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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream…and a note about the freezing process

It’s time, my friends. Time for homemade chocolate ice cream!

I still can’t decide which I like better, the vanilla or the chocolate. They are seriously both amazing. I am a chocoholic, so that’s saying something about the vanilla. But, I don’t know, this chocolate ice cream is just soooo good. Creamy and chocolatey, it’s almost like eating chocolate mousse or pot de creme in frozen form. The ice cream is super rich and packs a chocolatey punch – don’t be fooled by that light brown color!

When I wrote about the vanilla ice cream, I mentioned that I didn’t follow the Cook’s Illustrated instructions for freezing the ice cream after it’s churned and that everything still turned out fine. WELLL…when I made ice cream for a third time, I discovered why they have you do what they do and now I am going to do what they sway from now on! They have you freeze a metal pan and then pour the churned ice cream into the metal pan. You let it freeze in that pan for about an hour and then transfer to an air-tight container. Just seemed like extra steps to me…but…now I know better.

The first time I made the ice cream, I put it directly into one of my glass bowls with a lid. Nothing went awry and I didn’t think much about the process. The second time I did in fact freeze a metal pan. I put the churned ice cream in that pan and then ended up just storing it in that pan with foil on top. We ate it so quickly we didn’t really need an air-tight container! 😉

Well, the third time I made the ice cream, when the ice cream was done churning, I put it in one of my casserole dishes because all my glass containers with lids were dirty and I hadn’t frozen a metal pan. As soon as the ice cream hit the casserole dish, it started melting!!! Not good. I left the remainder of my ice cream in the ice cream maker and put the casserole dish in the freezer for 5 or 10 minutes, then transferred the remainder of the ice cream to the dish and that seemed to help. ANYWAY…I don’t know why I questioned their technique! It all makes sense to me now! I will never qustion Cook’s Illustrated again. 😉

Without further ado, the recipe!

Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream
From the Cook’s Illustrated Cookbook
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 1 quart
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used semisweet the second time – it was still rich but a bit less rich, which some people might like. Cook’s Illustrated recommends using high-quality chocolate, which I also recommend. We used Scharffen Berger.)
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (Jane addition, not part of original recipe)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Place an 8 or 9 inch square metal pan in the freezer.
  2. Microwave chocolate at 50 percent power, stirring every minute, until melted completely. Set aside to cool.
  3. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a medium bowl set over a larger bowl of ice water.
  4. Combine milk, cream, salt, and ½ cup of the sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture is steaming steadily and registers 175 degrees, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat. (Jane note: mine wasn’t steaming all that much, I just took it off when it hit 175 degrees)
  5. While cream mixture heats, whisk egg yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar in bowl until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add melted chocolate and whisk until fully incorporated.
  6. Slowly whisk half of heated cream mixture into egg yolks mixture, ½ cup at a time. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and registers 180 degrees, 7 to 14 miutes. Immediately strain custard through fine-mesh strainer and let cool over bowl of ice water to room temperature, stirring occasionally. Stir in vanilla, then cover and refrigerate until custard registers 40 degrees, at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
  7. Transfer custard to ice cream machine and churn until mixture resembles thick soft serve ice cream, 25-30 minutes. Transfer to frozen pan and press plastic wrap on surface. Return to freezer until firm around edges, about 1 hour. Transfer to an airtight container, press firmly and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Can be frozen up to 2 days. (Jane note: is also delicious even before it’s totally frozen!)


  1. 1

    Can’t believe we gave away our ice cream machine years ago!! I think I need a new one… 😉

  2. 2
    Stephanie P.

    While this looks really yummy, I can’t see an ice cream recipe without giving some Ohio love to Jeni’s Ice Creams, and she came out with a cookbook last year (thankfully since her shops are 90 min. from me in Ohio and because she sources almost everything locally, her prices are kind of high).

    She doesn’t use egg yolks which I find make the process easier, and so many of her flavor combinations you wouldn’t dream of, but taste so wonderful—Sweet Corn Ice Cream–MAKE IT this summer with fresh corn–it’s incredible!

    I LOVE her sweet spicy mixes, Queen City Cayenne happens to be my favorite, a milk chocolate with spicy kick. It might be a bit much for your kiddos, but you can make some milder flavors for them too!

    Happy Summer to you and your family! 🙂

  3. 3

    How many pints or quarts does this recipe make?

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