In my younger days, I used to be a milk chocolate kind of girl. That has changed as I’ve gotten older. My tastebuds have matured, and I prefer dark chocolate now. When given a choice, I’ll reach for the dark chocolate without thinking. It’s just something about that bitterness that I love and enjoy.
I came across this recipe for dark chocolate ice cream on Stresscake and my jaw dropped when I saw the photo. I read the story and knew about the creator of this ice cream, Fergus Henderson (he is one of the pioneers of “nose-to-tail” eating; his philosophy is that no part of an animal gets wasted or discarded when it comes to food). Fergus had been searching for a dark chocolate ice cream recipe but couldn’t find one. His first cookbook had a temporary one listed and he even asked readers for help finding the perfect dark chocolate ice cream.
After a few years, Fergus finally figured it out! The resulting recipe was published in his second cookbook and was listed on the Stresscake website. Since our homemade ice cream supply was running out at home, this was the perfect time to tackle his recipe. (And for those of you keeping track, this is the ice cream that required 6 egg yolks. I used up the 6 egg whites in this angel food cake.)
Be forewarned that this recipe will test your patience (the ice cream custard itself is easy to put together and not too much work than your standard ice cream). It takes 5 full days for the ice cream to fully come to fruition before you can eat it. Be patient, my friends. I took one bite (after 5 agonizing days) and was immediately in love. This is the best chocolate ice cream I have ever had. Seriously. I don’t know if I will need to try any other kinds because this cool treat is rich, decadent, smooth and chocolately all at once. There were no ice crystals, no extra air pockets. Just pure, rich and thick dark chocolate custard. It absolutely puts the store brands to shame and is in a league of its own.
Just remember to wait the full 5 days before you dig in. Your patience will pay off!
Dark chocolate ice cream
- 7 ounces dark chocolate 70%-75% cacao, finely chopped
- 2 cups + 2 Tablespoons whole milk
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 6 large egg yolks
- 13 Tablespoons sugar divided
- ¼ cup heavy cream I didn't have any and subbed half-and-half instead
Make the custard
- Either in a bowl set over simmering water or in the microwave in 45 second bursts at 50% power, stirring between bursts until smooth. Set aside until needed; let cool slightly.
- In a medium heavy saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the milk and cocoa powder and bring to boil, turn off the heat and set aside.
- Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and 7 Tablespoons of the sugar on high until thick, pale and very thick ribbons form, about 3 minutes.
- Whisk the egg yolks, then gradually add hot milk/cocoa mixture until combined.
- Return mixture to the saucepan and whisk in the melted chocolate until blended. Stir over low heat until slightly thickened and a thermometer registers 175°F, about 5 minutes. Stir constantly, especially in the corners.
- Transfer the chocolate custard to a large bowl and place over and ice bath to cool. Stir until custard is cool.
Make the caramel
- Bring remaining 6 Tablespoons sugar and 2 Tablespoons water to a boil in a small heavy, deep saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. (Note: a silver or light colored pan is best so you can see the color of the caramelizing sugar.)
- Caramelize the sugar over high to medium-high heat, occasionally swirling pan and brushing down sides with a wet pastry brush to dissolve any sugar crystals (do not stir), until a dark amber color forms, about 5 minutes. Gradually whisk in cream (careful – mixture will bubble vigorously).
- Whisk caramel into chocolate custard. Strain into a large container.
- Cover and chill for 2 days.
- Process custard in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Note that my ice cream maker seemed to struggle a bit since the custard was so thick. Yours may do the same.
- Transfer to another container; freeze for 3 days before eating.