Long-time readers would know how serious I am about chocolate and ice cream. So believe me when I say: This is “The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have”.
And the best part is, you don’t even need an ice cream maker!
Ice cream is to me what water is to others. It is the source of my life. My body needs at least two scoops of ice cream everyday to function properly. At times, ice cream covers more than 70% of my tongue’s surface, and at this rate, I’m afraid 60% of my body will be ice cream very soon.
My answer to the childhood question, “If you were stranded on an island, name three things…” had always been: Unlimited supply of chocolate ice cream, a giant freezer and a spoon. I still had my manners. But if you asked me now, I would ditch the spoon and be torn between almond toffee and hand-rolled cones with chocolate-filled tips. Unlimited supply of each, of course.
I want to you to know how serious I am about chocolate ice cream, because “The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have” is quite a statement. I don’t take this challenge lightly.
For me, the most important qualities of “the best chocolate ice cream” are creaminess and a deep, intense chocolate flavor. Most recipes will suggest a whole lot of egg yolks to achieve creaminess, but in this case a combination of cornstarch and sweetened condensed milk does a better job. By using sweetened condensed milk, you not only introduce a slight caramel undertone, but also limit the amount of water in the mix. Cornstarch absorbs and holds water. Less ice crystals and a binding agent to hold them together translates into a more creamy consistency. Cocoa powder, vanilla extract and coffee add depth, and a pinch of salt brings out new dimensions of flavor in chocolate.
And here comes the best part: You do not need an ice cream maker for this recipe. In fact, you should not use it, as the mixture is too thick for the machine to handle. You don’t need any hard-to-find ingredients like liquid nitrogen, either. You simply pour it into a container, press plastic wrap against the surface to create an airtight seal and place it in the freezer. It never gets icy. In fact, this will also be “The Creamiest Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have.”
The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have
Note: A few readers experienced a problem with the recipe, commenting that the mixture became too thick to scoop. I’ve tried the recipe many times and have always achieved a creamy consistency. The photos above were taken right after I’ve taken the ice cream from the freezer. It never freezes solid. In fact, it was quite a challenge to get a shot with a solid scoop. I suspected that it had something to do with the difference in ingredients. Looks like I was right. Claire from “Things We Make” just published a revised version of the recipe. Using less starch and cooking the mixture for a shorter period of time solved the problem. It seems like Turkish cornstarch isn’t as strong. Please take a look at her post here, especially if you’re living in the UK.
Makes almost a quart
- 1 can (14-ounce/400 grams) sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup (180 grams) whole milk
- 3/4 cup (175 grams) heavy cream
- 6 ounces (170 grams) bittersweet chocolate, chopped finely
- 1/4 cup (25 grams) cocoa powder
- 1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (or two tablespoons freshly-brewed espresso)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- A pinch of fine sea salt
- 5 teaspoons (12 grams) cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- In a heavy-bottomed large pan, whisk sweetened condensed milk, whole milk and heavy cream until combined. Set the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
- Take off heat and add the finely-chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk until the chocolate melts and the cocoa powder is completely dissolved.
- Mix cornstarch and cold water in a bowl with a fork until completely dissolved, and add to the ice cream base. Whisk until combined.
- Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, scraping the sides and the bottom of the pan to prevent burning, until thickened, for 8-10 minutes.
- Transfer to a heatproof bowl and set aside, uncovered, to cool for half an hour. Don’t worry if a skin forms on top. When the bowl is cool enough to handle, cover with plastic wrap and chill thoroughly–preferably overnight–in the refrigerator.
- Before transferring the chilled ice cream to the freezer, stir or whisk to dissolve the skin on top and scrape into a container. Cover with plastic, this time pressing the wrap against the ice cream to create an airtight seal; put the lid on (or cover with an additional layer of plastic wrap) and freeze until firm enough to scoop.