No fancy add-ins or ingredients here, just a simple, dependably rich and creamy chocolate ice cream that’s bound for ice cream sandwiches, milk shakes, and chocolate sauce, as well as the front tab of your recipe box.
Game plan: The unfrozen ice cream base can be made up to 2 days in advance. It needs 3 to 4 hours to harden in the freezer after it’s been churned—that is, unless you want soft serve.
- Yield: 1 quart
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 50 mins, plus chilling and churning time
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
- 4 large egg yolks
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Prepare an ice water bath by filling a large bowl halfway with ice and water; set aside. Set a fine-mesh strainer over a large heatproof bowl and set aside.
- Combine cream and milk in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder until incorporated. Add chocolate and whisk until completely melted and smooth; set aside.
- Whisk egg yolks in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually add sugar and whisk until mixture is pale yellow and thickened, about 3 minutes. Slowly pour about a quarter of the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, whisking constantly so the hot mixture doesn’t scramble the eggs.
- Pour chocolate-egg mixture back into the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the spoon, about 5 minutes. (When you draw your finger across the spoon, it should make a mark through the mixture, which should not run back in on itself.)
- Remove from heat and strain through the prepared fine-mesh strainer. Stir vanilla extract into the chocolate base, then set the bowl over the ice bath to cool to room temperature, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Remove the chocolate base from the ice bath, cover, and place in the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 3 hours or overnight. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. The ice cream will keep in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 week.