THE FRENCH-STYLE ICE CREAM

Cocoa Powder (only) Ice Cream
• with egg yolks •

Cocoa Powder (only)
Ice Cream
• with egg yolks

With cocoa powder, milk, cream, sugar, and egg yolks.

This Cocoa Powder-only ice cream is perfect for celebrating the flavour of your favourite cocoa powder. Or for making you happy on those days when you crave chocolate ice cream and there is only cocoa powder in the cupboard.

Other chocolate ice cream recipes available: our Classic Chocolate Ice Cream (with chocolate AND cocoa powder), and our Chocolate-only ice cream.

 A French-style ice cream contains egg yolks cooked with milk over the stovetop to make a custard. Making a custard is a little tricky but worth the effort for the velvety ice cream it creates.

Want something super-easy or eggless instead? We’ve got you covered.

 more ways to make this Cocoa Powder-only Ice Cream:

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

THE ITALIAN WAY. This is your hot weather ice cream: easy to make and resistant to melting. Perfect for popsicle moulds, too. With cocoa powder, milk, cream, sugar, corn starch.

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

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

THE ITALIAN WAY. This is your hot weather ice cream: easy to make and resistant to melting. Perfect for popsicle moulds, too. With cocoa powder, milk, cream, sugar, corn starch.

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

or see:

The ingredients

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

• Unsweetened cocoa powder: the taste of this cocoa ice cream will be as good as the taste of the cocoa powder you use, so use one that you like. We use the same cocoa powder that we prefer for baking goods.
You can use any unsweetened cocoa powder: natural cocoa powder, raw cacao powder or Dutch-processed. Take care that the cocoa powder you use is unsweetened, which means it should contain neither sugar nor other sweeteners.

• Heavy cream (for double cream read below): for this recipe you can use heavy cream with 33% to 40% fat content. It is ok to use cream suitable for whipping or ultra-pasteurised cream with 33-40% 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”.

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

Egg yolks: prefer to use eggs in the range of 65 – 75 g; 2.3 – 2.65 oz (this is the weight of a whole egg, in its shell). It is easier to separate the egg yolks from the whites when the eggs are cold.

• Unsweetened cocoa powder: the taste of this cocoa ice cream will be as good as the taste of the cocoa powder you use, so use one that you like. We use the same cocoa powder that we prefer for baking goods.

You can use any unsweetened cocoa powder: natural cocoa powder, raw cacao powder or Dutch-processed. Take care that the cocoa powder you use is unsweetened, which means it should contain neither sugar nor other sweeteners.

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

Egg yolks: prefer to use eggs in the range of 65 – 75 g; 2.3 – 2.65 oz (this is the weight of a whole egg, in its shell). It is easier to separate the egg yolks from the whites when the eggs are cold.

• 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 33% – 40% fat. It is ok to use cream suitable for whipping or ultra-pasteurised cream with 33-40% 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. 

Bring the heavy cream; remove from the heat and add the cocoa powder, whisking to dissolve.

Make the custard: warm the milk the sugar and pour it over the egg yolks, whisking them vigorously.

Pour back into the saucepan and cook over medium heat, constantly stirring, until it slightly thickens.

Remove from the heat and pour the custard over a fine-mesh sieve and into the cocoa cream

Cool it down over an ice bath.

Chill the ice cream mixture overnight or until completely cold.

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 to a container and store it in the freezer.

The recipe

Cocoa Powder (only) Ice Cream
• with egg yolks (custard) •

Cocoa Powder (only)
Ice Cream
• with egg yolks •

Ingredients:
Notes:

When making ice cream, prefer to weigh all the ingredients, even the liquid ones. We also recommend – whenever possible – to weigh the liquid ingredients 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. Do measure the cocoa powder right after sifting it, as its volume lessens while it sits.

• milk and heavy 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 always be accurate conversions; any deviations in conversions 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 34% / heavy cream 38.9% / sugar 16.4 % / egg yolks 6.5% / cocoa powder 4.2%

in desired total weight of ice cream mixture.

For example, if you want to make 1000 g (approx. 1 litre) of ice cream mixture, you need:

• 1000 g x 34% = 340 g milk

• 1000 g x 38.9% = 389 g heavy cream

• 1000 g x 16.4% = 164 g sugar

• 1000 g x 6.5% = 65 g egg yolks

• 1000 g x 4.2% = 42 g cocoa powder

You can combine double cream with whole milk to make heavy cream for this recipe.

To make 475 g (16.8 oz) heavy cream, stir together:

  • 330 g double cream (11.8 oz) (with approx. 50% fat)
  • 145 g / ml whole milk (5 oz) (with approx. 3.5% fat) -note that this milk is extra to the 415 g; 14.6 oz asked in the recipe-

The resulting heavy cream has 36% fat, perfect for this ice cream. Proceed with the recipe just as if you had the 475 g (16.8 oz) heavy cream needed. 

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. 

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: Dissolve the cocoa powder

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

Bring the heavy cream to a boil: in a medium saucepan, pour the heavy cream (475 g; 16.8 oz) and cook over medium-high. Remove from the heat when it comes to a boil (85° C / 185° F / when the cream’s surface is covered with bubbles which pop vigorously / if the cream starts to overflow)

Add the cocoa powder (50 g; 1.8 oz), whisking to dissolve it.

Pour into a large heatproof bowl; set a mesh-strainer over the bowl and set the bowl next to the stovetop.

Step 2: Make the custard

Prepare the egg yolks: put the egg yolks (4 egg yolks; 80 g; 2.8 oz) in a medium heatproof 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 g; 14.6 oz) and the sugar (200 g; 7.1 oz) in a medium saucepan (you can use the same saucepan you boiled the cream in; no need to rinse it). Warm over medium heat, often stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

Pour the warm milk into the egg yolks: when all the sugar dissolves and the milk is hot and steamy, remove it from the heat and slowly ladle roughly half of the warm milk over the egg yolks with one hand while whisking them vigorously with the other hand to temper them.

Cook until thickened: pour the tempered yolks & milk back into the saucepan and over medium-high heat. Cook, constantly stirring

with a rubber spatula and scraping the bottom of the saucepan to prevent the custard from scalding. Maintain a medium temperature, do not let it come to a boil.

Remove from the heat when the custard starts to thicken (82ºC / 179 ºF / when it thickens to coat the back of a spoon / when you tilt the saucepan, a layer of thickened custard appears to form on the bottom).

Pour the thickened milk through the fine mesh sieve and into the bowl with the cocoa cream.

Stir thoroughly to combine.

Step 2: Chill the ice cream mixture

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? You will need two trays of ice cubes (400 g; 14 oz of ice) 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. This time is also necessary for a custard-based ice cream to mature and its flavours to develop, so do not rush the cooling process.

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 3: 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 finger into it.

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

Stir: the ice cream mixture will thicken when cold; 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 4: 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 be inserted 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 ice cream 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. 

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.

Bring the heavy cream to a boil: in a medium saucepan, pour the heavy cream (475 g; 16.8 oz) and cook over medium-high. Remove from the heat when it comes to a boil (85° C / 185° F / when the cream’s surface is covered with bubbles which pop vigorously / if the cream starts to overflow)

Add the cocoa powder (50 g; 1.8 oz), whisking to dissolve it.

Pour into a large heatproof bowl; set a mesh-strainer over the bowl and set the bowl next to the stovetop.

Prepare the egg yolks: put the egg yolks (4 egg yolks; 80 g; 2.8 oz) in a medium heatproof 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 g; 14.6 oz) and the sugar (200 g; 7.1 oz) in a medium saucepan (you can use the same saucepan you boiled the cream in; no need to rinse it). Warm over medium heat, often stirring, until the sugar dissolves.

Pour the warm milk into the egg yolks: when all the sugar dissolves and the milk is hot and steamy, remove it from the heat and slowly ladle roughly half of the warm milk over the egg yolks with one hand while whisking them vigorously with the other hand to temper them.

Cook until thickened: pour the tempered yolks & milk back into the saucepan and over medium-high heat. Cook, constantly stirring with a rubber spatula and scraping the bottom of the saucepan to prevent the custard from scalding. Maintain a medium temperature, do not let it come to a boil.

Remove from the heat when the custard starts to thicken (82ºC / 179 ºF / when it thickens to coat the back of a spoon / when you tilt the saucepan, a layer of thickened custard appears to form on the bottom).

Pour the thickened milk through the fine mesh sieve and into the bowl with the cocoa cream.

Stir thoroughly to combine.

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? You will need two trays of ice cubes (400 g; 14 oz of ice) 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. This time is also necessary for a custard-based ice cream to mature and its flavours to develop, so do not rush the cooling process.

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

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

Stir: the ice cream mixture will thicken when cold; 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; 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°C / 12°F.

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 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.

Straight after churning, the ice cream has a soft-serve ice cream 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.

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.

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