you will need in total 530 gr milk (18.6 oz.), from which:
Use only regular sugar (white granulated sugar) or raw cane sugar such as Turbinado or Demerara.
Do not use:
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.
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.
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 lightly to break them down. Set the bowl next to the stovetop.
Warm the milk and the sugar: place the milk (415 gr/ml; 14.6 oz) and the sugar (175 gr; 6.2 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 the 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 (125 gr; 4.4 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 (415 gr; 14.6 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 some more.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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:
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 :
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:
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:
(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.
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.this temperature, the ice cream is at its best to scoop and enjoy.
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.