Food

The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have

Last week, I began a new food series all about how to make killer versions of classic dishes. Well, get psyched, because Cenk from Cafe Fernando reveals how to make the best chocolate ice cream ever (without an ice-cream maker!)…

The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have
By Cenk from Cafe Fernando

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.”

Recipe: The Best Chocolate Ice Cream You’ll Ever Have
Inspired by Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer

Makes almost a quart

You’ll need:
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.

Doesn’t this look mouthwateringly delicious? Would be a slam dunk for a dinner party. Thank you so much, Cenk!

P.S. Last week: How to make the best egg sandwich.

(Photos by Cenk from Cafe Fernando. Thanks to Shoko for her help with this series)

  1. CARL says...

    This recipe looks better than it tastes. Like everyone else I was impressed with that gooey Gelato look but like many others I was disappointed after making it. My main complaint was that it tasted like Ganache more than ice cream. If I were to make it again I would leave out the cornstarch slurry and increase the milk to 1 1/2 cups. Although I think any of my ice cream/Gelato books would offer a better recipe. For the amount of work, effort and cost, I’m better off buying a good premium chocolate gelato/ice cream.

  2. Jaclyn says...

    I made fudge…what did i do wrong?? Taste great just so thick and dry literallly just like soft fudge.

  3. OH DEAR LORD! The amount of excitement that just erupted inside of me is just too much to handle! I…am a chocolate FIEND! Thank you for all of your GLORIOUS ideas and creations!
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