Decadent Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream

Updated on July 6, 2019
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Jan has been cooking and writing about food for over twenty years and has cooked on multiple television stations, including Food Network.

This gorgeous ice cream is perfectly sweet and perfectly chocolaty: rich, decadent and fabulous.
This gorgeous ice cream is perfectly sweet and perfectly chocolaty: rich, decadent and fabulous.

The Best Homemade Chocolate Ice Cream You'll Ever Have

I have a serious love of ice cream, and I have spent years collecting and perfecting recipes for this frozen treat. My favorites all use a cooked custard; the flavors are amazing and the final result is so creamy it's unbelievable.

This is the chocolate ice cream I pull out for special occasions—in this case, it was Levi's birthday. The kid takes after my own heart; the cake he could take or leave, but the ice cream must be perfect. So this is Levi's perfectly chocolate ice cream, and you'll love it, too. Despite the cooked custard, it's really easy to put together. A few simple steps and only a handful of ingredients and you have a chocolate ice cream to die for. Try it for yourself and see! It really is the best you'll ever have!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 cups half and half
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Combine half and half and cocoa powder in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk well, and bring up to a bare simmer.
  2. Add milk and sugar to the saucepan and stir well.
  3. Place egg yolks in a separate bowl. Whisk them well. Stir in salt and vanilla.
  4. Once cream mixture comes up to a simmer, temper the egg yolks. Working with just a ladleful at a time, add hot cream/cocoa mixture to egg yolks, whisking quickly the entire time. Continue adding ladles of the cream/cocoa mixture to the yolks until you've added about half of the cream. At that point, pour the egg yolk mixture back into the pan with the cream and cocoa mixture, whisking well.
  5. Bring the cream/yolk mixture back up to a bare simmer, and simmer until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Chill for several hours.
  6. Churn ice cream in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions, usually about half an hour. Serve immediately for soft serve, or transfer finished ice cream to the freezer to harden for several hours.

Perfect Chocolate Flavor

This ice cream gets its dynamite flavor from simple cocoa powder. Half a cup is all it takes, and the flavor is amazing.
This ice cream gets its dynamite flavor from simple cocoa powder. Half a cup is all it takes, and the flavor is amazing.

Simple Seasonings

A little bit of salt and a hint of vanilla are all it takes to highlight the deep chocolate flavor that the cocoa powder brings to the party.
A little bit of salt and a hint of vanilla are all it takes to highlight the deep chocolate flavor that the cocoa powder brings to the party.

Egg Yolks for Richness

8 egg yolks are whisked into the hot cream  base. They bring richness and depth of flavor and serve to thicken the gorgeous custard.
8 egg yolks are whisked into the hot cream base. They bring richness and depth of flavor and serve to thicken the gorgeous custard.

Half and Half Forms the Base

Three cups of half and half serve as the base for building the ice cream custard. Combine the half and half with milk and cocoa and simmer to perfection.
Three cups of half and half serve as the base for building the ice cream custard. Combine the half and half with milk and cocoa and simmer to perfection.

Whole Milk

Don't use low fat milk for this recipe - this is one time you just don't want to cheat. Full fat whole milk is necessary to carry the base.
Don't use low fat milk for this recipe - this is one time you just don't want to cheat. Full fat whole milk is necessary to carry the base.

Perfectly Sweet

Plain white sugar is all you need - this recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups.
Plain white sugar is all you need - this recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups.

Bring to a Simmer

Combine the sugar, half and half, milk and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring up to a bare simmer, whisking well to fully combine. Don't let it actually boil - a mere simmer is perfect.
Combine the sugar, half and half, milk and cocoa in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring up to a bare simmer, whisking well to fully combine. Don't let it actually boil - a mere simmer is perfect.

Egg Yolks for Richness

Whisk egg yolks with vanilla and salt before tempering the egg yolks with the hot half and half/cocoa mixture.
Whisk egg yolks with vanilla and salt before tempering the egg yolks with the hot half and half/cocoa mixture.

A Quick Chill

You can stash the mixture in the fridge for a few hours, or you can set the pan in a bowl of ice cubes. Whisk occasionally and the mixture will come down in temp within half an hour.
You can stash the mixture in the fridge for a few hours, or you can set the pan in a bowl of ice cubes. Whisk occasionally and the mixture will come down in temp within half an hour.

Ice Cream Maker

Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer's directions. My machine takes half an hour.
Churn the ice cream according to the manufacturer's directions. My machine takes half an hour.

Soft Serve Immediatley

If you want to serve the ice cream as a soft serve, you can serve it immediately. Alternately, you can stash it in the freezer to harden off.
If you want to serve the ice cream as a soft serve, you can serve it immediately. Alternately, you can stash it in the freezer to harden off.

It's just pretty...

I just get excited over ice cream!
I just get excited over ice cream!

© 2019 Jan Charles

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