Dark Chocolate Ice Cream

  • Serves: Makes about 3 1/2 cups or about 1 quart
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Variations: Basic Vanilla Ice CreamCherry Ice CreamChocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream; Mint Ice Cream; Pistachio Ice Cream

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This is my foolproof and go-to recipe for chocolate ice cream. It's adapted from Jeni Britton Bauer, of Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams in Columbus, Ohio
I add all sorts of mix-ins after it comes out of the ice cream machine.
You can make chocolate chocolate chip, by adding some  chopped chocolate.
You can make s'mores ice cream by adding chopped graham crackers, chocolate and mini marshmallows.
It's a great blank canvas and the texture is great for an ice cream with no egg yolks added (egg free), and it also happens to be gluten-free (gluten free).


The cream cheese in the recipe acts as a binder in place of the eggs. It also lends a creamy texture.

Ice Cream Base:
2 cups whole milk or 2% milk, divided
4 teaspoons cornstarch; used as a thickener
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, preferably Philadelphia Brand; can use lower fat cream cheese, not fat free! 

1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste 

Chocolate Sauce:
1/2 cup Natural or Dutch-process (alkalized) cocoa, sifted; measure and then sift
1/2 cup brewed coffee
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate or chocolate chips
1/8 teaspoon salt

NOTE: 24 hours and no later than the night before: Freeze the ice cream maker freezer bowl / cannister or prepare according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Prepare the ice cream base:
1. Fill a large bowl with ice water. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl, place the cornstarch. Add in the 1/4 cup of the milk, and combine. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, whisk the cream cheese until softened and smooth.

4. In a 4-quart saucepan, combine the remaining milk with the heavy cream, sugar, corn syrup, and salt.

5. Bring the milk mixture to a low boil and cook over moderate heat until the sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes.

Take the pot from the heat.

6. Gradually whisk in the cornstarch mixture.

Place pan back on the stove and under medium high heat, return the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.
Cook until the mixture is slightly thickened, about 1 - 2 minutes.

7. When done, and while it is still hot, gradually whisk the thickened milk mixture into the softened cream cheese. Mix until smooth.

Make sure you hold the mixing bowl with pot holders, as it may become hot.

Whisk in the vanilla extract.

Make the chocolate sauce:
1. Bring cocoa, brewed coffee, and sugar to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan over high heat; cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate.

2. Stir sauce into the vanilla ice cream base. 

3. Set the bowl in the ice water bath and let stand, stirring the milk / cream cheese mixture, also known as your ice cream base, occasionally, until cold, about 20-30 minutes. 

Freeze the ice cream base. Make the ice cream:
1. When the ice cream base feels cold to the touch, strain it and pour into an ice cream maker.

2. Process the mixture according to the ice maker's instructions. 

3. When the ice cream is done, pack it into a 6 cup plastic container with a tight-fitting lid.

4. Press a sheet of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the ice cream and close with an airtight lid.
Freeze the vanilla ice cream until firm, about 4 hours.

Ice cream can be kept frozen for a month or more.

Basic Vanilla Ice Cream
Cherry Ice Cream

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Ice Cream
Mint Ice Cream
Pistachio Ice Cream

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