I tested *hundreds* of batches of ice cream and got to the point where I was convinced I could have made perfect ice cream in my sleep. Writing a cookbook is a crazy whirlwind undertaking and now I have flashbacks to those messy, stressful, wonderful days any time I make ice cream. I actually made so much ice cream back then I had to buy another freezer.
Oh, and there was that time during the middle of the cookbook photoshoot at my house where my AC went out. In the middle of summer. In Phoenix, Arizona. Shooting ice cream in 100°F weather is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemies…
SO, basically what I’m saying is that whenever I share an ice cream recipe, you know that I’ve got you covered. It’s gonna be good and this Death by Chocolate Ice Cream recipe is no joke! For serious chocoholics only.
How to Make Chocolate Ice Cream
Why Custard Based Ice Cream?
Generally, there are two types of homemade ice creams.
American/Philadelphia-Style Ice Cream: this has no eggs or cooking and is made from combining milk, cream, sugar, and flavorings then churning in an ice cream maker. This is quicker and easier than custard-based ice cream but less rich and tends to get icy in the freezer.
French/Custard Based Ice Cream: this involves cooking a custard with eggs to a safe temperature slowly on the stove top, letting that cool then chill completely, then churning in an ice cream maker. The result is an ultra rich, creamy, and smooth ice cream.
I have a full step-by-step video tutorial on how to make custard based ice cream here. If you’ve never made custard ice cream before then I highly suggest you watch it before making this recipe! Here are some more tips:
- Prepare the ice bath before you cook the custard so that you can immediately remove it from the heat and strain it into the ice bath. This stops the cooking process, preventing the custard from becoming overcooked. Overcooked custard will curdle.
- Be careful when tempering the egg yolks. Whisk constantly as you slowly pour the hot cream mixture into the beaten yolks. This process allows you to gently heat the yolks so you don’t scramble them and end up with chunky ice cream.
- For best results, use an instant-read thermometer to cook the custard to 175°F, or until the custard coats the back of a wooden spoon. If the mix is off by a couple of degrees, that’s fine. Whatever you do, do not stop stirring and do not let it boil.
Always Use Full-Fat Dairy for Ice Cream!
Do not substitute low-fat dairy products in this recipe. The fat in the cream and whole milk help give the ice cream its luxurious smooth and soft texture. If you use low-fat dairy products the ice cream will become hard and icy.
Sugar = Key to Creamy Ice Cream!
Like the fat, the sugar also helps to create a smooth, creamy, and scoopable ice cream. If you reduce the sugar you’ll make an ice cream that’s brittle and icy.
CHURNING HOMEMADE ICE CREAM:
How to make ice cream with a machine:
I used my trusty Cuisinart Ice Cream machine to churn this ice cream. I’ve made literally hundreds of batches of ice cream in this machine and it’s never failed me.
If you’re using a machine like this, just make sure the freezer bowl is COMPLETELY frozen otherwise you’ll end up with soup instead of ice cream. I like to freeze mine overnight just to be sure. Also make sure your custard mixture is completely chilled before churning, for the same reason. Everything needs to be cold cold cold.
How to make ice cream WITHOUT a machine:
Although using an ice cream machine is the easiest way to get beautifully rich and creamy ice cream, I got you covered if you don’t have one. I have a full video tutorial showing you three ways to make ice cream without a machine here.
How to store & serve ice cream:
Store the ice cream in an airtight container with a sheet of plastic wrap pressed against the surface. This will help prevent ice from forming. The longer you freeze the more time the flavors will have to ripen.
If the ice cream is in the freezer for an extended period of time, let it sit in the fridge for 20-30 minutes before scooping so it can soften evenly. Remember, this is homemade stuff so there’s no stabilizers or softening agents in it! This ice cream scoop makes even the hardest ice cream scoop like butter. Store for up to 2 weeks in the freezer, though I doubt it’ll last that long!