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
Recipe inspired by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer and featured previously at A Cup of Jo
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.
Betül (Ballad of Seasons)
seems so yummy! and love this part: “You do not need an ice cream maker for this recipe” yay!
This looks amazing. Sold!
I’m so glad I stumbled upon this today. I need to try this recipe now!
I’ve never seen such a creamy texture. Good job. Will have to try this weekend.
Due to technical difficulties, I am posting my question here. In the recipe, you use condensed milk. There are some particularities to my personna and one of them is using processed food as little as possible. Condensed milk is very high on my list of foods I do not trust. You are mentioning that usually egg yolk is used in the recipes. How many would I need to use instead of the condensed milk making this ice cream?
koszyczek – It is hard to tell without testing it, but you usually need 6 yolks for 3 cups of liquid.
condensed milk is just milk that has been cooked for a long time with some sugar added. No preservatives, colorants or other things added. Dont be scared of it.
If you say this is the best ice cream ever then I totally trust you – you know your chocolate! Heading over to the site now 🙂
I saw this on Cup of Jo yesterday and headed to the kitchen thirty seconds later to work on it! It’s finally ready to eat today and I think I did something wrong. The texture is more like fudge and less like ice cream. I can even pick up chunks of it and not have any of it melt onto my hand. Did I heat it for too long? Should I add more liquid?
Kimberly – At room temperature, the texture will be like thick pudding. If it’s like fudge, then you might have overcooked it or added too much cornstarch. I’d recommend spooning the cornstarch into the teaspoon and then leveling it. Do not add more liquid at this stage. I’d just put it in the freezer. Please let me know how it turns out after you freeze it.
yum, yum, yum….what can i say other than all the ingredients for this are going on the shopping list this weekend….xx
this chocolate seems so good but i wonder dessert spoon in picture. it looks absolutely wonderful. where did you find it?
herzevekil – I bought it on eBay.
I just commented on A Cup of Joe and thought I’d ask here. I made this Friday night and had the same problem as Kimberly: I ended up with a frozen fudge or ganache-type thing goes, with nothing “ice cream” at all about it.
I made precise measurements (by weight). Perhaps it was cooked too long (although I followed the instructions on heat level/duration)?
Anyway, our guests ended up eating it without complaint, I was just disappointed that it wasn’t an ice cream.
e – Did it freeze completely? If so, you might have cooked it too long. Was it scoopable as soon as you removed it from the freezer?
Thank you for the response. No, it was not at all scoopable after being frozen – it was very stiff. Even after I’d chilled it (before freezing it), there was no way of “stirring or whisking” it, as the recipe calls for. It had already taken on the texture of fudge.
So perhaps it was a matter of over-cooking? Even though I used medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes?
e – I’m surprised to hear that it was stiff and not scoopable as mine NEVER gets stiff. So much so that you have to scoop and serve it as soon as you take it from the freezer otherwise it starts melting. That’s what I like about this recipe – you do NOT need to wait for it to get soft. Such a shame… OK, here are a few ideas/questions: 1) How do you measure cornstarch? Dip and sweep or spoon and level? I don’t think it will matter THAT much, but just an idea. Dip and sweep will weigh more than spoon and level. I always measure cornstarch (and cocoa) by spoon & level. If you have a scale, it should read 12 grams (or 0.4 oz). 2) What was the consistency when you took it off the heat? How thick was it? It should resemble a very thick soup but you should still be able to whisk without any effort. Other than these, the only thing I can think of is the difference in ingredients – mainly cornstarch. Maybe the US version is stronger than Turkish cornstarch? If you’d like to try again, I’d recommend using 4 teaspoons (instead of 5) and taking it off the heat as soon as the mixture reaches 172 to 180 degrees F (I didn’t want to be this specific in the actual recipe). Hope this helps.
Planet EU Travel
Wow! This looks amazing!
Absolutely sold – at least for me.
Very strange! When I took the mixture off the heat, it was already very thick, like a pudding, and difficult to whisk. Perhaps it is the strength of the cornstarch. I had measured it by weight, so used exactly 12 grams. Perhaps I’ll try again with less – it looks so delicious in the photos that I think it’s worth another shot 🙂 Thanks a lot for the hints.
e – Then the only thing I can think of is the strength of the cornstarch. Please do let me know how the second one turns out. Looking forward to your good news.
I tried to find an email address on your site to email directly but can’t seem to locate one so I am sending message via this comments section (speaking of which, the ice cream looks delicious).
I’m reaching out to see if you might email me directly at the address provided to discuss publishing the US/English edition of your forthcoming cookbook?
Many thanks and kind regards,
Nicki – Hello! I am sending you an e-mail right now.
It *does* look like the creamiest most intense chocolate ice cream ever! And no ice cream maker?? I’m going over there right now for the recipe!
Mine turned out the same way – thick and fudgelike. It was like a thick soup when I poured it from the pan to the container to cool. I refrigerated overnight and this morning it was too thick for a spoon. It is in the freezer now and I will see how it looks. I will try your suggestions next time of less cornstarch and shorter cooking time. Sad.
What brand cocoa and bittersweet chocolate do you use?
Barbara – Actually, after it’s been refrigerated overnight, it should be a bit thick and fudgelike but should resemble a thick pudding. You should still be able to dissolve the skin on top by mixing it with a wire whisk or wooden spoon. If it’s thicker than that, I’d recommend less starch next time. I use Valrhona’s cocoa and chocolate (Guanaja). Please let me know how it turns out after freezing it. Hope you like it.
No needded to wait to summer for have this creamy chocolate ice cream!
That recipe looks rediculously decadent. The richness of ice cream in the shot reminds me of my favourite dark chocolate gelato from a company in Toronto called Gelato Fresco.
I can just taste the creamy chocolate off my computer screen!
Thanks for your comment on my first ice cream post. I made it again with less cornstarch and less cooking and it turned out great. See: http://thingswemake.wordpress.com/2012/03/03/mocha-fudge-ice-cream/
Thanks for the recipe, it just needed a bit of adapting for UK ingredients 🙂
Clairetweet – Focha looks amazing! Thanks a lot for adapting the recipe and sharing it on your blog. I’ll make a note of this in the post.
i had the same fudge problem. i so want the creamy melty version! not that the frozen fudge isn’t amazing, i just want it to look like the picture!
Cenk bey merhaba;
Tariflerinizi büyük bir keyifle okuyor ve zevkle uyguluyorum. Yemek kitabınızla ilgili okura mektup başlığıyla yazdığınız yazınızda bir çok insan için minik bir detay ama benim çalışma alanım olan bir konu dikkatimi çekti. Kitap ya da herhangi başka bir sunum için fon olarak kullandığınız doğal taşlar (mermer, granit, traverten vb.) benim hem akademik hem de alan bilgisi olarak uzmanlık alanım.. Uygun renk, doku, desen, tedarik dahil her konuda istediğiniz zaman seve seve yardımcı ollurum..İyi çalışmalar dileklerimle.
Here’s another take on this recipe without the sweetened condensed milk… : )
Lily – It looks great. I think it would have a completely different texture without the sweetened condensed milk and cornstarch.
sitedeki her tarifi denemek istiyorum ama şu ölçüler teknikler gibi detayları pratikte öğrensek benim gibi yeni başlayanlar için harika olurdu. bi yemek atölyesi yapsanız mesela süper olmaz mı 🙂
This looks really good, and we don’t need an ice cream maker? much better, thanks for the recipe!
This is my first time wrting on any blog i love ur blogn recipes n the photos r amazing.i reside in dubai n just last weekend happened to eat at a turkish grill n enjoyed turkish icecream too
I m visiting istanbul after a week with family.. is there any food, shop or place i shouldnt miss
Any places near istanbul i should see..who else to ask for authentic guidance than u
Thanksn plz write more 🙂
Saima – The list is too long. I’ll send it in an e-mail.
Cenk, what was your response to Nicki’s question about publishing US version of your cookbook?
emelll – I need to first finish writing the Turkish version. Publishers require a proposal, which takes a lot of time to put together. I’ll start working on one when I find the time and we’ll see what happens.
First of all, exquisite photos!
I guess I had the same problem as everyone else here–mine came out too thick. It certainly could have been because of my messy and not-so-precise measuring. 🙂 But, it was delicious anyway. I decided to refrigerate it instead of freeze it, and just call it custard. Here are some pictures of my attempt:
Jamie Marie – Your photos are amazing! Glad you liked it.
I made this according to Claire’s recipe and it’s still rock hard after freezing. It melts nicely on the tongue though. Perhaps I just keep my freezer very cold?
What aspect of this recipe keeps it from freezing solid? Both water and butterfat are very hard at freezer temperatures, so it’s not clear to me what produces scoopability.
(I should have used your recipe…Claire’s called for double cream, which I had to buy at a specialty store for $7.)
Greg Esres – I’m not sure why mine never gets solid, but there have been people who got rock-hard results just like you. At this point I’m almost sure that this is because of the difference in ingredients as my Turkish readers are achieving the same consistency – never gets solid, fudgy, melt-in-your-mouth.
Hello Cenk, I tried claire’s revised version of your delicious recipe and the result is wonderful, this chocolate ice cream has got a really consistance of fudge ! 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
Nathalie – Perfect texture! Glad to hear you enjoyed it.
Hi Cenk, I just made this and it turned out perfectly 🙂 I just wanted to ask you – how long will this keep in the freezer?
Meryem Torun – It will keep for a week.
Pamela Heiligenthal @ Enobytes
This looks detectible! I am looking forward to trying the recipe.
Great idea. My girls and I often bake and cook together with a focus on deserts but have never tried ice cream. Thanks!!
Did it. AMAZING. Though it did taste a bit like frozen pudding (not ice cream). So we tried a variant. Ditched the corn starch (it’s so thick already), added 1 1/2c whole milk, 2 eggs, and the magic ingredient–1/8 cup Disaronno (almont liquor). The liquor lowers the freezing point and made the mixture feel even silkier, scoop smoother (still very dense) and it gives it another layer of depth. Rediculous!!! Thank you for sharing.