This is not the chocolate ice cream of your youth; no this is rich, dark, bittersweet chocolate with an unctuousness that just won’t quit. And it all depends literally on the quality of the chocolate you choose: if you aren’t going to use Callebaut chocolate (bittersweet) or chocolate of similar quality (Valhrona), you will not get these results. This chocolate ice cream makes all others pale in comparison. I owe David Lebovitz and his book “The Perfect Scoop” credit for this recipe, it produces an amazing result.
2 cups (500 ml) heavy cream
3 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (best possible quality here is critical)
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
5 large egg yolks (I recommend farm-fresh eggs, or free-range eggs: happy chickens = delicious eggs and ice cream)
1/2 tspn high quality vanilla extract
Warm 1 cup of the cream and whisk in the cocoa powder as it heats; bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 30 seconds, whisking all the while. Remove the pot from the heat, and stir in the chopped chocolate until it is fully melted and incorporated. Stir in the rest of the cream, and pour the chocolatey mixture into a large bowl with a mesh strainer placed on top.
Warm up the milk, sugar and salt. Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl then slowly add the warmed up milk to the egg yolks – you must whisk constantly to prevent the egg from curdling. Pour the custard mixture back into the pot and place on medium heat. Keep stirring until the mixture thickens and can coat the back of a spoon or spatula. Make sure the temperature doesn’t climb past 180 degrees (use a candy thermometer if possible) to prevent the eggs from cooking. As soon as the custard has thickened, remove it from the heat and pour it through the mesh strainer (to catch any curdled eggy bits) into the chocolate mixture, mixing thoroughly. Add the vanilla extract.
Place the bowl over a large ice bath to chill it rapidly, then place the ice cream mixture in the fridge. Chill for at least 2 hours, then churn it in your ice cream maker until it becomes a soft serve thickness. Store it in the freezer where it will continue to harden. Ice cream can keep for at least 2 weeks – although I promise it won’t last that long! This recipe produces a quart of some of the best chocolate ice cream you’ve ever eaten.